portal_normal EE STRUCTURE orgcat: /PUBLICATIONS/EE-ECHO/SPORT

portal_normal PUBLICATION STRUCTURE cat: /publications/ee-echo/sport

portal_normal CATEGORY STRUCTURE category: /PUBLICATIONS/EE-ECHO/SPORT

portal_normal STRUCTURE section: corksport

portal_normal getURLCurrent: /web/eveningecho/corksport/detailedstory?p_p_id=DetailedStory_WAR_portalsuite&p_p_lifecycle=0&_DetailedStory_WAR_portalsuite_arg_detailstory_uuid=618347c6-7662-483d-ac3d-1d9468c4501e

portal_normal getPortalURL getURLCurrent: http://www.echolive.ie./web/eveningecho/corksport/detailedstory?p_p_id=DetailedStory_WAR_portalsuite&p_p_lifecycle=0&_DetailedStory_WAR_portalsuite_arg_detailstory_uuid=618347c6-7662-483d-ac3d-1d9468c4501e

portal_normal getPortalURL: http://www.echolive.ie

portal_normal domain: http://www.echolive.ie

STRUCTURE EE_062016_general_layout.tpl - url: /corksport/Cork-and-Waterford-hurling-clashes-always-matter-more-along-the-border-618347c6-7662-483d-ac3d-1d9468c4501e-ds

STRUCTURE EE_062016_general_layout.tpl - section: corksport

STRUCTURE EE_062016_general_layout.tpl - orgcat: orgcat = /PUBLICATIONS/EE-ECHO/SPORT

Timmy McCarthy, Cork, is tackled by Waterford players Tony Browne and Declan Prendergast. Picture: Ray McManus/SPORTSFILE
Timmy McCarthy, Cork, is tackled by Waterford players Tony Browne and Declan Prendergast. Picture: Ray McManus/SPORTSFILE
SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

Cork and Waterford hurling clashes always matter more along the border

EVEN as we approach the early days of winter, the Cork-Waterford hurling rivalry is as hot as ever along the border.

There will be no trip to Thurles for spectators for Saturday’s Munster hurling semi-final, but passions will still be high as both sets of fans hope their heroes can get one over on their arch-rivals.

In the town of Youghal, Bill Cooper is the local hero, a hugely instrumental figure in red in recent seasons. He is carrying on a long tradition of Cork players living close to Waterford. Willie Walsh, Pat Hegarty, and Seanie O’Leary shone for Cork during the 1970s and ’80s.

Waterford managed only two wins in 10 meetings during those decades — the 1974 shock victory at Walsh Park and replay success in Thurles in 1989. The landscape has levelled out since, with Bill Cooper and the current Cork generation enjoying mixed results over the past 10 seasons.

Cooper, who was an inspirational figure in Imokilly’s domestic dominance, has proved to be a natural leader in the county jersey, doing a superb job in a variety of positions. Saturday’s clash in Thurles will see Cooper begin his quest for a fourth Munster senior medal.

 Cork's Bill Cooper tackles Pauric Mahony of Waterford. Picture: INPHO/Oisin Keniry

Cork's Bill Cooper tackles Pauric Mahony of Waterford. Picture: INPHO/Oisin Keniry

Back home in Youghal, the loyal supporters who have followed their local hero on every step of his inter-county journey will be hoping that come 5pm, their cheers will be heard in the nearby towns and villages such as Ardmore, Clashmore, and Knockanore.

There too, Waterford hurling folk will be no less determined to earn the spoils of victory after two successive winless championship seasons. They will, in fact, be seeking what would be only the Suirsiders’ 16th championship win against Cork.

 Seanie McGrath of Cork in action against Tom Feeney of Waterford. Picture: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Seanie McGrath of Cork in action against Tom Feeney of Waterford. Picture: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Former Waterford All-Star corner-back Eoin Murphy, who won four provincial medals, hails from Knockanore, but now resides in East Cork. He knows all about the excitement that the Cork-Waterford clashes generate.

“They have always been very special days, with the spoils of victory more or less shared during the time when I played. Those games were very much instinctive hurling and appealed to all the supporters, as they generated so much excitement.

“Overall, the past 20 years has been a vintage era in terms of matches between the counties, but the 2004 meeting in Thurles has to be the highlight. It was such a spectacle that on the day even Cork fans applauded at the end, despite the result going against them.

 Joe Deane battles Eoin Murphy. Picture: Gavin Browne

Joe Deane battles Eoin Murphy. Picture: Gavin Browne

“Looking ahead, Saturday will be a step into the unknown, as it’s hard to know what to expect based on the unique circumstances of the current season.”