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Monday 25 September 2017

Veteran Moran eager to make up for 2008 heartache

Kevin Morran. Pic: Sportsfile
Kevin Morran. Pic: Sportsfile

Kevin Moran was there in 2008.

He played left-half back alongside Ken McGrath and Tony Browne, a line exploding with quality and physicality, yet one that was ultimately torn to shreds in a blizzard of black and amber excellence that day.

"They were a tough couple of weeks afterwards," he recalls on the eve of his second All-Ireland final, nine years after his last.

"I suppose the only solace I had was my age, so 100 per cent you know.

"Look, difficult times and difficult days, especially for the guys who were in their late twenties and early thirties at the time.

"That's the way the cookie crumbled unfortunately and we came up against an absolute superpower of a team

"That's sport, the high and lows, it's so unpredictable and that's why we love it.

"It's a long time ago now," he adds, eager to move on.

"So I don't really want to be thinking too much about it."

At 30, Moran and 'Brick' Walsh are the only survivors of that day.

Davy Fitzgerald's team contained two Hurlers of the Year; Browne and Dan Shanahan and an attack boasting the electric talents of John Mullane and Eoin Kelly and could even afford to leave Paul Flynn on the bench.

That they lost by 23 points is testimony enough for Moran that the tactical approach of the current team is fine by him so long as it's effective.

"Look, we have to play to our strengths," he argues.

"I think the game is evolving constantly and you see that with all the top teams. When things like that are said, it's water off a duck's back at this stage.

"We have to keep going, have to do what's right for us.

"If we take what people from the outside are saying, sure it would cripple any man especially this year so we have to stick to what we and Derek believe in, what suits us.

"There are hundreds of people, I'm sure, that are high up who have a lot to say on us and those critics are entitled to their opinion.

Methods

Moran teaches in the same school as his manager and he has witnessed the hail of condemnation that has greeted McGrath's methods.

"The amount of stuff that has been said from both in and outside the county if he took it literally it would break any man.

"You have to use the ball as efficiently as possible.

"Waterford," he points out, "have suffered heartache from seven-goal drubbings against Tipperary in a Munster final to being absolutely hammered in the 2008 All-Ireland final by a super team but that doesn't make it any easier for ourselves."

Moran's father, Paul, is from Tuam but says he observed Galway's semi-final win over Tipperary analytical.

"Defensively, they're very strong and they've an excellent set of forwards," Moran senior points out.

"Conor Whelan is a fantastic player and has had a fantastic year. The speed and the strength work they have done is fairly evident.

"They're in a good place and if we are to have a chance we'll have to try and get them out of their groove but that's going to be very difficult."

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