THE WAIT GOES on for Waterford but manager Derek McGrath declared himself “immensely proud” nevertheless after seeing his team come up short in today’s All-Ireland senior hurling final.
In their bid to win the Liam MacCarthy Cup for the first time since 1959, the Deise suffered a 0-26 to 2-17 defeat to Galway in a thrilling decider at Croke Park.
“Hard day. It’s a gut-wrenching dressing room inside,” McGrath told RTÉ. “The lads put everything into it for the last four years so we’re bitterly disappointed, albeit Galway were probably marginally the better team.
“We were hit with four points in a row at the very start of the game. I’m just so proud of our lads in terms of not crumbling. We managed to get ourselves back in the game almost against the head with Kevin’s [Moran] goal. I think we kind of settled in after that.
“Just before half-time we had a fairly strong period. But I think overall, Galway, it came a little bit easier to them at times, so congratulations to Micheál [Donoghue] and the lads from Galway.”
He added: “Just to kind of acknowledge how immensely proud we are of our lads. There was no capitulation. We came in as 3/1 outsiders. We’re just overcome with pride for the effort they gave us.
“I know it’s sometimes a defeatist attitude and sometimes it can have negative connotations, but we’re just very proud of the lads. We were ranked 12/1 at the start of the year to win the championship.
“We’re very proud of the lads, albeit I acknowledged last year that moral victories are probably gone in Waterford. It’s so hard to get back here again.”