Wednesday, 30th May 2007
GAA notes by The villager
I guess there are not too many times in Waterford that a
Munster Senior football encounter is as eagerly awaited as the semi-final in Fraher Field, Dungarvan on Sunday next. The reason for all this excitement is the visit of All-Ireland
Waterford, having already put up a very determined display in their opening round when they disposed of a much more fancied Clare side, should have absolutely no fears or hang-ups going in to face the pre-
championship favourites. They are the underdog.
They are been given a slim, if in some quarters, no chance. The same scenario that applied in 2006 when the Deise travelled to the powerhouse of the Kingdom and put up one hell of a display. OK! defeat was their lot on that occasion but, you know Cork turned over Kerry last year albeit in a replay so John Kiely and his charges have nothing to lose.
It would be almost inevitable that the selectors will stick mainly to the team that played against Clare and that would mean Tom Wall again manning the goal with Justin Walsh, Thomas O'Gorman and Shane Briggs in the rearguard. With Kerry probably placing dangerman Colm Cooper in the corner I would expect to see Shane Briggs doing a man to man marking job on him. Cooper on his day is probably the best forward in the country but I know Shane will make him work overtime for every score.
The half back line that faced Clare will in all probability remain the same. John Phelan and Paul Ogle flanking Edmond Rockett. Tramore clubman Ogle did have to be replaced near the end of the previous tie but he has recovered from injury. It will be interesting to see if the midfield will remain the same with Mick Ahearne being partnered by John Hurney. The latter benefitted enormously when played more as a wing forward in the latter stages of that win over the Banner and it gives John Kiely another formation to the line-out with perhaps Gary Hurney alternating between midfield and full forward.
Team captain Brian Wall has started at wing forward in all the most recent games although he is probably more established at midfield or wing back. Stradbally forward Ger Power will start on the other wing and with his speed and goal prowess he might just unnerve an otherwise tight Kerry defence. The full forward line will see Andy Hubbard on the edge of the square with Wayne Hennessy and Liam O'Lionain in the corners. Again Waterford have pace in the corners and with enough of the ball you know lightning can strike twice.
In the wings waiting to come in if required will see substitutes of the calibre of Liam Lawlor, Jason Seward, Karl O'Keeffe and Eamon Walsh among others. This is an opportunity for Waterford to roll back fifty years to the last time the county put one over the Kingdon and you know what, for a few euro at a fancy price you might just be toasting success on Sunday night.
CORK NEXT UP
Following their seven point (1-18 to 1-11) win over a very disappointing Clare on Sunday last, Cork have now set up a mouthwatering semi-final against Waterford. The two best teams in the Province over the last five or so years, there should be a near full house in Semple Stadium for the occasion in three weeks time. I must admit that Clare really only offered token resistance to the Rebels and from start to finish there was always going to be only one winner. The word emanating from the Banner was that the team wasn't settled what with many of the old guard retiring and Tony Griffin and Tony Carmody unavailable, this was a bridge too far.
Hard to judge Cork on this outing although it will be interesting to see Justin McCarthy face his former team mate and ex-Waterford manager Gerald McCarthy. They say you can only beat what is put in front of you and this the Gerald McCarthy lads did with very few worries. Now Waterford that will be a different prospect for the Leesiders. Bring them on.
FERRYBANK OPEN DAY
Ferrybank GAA hosted an open day on Saturday last at their club grounds. The club has embarked on a series of developments over the past few years and the latest a "Hurling Alley" was unveiled to all and sundry at the launch. The new alley with it's astro-turf floor and all round floodlighting will give players an opportunity to fine tune the skills of the game even on those long wet Winter evenings.
This was a day of which the club can be truly proud. Distinguished guests from both the political and sporting fields led by Association President Nicky Brennan turned up in great numbers. Chairman of both the Munster Council, Lismore man Jimmy O'Gorman and Waterford County Board Pat Flynn along with the Coiste Gnoithe members were joined by recently re-elected TD Martin Cullen and Mayor "Cha" O'Neill and his colleagues from Waterford Corporation. Music was supplied by the Barrack Street Band with the WLR FM Blastercaster also in attendance. Well done to the club under chairman Donncha Larkin and his team. A big thank you to the team of ladies and Mick who kept the tea and food going all afternoon. A day to remember.
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