Let's begin with the All-Ireland hurling quarter-finals yesterday. Cork v Waterford first - a case of Waterford blowing it?
Yes John, I think so, they had it in the bag and let it go. A couple of serious chances gone a-begging in the final mins.
I couldn't agree more John. I've been doing a lot of thinking about this this morning. We heard some post match claims that Waterford have 'progressed' but how can falling out of the top 4 be labelled progression? how can not reaching an All-Ireland semi-final after contesting the previous six be labelled progression? I thought they were naive in the closing stages.
They've now been overtaken by Cork, who are from from the finished article themselves.
Don't think so. Cork's subs came into it at the right time and Waterford faded - not surprisingly given the effort they put in to go ahead
I always felt the Munster final performance had given Waterford false hope. That wasn't a Tipperary team firing on all cylinders.
I don't know either that they've progressed Jackie but I wouldn't say they're slipping. A team very much in transition and yesterday was another learning stage.
So, Waterford have beaten Clare, narrowly, lost to Tipp and lost to Cork. Hardly a great season?
Waterford's bench was light yesterday and I'd have thought it worth emptying that bench with a few minutes left
Not saying that they have or haven't progressed Diarmuid. Merely challenging the claim post match that they have.
Waterford won't know themselves not being in an All-Ireland semi-final. Not ruthless enough in either the Tipp or Cork games.
Sweetnam made a huge contribution coming on - should he start v Galway?
13 scoring chances created in the final quarter of the Munster Final John, two taken - everyone seems to gloss over the chances Waterford had in that game. They're a coming team I believe, lots of very talented youngsters there.
Cork don't have better on yesterday's evidence, I'd be surprised if he doesn't start
Don't doubt their promise, Diarmuid, but Cork were behind them before the start of this year; now they're ahead.
If Galway bring the same levels of intensity that they showed against Kilkenny, they'll beat Cork. But that's a big if. Very very difficult to replicate that. Sweetnam was excellent when he came on, Naughton too.
@John Fogarty Looking at the youth in Clare and Limerick I'd be more positive about their futures than Waterford's . . .
Could we see another first Championship start from JBM or is the occasion too big for more changes like that?
Sweetnam for Kearney, can't see any other changes? What say ye Michael and Diarmuid?
@Jackie Cahill Based on the Leinster final it's no contest. But based on teh Leinster final the All-Ireland finaln would be no contest!
You can't take any more risks now John.
@Jackie Cahill Joyce will be an interesting call. And Conor Lehane instead of Coughlan, presumably
Agree John, take Michael's point also, the Cork subs did have a huge impact. Cork are progressing too John, at a faster rate than Waterford, that's all, and being in an AI semi-final now will be a huge advantage to them.
I give Cork a huge chance Michael, for the record.
One thing's for certain - Munster will ultra-competitive next year. Joyce might have a say but the half-back line is likely to have a seasoned look about it for Galway with Kenny, Cadogan and Seán Óg aris.
@Jackie Cahill So do I, note the cliche on 'every game takes on a life of its own' now entering teh building
There will be goals and more goals on Sunday week. Galway and Cork like to slug one another.
Thought Coughlan did very well though Michael?
faded admittedly, could be an impact sub?
Lehane will likely come back in but it's not bad on JBM's part to have a bench in his first year, is it?
It is a cliche but it's still very true! And the 'it's all on the day' is even more applicable!!
He did but I don't think he's a natural wing-forward compared to Lehane. Def a man who'll be on the field at some stage. I wouldn't write that half-back line in stone either John - obv training games/form counts for more with management than anything else
Keeping with the clichés, are Cork in bonus territory, gents?
Far from taking more chances, I think JBM might go the opposite direction, go for Johnny G to start; time to start playing the percentages now, power and experience needed against Galway, whom I expect will come close to replicating the Lr final effort.
@Jackie Cahill In fairness you'd have to say that the two semis are going to be fantastic in terms of line-ups . . . no offence to anyone else
JBM has done a fantastic job with this group of players. Getting hammered by Kilkenny and narrowly beaten by Tipp could have rocked the confidence of those young guys but they have shown huge mental strength to bounce back. And hands up, who expected them to come from three points down to win yesterday?
Fair point, Michael. JBM can take the scalpel to any of the lines.
Best four teams in the country, Michael.
@John Fogarty Are they? You wouldn't think there's much between them and Waterford, with Tipp-KK the top two and now Galway taking third (until such time etc) maybe fourthish is where they are.
But Waterford didn't kill them off, Jackie. There was always a chance. There was no panic in them either.
And of course, you won't get Cork supporters to be satisfied with a semi . . .