TO BE HONEST, it was exactly what the hurling doctor would have ordered – a win that secured a place in the All-Ireland final, and one that left plenty of room for improvement.
Kilkenny hurling manager, Brian Cody summed up the mood after Waterford were dismissed when he suggested: “That level of performance wouldn’t be good enough to win an All-Ireland, irrespective of who we are playing.”
Yet, in this championship of constant improvement by Kilkenny the faithful have every reason to look forward with hope to September 4, to Croke Park, the All-Ireland final and the prospect of a reunion with their old friend ‘Liam’.
Inconsistent Waterford were brave and difficult in this senior semi-final, but they never led and they never looked like winning. Once Richie Hogan clipped home his second goal in the 33rd minute to extend Kilkenny’s lead to 2-9 to 1-7 the chances of a Waterford win were a long, long shot.
SCORERS: Kilkenny - Henry Shefflin (0-7, 0-4 frees); Richie Hogan (2-0); Michael Fennelly (0-3); Eoin Larkin, Colin Fennelly (0-2 each); Brian Hogan, Michael Rice, T.J. Reid, Paddy Hogan, Eddie Brennan (0-1 each). Waterford - John Mullane (1-6); Eoin Kelly (0-3, 0-2 frees); Pauric Mahony (0-2, frees); Maurice Shanahan (0-2, 0-1 free); Richie Foley (0-1 free); Seamus Prendergast, Stephen Molumphy (0-1 each).
See this week’s Kilkenny People for full coverage of Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final win