Friday 20 April 2018

Deise triumph a huge positive for hurling

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

I got caught up in traffic disruption while passing through Waterford city on Monday evening as large crowds turned out to welcome home the All-Ireland minor hurling winners.

There was nothing for it except to sit back and watch young and old as they enjoyed an occasion not experienced in Waterford since 1948, when the minors last won the title.

No amount of promotion can compare with the inspirational impact of an All-Ireland title – at any level – being won by a county after a long wait. Waterford's success is the latest example of a county which has put down a very solid base at underage level in recent times.

It's good for hurling to see the minor crown go to a county like Waterford, who broke a run which has seen all the titles head for Kilkenny, Galway, Tipperary and Cork since Offaly were last successful in 1989.

Cork have been some way behind the other leading trio in that period, having won only twice, the last of which was in 2001.

But then, Cork minors haven't been nearly as prominent as they used to be, having only four All-Irelands in the last 33 years, compared with 14 in the previous 52 years.

Irish Independent

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