Friday, May 19, 2023

The Waterford team before last Saturday’s Tailteann Cup game against Down in Pairc Esler, Newry. Next up are Meath in Fraher Field. Photo: Philip Walsh.

Saturday Next in Fraher Field 6.30 pm.
Tailteann Cup S.F. Rd. 2 Waterford V Meath

With no hurling next weekend Waterford’s footballers can hope for a good turnout of supporters in Fraher Field on Saturday for the visit of Meath in the second round of the Tailteann Cup. Waterford will have been seen as the weakest side in this strong group but Ephie Fitzgerald’s men left Newry on Saturday last with more respect from their opponents than they might have had before the game. It was a spirited performance by Waterford against a fancied Down side and they can face the one time Leinster kingpins on Saturday confident in their ability to make a real game of it.
The side is unlikely to show much change from that which played in Newry where it was good to see Tom O’Connell back in action, as a substitute, having been out of the picture as a result of his involvement with the county U-20 hurlers.
Meath come to Waterford under the guidance of county legend Colm O’Rourke (pictured below) who is under no illusions regarding the task facing him where restoring his county’s former glories is concerned. Fielding a young new look side his charges saw off Waterford’s Munster conquerors Tipperary with eleven points to spare in Navan but O’Rourke was quick to point out that there is a long road ahead for his team to get to the promised land. A win over Waterford would be another step on that road for any other result would mean a return to the drawing board.
Meath will not be holding back in Fraher Field on Saturday and will be seeking a more emphatic win than Down had over the same opposition last weekend. For Waterford this will be another test against higher opposition that will show how far they have come since the start of the league as well as indicating how far they can go.
It is a very interesting match-up for Waterford and hopefully the football fraternity will come out and support the home side against one of football’s great traditional county teams.

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