Frampton insists Deise can rise above poor semi-final record
WATERFORD'S poor record in All-Ireland hurling semi-finals, which has seen them win only one from eight attempts over the last 13 years, will have no bearing whatsoever on their prospects of upsetting the odds and beating Kilkenny on Sunday.
That's according to former Waterford star Stephen Frampton, who captained them in the 1998 semi-final when they lost by a point to Kilkenny. It was the start of a dismal semi-final run, with the Deise's only win from seven subsequent attempts coming in 2008 when they beat Tipperary.
Otherwise, they have lost to Kilkenny (twice), Tipperary, Limerick, Clare and Cork, but Frampton insists that the players and management will see past defeats as irrelevant.
"Players don't think of the past. Every game is a new challenge and lads think about how they can win it, rather than looking at what happened before," said Frampton.
The prospects of heading for Croke Park for an All-Ireland semi-final was well down the Waterford agenda after the disastrous Munster final defeat by Tipperary, but the result against Galway has re-energised the county to such a degree that there's a renewed sense of optimism that the best may be yet to come.
The big question centres on which Waterford will present itself in Croke Park on Sunday; the hopelessly out-classed version that fell to Tipperary, or the powerful force that flattened Galway.
"I don't think we'll be seeing anything like we saw in the Munster final again," Frampton added. "An awful lot was learned that day and, to be fair to the players and the management, they put it to good use against Galway. They showed that once they were well set-up they could play at a different level."
However, they will need to improve further if they are to have a chance of inflicting a first All-Ireland semi-final defeat on Kilkenny for six years.
Frampton said there has been an ominous silence from Kilkenny since retaining the Leinster title and believes they are primed for a massive charge at the All-Ireland.
"Kilkenny will be a driven force next Sunday and everything would need to go right for Waterford if we are to win, but you never know.
"No one thought after the Munster final that Waterford would be in Croke Park next Sunday. They will now go out and express themselves as best they can and see where it takes them."
Waterford's Last 10
2010: Tipperary 3-19 Waterford 1-18
2009: Kilkenny 2-23 Waterford 3-15
2008: Waterford 1-20 Tipperary 1-18
2007: Limerick 5-11 Waterford 2-15
2006: Cork 1-16 Waterford 1-15
2004: Kilkenny 3-12 Waterford 0-18
2002: Clare 1-16 Waterford 1-13
1998: Kilkenny 1-11 Waterford 1-10
1957: Waterford 4-12 Galway 0-11
1948: Waterford 3-7 Galway 1-6
Won 3; Lost 7