Our Senior troops have brought back pride to the county
Published 30/07/2016 | 00:00
The Wexford love for hurling was clearly illustrated again on Sunday as I crept snail-like through traffic into Thurles fully realising that I would now miss the opening quarter of the Minor match versus Limerick.
There was a huge Wexford crowd and I tuned into South East Radio for the early stages to be less than comforted by Liam Spratt's early comments. Liam immediately reminded me of our last Minor visit to the home of hurling where we lost to Galway under the tutelage of my good self when, with a short few minutes to go, the Tribesmen were reduced to 13 but still proceeded to win the game.
Needless to say I have listened to a lot about this since and really have no defence as the boss carries the can, but his comments allied to the traffic didn't help my blood pressure as I parted with my fiver to secure parking.
To quantify how quickly time passes during a game, a few minutes is roughly the same time it takes for Liam on occasion to work out whether a goal has been scored, or is it a point….no it's wide. The commentary box (as I well know) is an easier vantage point than the sideline.
There is no better social occasion than attending a Wexford game with the associated chats behind the stand before and after, but sadly Sunday was disappointing with post mortems being the order of the day.
Overall our Senior men have restored pride in 2016 and I always felt going into the game that the injury body blows would eventually catch up with us and so it came to pass. Waterford started with a storm and had they shown more accuracy could have been out of sight by the interval.
It is very hard to break down their system of mass defence but I believe if they have any hope of denting the Cats they will have to push men forward. Despite their overall dominance they never once threatened to beat the ever-confident Mark Fanning.
We had some good performances throughout the field and left with our heads held high. Matthew O'Hanlon has led with style all year and his defence strode manfully with Eanna Martin catching the eye on the wing.
Andrew Kenny did well when introduced but despite the efforts of Lee Chin and Conor Mac up front the sheer weight of numbers was always going to restrict our return.
Lee Chin's injury in the first-half further depreciated our chances and it is a testament to the character of the Harriers man that he saw out the game.
I always felt that Waterford would score somewhere between 20 and 24 points and our performance would be determined by our scoring success. Looking to the future there is positivity ahead and when the panel strengthens and recovers from our horrific injury run I think there will be a bright future.
As an aside, best wishes to Eoin Moore who sustained a nasty injury near the end and I hope we see him back to action soon.
Our Minor hurlers were left to rue missed chances in a game that was very winnable as despite our wastefulness (15 wides), Limerick only closed the game out in the last ten minutes.
The loss of Rory O'Connor was immeasurable and I suppose in synopsis scoring twelve points in the Leinster final and nine on Sunday isn't sufficient to win games at this level.
We are coming ever closer to make a long-awaited breakthrough at this grade and a huge effort has been put in over the past number of months. Our time will surely come and I can only say I fully understand the empty feeling for all involved leaving Thurles last weekend.
Finally, I have long been an admirer of Joe Canning's and feel he has been the subject of far too much criticism.
We are privileged to have witnessed his career and his goal was worth the admission money. I rest my case.