In recent weeks, TG4 showed the 2004 Cork-Waterford Munster final, and the 2014 Kilkenny-Tipperary drawn All-Ireland final. For many hurling people, that 2004 epic was regarded as hurling’s greatest game, a spell-binding classic which Waterford edged with 14 men.
Of course, it doesn’t always take high volumes of scores to validate a match. The 2004 Munster final had 41 scores, 13 less than the 2014 drawn All-Ireland final, but Cork’s style was the beginning of hurling’s new evolution, which subsequently accelerated hurling’s shift to a shorter game, where guarding possession became more paramount.
Does anyone outside Kilkenny even remember the 2014 replayed final now? Yet any discussion in trying to rate matches is at the core of the debate, and the fun.
Supporters will forget the final score, but nobody forgets those ecstatic moments at the final whistle when their heart was bursting with pride and happiness.
And all those visceral feelings will be treasured far more than ever whenever those glorious championship days do return.