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After the 'shame' of last year's Munster loss against Cork, Waterford's hurlers want to atone

Waterford won’t be lacking in motivation before Sunday’s clash.

Waterford's Philip Mahony and Cork's Steven McDonnell after the recent league final.
Waterford's Philip Mahony and Cork's Steven McDonnell after the recent league final.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

WATERFORD HIT FULL speed last month against Cork in Thurles but it wasn’t the first time we saw them scaling such heights.

Rewind to last summer and they blitzed Cork in the opening period of their Munster quarter-final clash.

Nine points up, a last four battle with Clare was in Waterford’s sights and then they were pegged back by Cork.

Crashing to a 14-point loss in the replay generated a sense of ‘shame’ in the Waterford camp.

“What made it worse was that we were in such a commanding position the first day,” recalls Waterford defender Philip Mahony.

“I think we went nine points up at one stage after Aussie (Gleeson) got the goal.

“It probably was a little bit harder to deal with having the replay. We did probably think we left it behind us.

“But you know to lose by 14 points in any game, there’s obviously a massive element of shame I suppose attached with that.”

Liberty Insurance GAA #DriveSafer Campaign Launch Philip Mahony and Seamus Harnedy at the recent launch of the Liberty Insurance #DriveSafer campaign. Source: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

Waterford didn’t hang around in the wake of their championship exit at the hands of Wexford last July.

Efforts were redoubled as they set about plotting and planning for 2015.

“I think every player after last year, there’d want to be something wrong with you not to reassess where you’re going.

“I think everyone individually did that even in terms of training and our own preparations.

“I don’t think we could have afforded to have a long break off over winter. I think we just needed to just get straight back into it.

“The minute the club championship was over for every club I think there was only a week or two of a turnaround for us getting back on track.”

Philip Mahony celebrates with Dan Shanahan Philip Mahony celebrates Waterford's league final triumph with Dan Shanahan. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

They reaped the rewards in the league as Waterford became champions for only the third time in the county’s history.

The trick now is to ensure that was a springboard rather than an aberration.

“We probably bore the fruits of that (work) in the league,” admits Mahony.

“It’s obviously massively important that we continue that right into the championship.”

“When we were training last October or November it was all geared towards Cork in June. It wasn’t the league or anything like that.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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