Waterford and Kilkenny must do it all over again after they played out a thrilling draw in Croke Park yesterday. The replay has been set for Semple Stadium, Thurles next Saturday evening.
Thurles will suit Waterford, as it is somewhere they have grown accustomed to in recent years. In fact, most of their great days in the last 20 years have come at the Home of Hurling.
This year alone, the Déise have played in Semple Stadium four times, losing just once.
Speaking exclusively to Pundit Arena earlier this summer amidst the venue debate ahead of the Munster Final, Austin Gleeson spoke of Waterford’s love for the ground.
“We’re comfortable playing in Thurles. This year alone we’re after playing in Semple Stadium four times. It’s a home away from home. We’ve played more games in Thurles than we have in Walsh Park.”
While the Déise’s record in Croke Park is far from a proud one, they have recorded some big wins in Thurles. It may come across as somewhat of a cliché, but next Saturday will be like a home game for Waterford.
It has not been as happy a hunting ground for Kilkenny. The Cats have not played a Championship match there since 2013, when they lost to Cork in the All-Ireland quarter-final.
Waterford fans remain confident ahead of the replay.