Sean Og O hAilpin:"Waterford always remind me of doing my Leaving Cert"

Cork hurling legend and Waterford counterpart Paul Flynn share memories of the 2000s rivalry

BY Raf Diallo 20:30 Wednesday 9 August 2017, 20:30 9 Aug 2017

Paul Flynn of Waterford and Sean Og O hAilpin of Cork ©INPHO/Andrew Paton

When Cork and Waterford cross the white line on Sunday, it's just the latest stage in a provincial and national hurling rivalry.

Back in 2002, it was the Deise that ended Cork's championship at the Munster semi final stage, prevailing by a single point and the following year it was the Rebels who got revenge in the Munster final.

And so it went as both sides exchanged victories and defeats until 2007, before a three year hiatus for the rivalry in the championship.

"Fantastic battles. If truth be known they were the bane of my life in the Munster Championship and there was a period of about five or six years that the only threat to us - funnily enough, traditionally it would have been Tipperary over the years but it wasn't - it was Waterford as a team that Paul Flynn was part of," said former Cork star Sean Og O hAilpin as he joined ex-Waterford counterpart Paul Flynn on Off The Ball to recall the height of the rivalry.

You can listen to the full interview on the podcast player or stream/download on iTunes:

"Waterford always remind me of doing my Leaving Cert...English poetry. Do you know the way you'd bank on Yeats coming up and then lo and behold, Patrick Kavanagh came up and then Waterford were like that for me. No matter how much you wanted to avoid them, you couldn't. They were always there." 

Flynn regarded those matches against Cork as "special" and highlighted the "colour the fans bring, the atmosphere, the banter on and off the pitch and the quality of the team Sean Og was part of".

Other points of nostalgia also leave Flynn with fond memories: "We were very lucky. We played without helmets and we played in front of full houses. People would recognise obviously John Mullane, Dan [Shanahan] and Eoin Kelly from our team without the helmets and likewise, a couple of the Cork team like Sean Og, Diarmuid and so on. And it was about expressing yourself more so than doing what you're told and I think that's why both teams liked to play hurling and why people liked to watch the matches."   

Sean Og also recalled the 2004 match when he was tempted to hit Dan Shanahan who he had been tasked with marking...

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