From hospital bed with double leg fracture to Waterford league champion in 12 months

Philip Mahony appreciated today’s win for the Deise more than most.

Philip Mahony celebrates Waterford's league title win with selector Dan Shanahan.
Philip Mahony celebrates Waterford's league title win with selector Dan Shanahan.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

A TALE OF contrasts for Waterford’s Philip Mahony.

On the May Bank Holiday 2014, he suffered a double leg fracture and a dislocated ankle in a club match with Ballygunner.

Twelve months on, he was celebrating today in Thurles as he played left half-back on the Waterford team that collected the National hurling league title.

“It was actually this day last year,” Mahony told The42 after today’s game.

“I remember actually watching the Tipp-Kilkenny game (2014 league final) in the hospital with (Dr) Tadgh O’Sullivan, waiting to get a cast on so it’s a little bit of a change anyway.

“It was tough. I was looked after by good people. Ballygunner are very lucky to have the likes of Tadgh O’Sullivan and Shane Fitzpatrick. The Waterford physios as well have been brilliant. They probably did most of the work for me and told me what to do.”

Being part of a triumphant Waterford team on the national stage is something Mahony savours.

“It’s brilliant. It’s great to win a national title. A lot of us haven’t really won anything for Waterford. It’s a big massive change from last year. We won’t get carried away with ourselves. Obviously we’re playing Cork in five weeks again in the big one.”

“We just kept setting ourselves short-term goals. It could have been different if we hadn’t got the draw after playing well against Limerick (in their opening match). We mightn’t have had the momentum. It’s a massive change from being relegated last year.”

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Waterford players celebrate with the cup Waterford players celebrating after today's win. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

And Mahony was particularly thrilled for their manager Derek McGrath who he is acquainted with since playing on the De La Salle colleges teams that the current Waterford boss guided to Harty Cup and Croke Cup glory back in 2007 and 2008.

“Derek is an unbelievable manager. I think he received a lot of criticism last year which probably wasn’t fair on his own part. I think there hasn’t been much really changed this year but not once did we stop believing in him.

“Not one player I think within the squad stopped believing in Derek. He’s a great leader for us throughout the years, not just today. I’m delighted for him personally that we got the win.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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