Derek McGrath: "This group will deal well with the build-up to an All-Ireland final"

Waterford will face Galway for the Liam MacCarthy Cup

BY Simon Maguire 19:32 Sunday 13 August 2017, 19:32 13 Aug 2017

Waterford manager Derek McGrath celebrates. Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Waterford manager Derek McGrath couldn't hide his delight after his side overcame Cork to progress to the All-Ireland hurling final.

The Deise beat the Rebels by 4-19 to 0-20 at Croke Park and speaking to Off the Ball's Oisin Langan afterwards, he said: "Yeah it's a massive win, great elation in our dressing room. Someone asked me before hand if it was a make-or-break game - it was our third semi-final in a row so there was a certain amount of pressure on us coming into the game and obviously we were playing a really good team in Cork.

"So, to perform in the manner that we did and open up the space in the manner that they did is extremely pleasing."

Asked about handing a first championship start to Keiran Bennett, he said: "He did well today, Kieran did very well. Keiran had played in the last league game against Galway and Keiran, when he's playing with LIT in the Fitzgibbon Cup, invariably picks up the danger man on the other side so he did very well today on Shane Kingston I thought.

"He's done very well on Cian Lynch in the past in Fitzgibbon matches etc so look, there wasn't a bother out of him in terms of his whole approach.

"The match-ups in general worked today but that's not to say they'll work the next day."

Cork’s Bill Cooper looks on as Austin Gleeson of Waterford celebrates scoring his sides third goal.  Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

Looking back at the sending off and his thoughts at the time, he said: "The first initial part I was saying 'Jesus if we lose this game and Cork are after having a man sent off - we're in serious trouble here. Not as a manager - just in general.

"It can often work against you so obviously the first thought was a negative one when the Cork man was sent off so within 10/15 seconds we got a score and we kind of stretched ahead with the goal, Jamie's goal. But, overall, I think the space started opening up," he added. 

The full post-match interview can be heard here:  

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