After Waterford reached another Allianz League final with their five-goal win over Wexford at Nowlan Park at the weekend, the only question is how long it will be before we see silverware on the banks of the Suir again.
It is unbelievable that this will be Déise’s eighth final since their league win in 2015, with three losses to Munster, added two each in the All-Ireland and Allianz League playoffs.
But despite that run, county legend John Mullane believes it’s a special time for what he described as “the best squad in the country” on The Throw-In podcast in partnership with the Alliance this week.
“I know it’s just the league but we’re in the final now and it’s a good time to be following Waterford Hurling. That was an amazing accomplishment,” Mullane said.
“Granted, Wexford were way below average, but Waterford were just amazing. A dazzling performance from start to finish.
“I really thought it was going to be tight going into the ground given the lack of staff but they reiterated and confirmed that we have the best squad in the country. I think both teams that are in the league finals probably have the two best rosters.
“There were incredible performances. I thought Tadhg de Búrca was back at his best, Dessie Hutchinson was very good.
“And Austin Gleeson, he’s a different sauce. The man is just a flawed genius. It’s a shame what happened in the end.”
The Déise will have to play this final without Gleeson after their county board confirmed on Tuesday they would not appeal against the late red card following an incident involving Wexford defender Simon Donohoe.
It’s certainly a blow without being the in-form forward, who went 2-3 from Waterford’s tally on Sunday before his sacking to take his tally to 3-22 for the season.
But Waterford impressed without Gleeson in their Round 4 win over Tipperary, and Mullane sees goals from across the team as they try to break their final hoodoo.
“I think Waterford are in a really, really good place and from the perspective of a Waterford fan, just sit back and enjoy this team. Because we see a special, special team here,” he added.
“Liam Cahill has stated that they are looking for silverware. And he also said once they keep putting themselves in that position to reach the finals, eventually they will get over the line.
“We highlighted that last week and they could break the goal record. I think they’ve scored nineteen goals now. I predicted at the start of the league that they could reach 20 goals and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if they reached that 20 goal mark.
“I think they will score more goals this weekend. You have goals in mind. They scored five goals on Sunday, they could easily have scored seven or eight, but look, they’ve been promoted, they’ve put in a professional performance and from Wexford’s point of view there are days like that
“It was unfortunate and I think they will get back on the horse. But if you think about it, they’ve had a decent league campaign.
“I’ve been there before when you’re not there when you come up against a team that’s at the peak of their powers – I think that Waterford team is at the peak of their powers now – I think they’re you ready to do something special.
“Unfortunately for Wexford, they’ve just encountered a juggernaut.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/the-throw-in/from-a-waterford-supporters-point-of-view-just-sit-back-and-enjoy-it-john-mullane-hails-deise-juggernaut-41499760.html “From a Waterford fan’s perspective, just sit back and enjoy” – John Mullane praises Déise as a “Juggernaut”