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'There's silverware to be won and we want it' | Waterford's Liam Cahill on All-Ireland final

Waterford's remarkable rejuvenation under new manager Liam Cahill continues.  They are now just ...

'There's silverware to be won...

'There's silverware to be won and we want it' | Waterford's Liam Cahill on All-Ireland final

Waterford's remarkable rejuvenation under new manager Liam Cahill continues. 

They are now just 70 minutes from winning their first All-Ireland Senior Hurling title since 1959.

They beat Kilkenny by four points at Croke Park in a last-four clash on Saturday evening, on a scoreline of 2-27 to 2-23.

It marked the first time that a Brian Cody side had been beaten in an All-Ireland semi-final in 15 years.

What makes the result all the more remarkable is that they trailed the Cats by seven points at half-time.

It really looked like it was going to be a routine night for Kilkenny before a different Déise side emerged after the break.

Goals from man of the match Stephen Bennett and Darragh Lyons were crucial in their fightback and they went on to beat Kilkenny by four points.

Speaking to OTB Sports at full-time Cahill was reluctant to claim credit for the gear change and played down any talk of a half-time belter of a speech.

"It wasn't down to anything dramatic really, I can assure you of that, it was down to the players.

"Our decision-making was costing us big-time in the first half. We left quite a number of easy plays or chances behind us.

"We just seemed to be off it a little bit but I thought that was more mentally with our mindset than our legs.

"So we just tried to address that and see if we could turn it around. We looked for a green flag or two - we needed that to give ourselves a chance of getting back into the game.

"I think it's just some days fellas are feeling it and some days they're not.

"A real good sign today was that fellas didn't give up, that's the most encouraging part for me - they kept backing themselves and they kept willing and wanting to turn it around.

"I'm very proud of the players today."

Tipperary native Cahill, who is enjoying this great success in his first season in charge of Waterford, went on to say it was important his player's believed in themselves even when they went down.

He stressed the importance of keeping the head, which so many teams struggle to do when they trail Kilkenny sides.

He also had particular praise for former Hurler of the Year Austin Gleeson who scored four points from play in the game.

"That's what is required every day you go out and play opposition like Kilkenny and any of the top teams in the country, you have to have that ruthlessness to see out matches.

"The fellas worked really hard today.

"Credit to Austin Gleeson today, he gave everything he had.

"If ever a performance optimised Austin Gleeson I think today was that.

"He's been lauded and applauded for all the spectacular things he does and I think from today and over my reign so far I think he's brought a different aspect to his game from work rate and honesty and hooking and blocking and I'm delighted for him in particular."

Waterford now have a fortnight to prepare for the All-Ireland final where they'll meet either Munster neighbours Limerick or Galway, who beat them in the 2017 showpiece.

A win would see them end their 61-year wait for the Liam McCarthy Cup, in rather unusual circumstances.

Many will consider getting to the final in his first year a success for Cahill, especially considering the two previous seasons which were a disappointment for hurling fans in the county.

Cahill though is focused on giving the game a right rattle and not letting the gravity of the occasion get to them.

"I suppose it's a results-driven business when you're managing an inter-county team.

"There is silverware there to be won.

"We're going to do everything in our power to try and win it but we have to be very conscious that we will come here to hurl a match in two week's time and we will try our utmost not to play the ocassion.

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All Ireland Hurling Championship Liam Cahill Waterford GAA