Wednesday, 13th June 2012
Semple Stadium in Thurles is the centre of attention on Sunday next as Waterford aim to topple Clare in what could indeed be a mouthwatering semi-final of the Munster Senior Hurling Championship. Yes, it is true, the Deise had a disappointing start to their Allianz National League campaign but, those results will count for nothing in the cauldron that is the Provincial competition. Clare managed by Davy Fitzgerald, back in his native county following his soujourn with Waterford, will have his team fighting fit for this chance to put one over his former charges. Mind you, the Bainisteoir has at his disposal some of the players who have graced the underage scene for a couple of years so there is no doubting the talent available to Davy. However in the opposing corner they face a Waterford outfit who themselves will be on a mission to prove their league form was a one off. Indeed this Waterford team is also in a transition period with a few players retiring from the intercounty scene and being replaced by others just coming in to stake their claim for a starting place. All in all it must surely be a game to draw the crowds to the "ancestral" home of hurling that is Thurles.
If one were to go on the final games of the Allianz National League and the recent challenges it is very likely that Mount Sion's Ian O'Regan will man the goal. Depending on the fitness of Noel Connors who has recently been carrying an injury, a problem that flared up again in a domestic game between Passage and Lismore, there is no doubt the management will give him every opportunity. There is every reason to believe that Liam Lawlor will be on the edge of the square with Philip Mahony, Aidan Kearney and Darragh Fives all looking for a starting place although the latter could well make a half back berth his own. I would like to see De La Salle kingpin Kevin Moran at wing back which suggests that perhaps Ballygunner clubman Wayne Hutchinson or Mount Sion's veteran Tony Browne to partner Michael "Brick" Walsh in that line. Dungarvan's Jamie Nagle will also hope to have created enough impression to start and in recent games for his club Dungarvan there is no doubt he will be pushing hard. Waterford have not been able to dominate midfield in recent games and Eoin Kelly could solve the problem. Big, pacy and strong with an ability to score. Mind you, Dean Twomey from De La Salle has done nothing wrong when tried there. A tall rangy player who can cover a great deal of ground he might well be the ideal partner for Kelly if the management take a gamble. Ballyduff Upper clubman Stephen Molumphy has played in the engine room that is midfield and can be a real workhorse and ball winner. Abbeyside clubman Richie Foley recovered from injury has played there and is experienced. Four players, two positions. These are a number of the options and perhaps headaches for the management team of Michael Ryan, Ken McGrath and Sean Cullinane. Up front the inside line will be led by Shane Walsh. The Fourmilewater man has proved time and again that he is a goal getter and is "on fire" for his club at present. That inside line could well be completed by Roanmore's Gavin O'Brien and the ever dangerous John Mullane. Waterford must win puckouts and in this regard both Seamus Prendergast and Maurice Shanahan if selected will be expected to challenge and win more than their fair share of ball. With Paudie Mahony out through injury there are still a number of players fighting for selection among them Eoin McGrath, Martin O'Neill and Thomas Ryan although, any one or all of them could start. Plenty of options in selection and that's the way to have it. Let's hope it is a good day and the result goes our way. I believe it will.
As in previous weeks the column continues to list the enormous number of GAA Kellogg's Summer Camps. The following will take place July 23rd to 27th;
Club Coordinator Contact
Cappoquin Denise Meaney 087-6480834
Fourmilewater/Nire Pat Power/Tom Guiry 052-6136542/087-2202933
The following Cul Camps will take place 6th-10th August
Passage Owen Lynch 087-9417104
Stradbally Tomas Walsh 087-7681546
Sc Heart Kathy Hunt 087-9650898
St Pats/Naomh Brid Mary Fahey 087-2813935
JUNIORS BOW OUT
It was a disappointing evening for the Waterford junior footballers on Saturday as they bowed out to Clare on a 0-13 to 0-7 scoreline. Hopes were high following a very good performance against Limerick in the openeing round that this team could go "quite a way" in the competition. However it was not to be. Clare were on top throughout but points in the opening half from Ed Hogan, Gavin Crotty, Adam O'Loughlin and David Power kept the Deise in touch at the break 0-7 to 0-4. The second half saw the men from the Banner extend the lead to six points and Waterford were never going to claw that back. All in all Waterford will be disappointed with the performance as they never reached the heights of their opening round.
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