Waterford hoping to extend 73-year championship rule over Tribesmen
IF the past provides even a remote guide to the future, then Waterford's 5/2 odds to beat Galway in Sunday's All-Ireland hurling quarter-final represents the best value of the sporting year so far.
Played nine, won nine -- that's Waterford's remarkable championship record against Galway in a rivalry that started in 1938 and provided its last instalment two years ago.
Waterford won by a point in the 2009 All-Ireland quarter-final and by two in a qualifier clash three years earlier but, prior to that, Galway had never come close to their southern rivals. Waterford's seven-goal thrashing by Tipperary in the Munster final last Sunday week, combined with Galway's easy win over Cork in the qualifiers, has seen the westerners cut to 4/11 to reach the All-Ireland semi-final for the first time in six years.
However, Waterford, who also beat Galway in the league in April, will be conscious that the hand of history is very much a willing ally in Sunday's clash.
It won't necessarily steer them to victory but it will certainly lift Waterford's spirits as they attempt to recover from the horror show that was the Munster final.
Here's how they've reeled off nine straight championship wins over Galway in the last 73 years:
Waterford 1-16 Galway 0-18 (All-Ireland quarter-final)
Six points clear after 50 minutes, four ahead after 66 minutes, Galway were hit for 1-2 in the closing stages.
Waterford 1-25 Galway 2-20
The wides tally was 19-7 to Waterford, underlining just how many chances they created against opponents who had David Collins sent off after 50 minutes.
Waterford 1-20 Galway 1-10
Then, as now, Waterford were coming off a major Munster final setback, having lost heavily to Clare in a replay. They had only a week to recover but did so spectacularly when blowing Galway away.
Waterford 2-16 Galway 1-9
Galway's decade of hell in Munster saw them lose to Waterford by 10 points in this season. Played 12, lost 11, won 1 (v Clare in 1961) was Galway's return from their hapless sojourn in Munster in 1959-69.
Waterford 9-8 Galway 4-8
A goal-fest for defending All-Ireland champions Waterford in Limerick.
Waterford 7-11 Galway 0-8
Galway's first venture into southern territory was a disaster as Waterford, who would lift All-Ireland, annihilated them.
Waterford 4-12 Galway 0-11
Waterford beat Limerick and Cork in Munster, so it was no surprise that they routed Galway in the semi-final.
Waterford 3-7 Galway 1-6
As occurred 10 years previously, Waterford were comfortable winners over the Tribesmen.
Waterford 4-8 Galway 3-1
Having won the Munster title for the first time, Waterford built on their success with an easy win in Ennis.