The wait since 1959 goes on for Waterford as they were defeated by Galway in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship final in Croke Park today on a scoreline of 0-26 to 2-17. The Déise battled hard throughout, and rallied after a slow start to take the lead after the break.
However, perhaps it was Galway’s experience of losing finals in 2012 and 2015 that benefitted them heading down the home straight.
Following the game, Derek McGrath bemoaned his side’s slow start, and admitted he was worried about a repeat of 2008 in the early stages.
“In the first ten minutes, Galway seemed to be fairly fluent from the start.
“We probably got a goal against the head, against the run of the game. It kind of steadied us. I thought we were chasing it for long periods of the first half, but we settled in just before half time.
“If you go back to the 2008 final, that storm came fairly early. That was in our minds straight away. I couldn’t help thinking to myself on the line, ‘This is coming again!'”
While the Déise now face into the winter knowing that they were unable to end their famine this season, McGrath remains immensely proud of his troops.
“Obviously, we’re hugely disappointed, but the overriding emotion is one of pride in our lads. There was no capitulation. There was no sense of throwing in the towel. The resiliance shown was incredible.
“I’ve never been as proud of them, in actual fact.
McGrath went on to praise the newly-crowned All-Ireland champions, as they look ahead to 2018.
“Galway are primed, they’ve won the League, they’ve won Leinster. They’re ‘Kilkenny-in-waiting’ in a way.”