Saturday night was by no means a disaster for Kilkenny, make no mistake about that.
If anything it reassured us that the elements of their play, mindset, attitude and class that we have always associated them with are very much still there.
With 53 minutes on the clock Shane Bennett stitched one in the top corner and Waterford led by 2-13 to 1-9.
At that stage certain people reckoned that this was the final nail in Kilkenny’s coffin and that the depths of doom were in sight.
But people forgot one thing.
This is Kilkenny. They never know when they are bet and they never give in.
You simply can’t teach that sort of mentality, application and dedication to the task at hand.
Just over ten minutes later TJ Reid bundled one over the line and while it may not have been the easiest goal on the eye, it was an example of pure perseverance with Chris Bolger and Colin Fennelly burrowing a path towards goal in the build up.
All of a sudden it’s a three point game.
Ger Aylward then fired over a class score, another point followed and then Colin Fennelly nailed the equaliser.
People will argue that Waterford should have seen the game out and maybe so. But the way I see it is that Kilkenny simply wouldn’t take no for an answer and Waterford weren’t allowed to push on in normal time.
The Deise finished the job in extra time and take nothing away from them, they were deserving winners and most people associated with Hurling were delighted to see them finally get over Kilkenny, and the sincerest of Kilkenny fans admirably applauded Waterford for their efforts.
With Leinster success at Minor and under 21 level this year, Kilkenny will not be going away any time soon.
There are class players emerging who will most certainly have a telling influence on the resurgence of Kilkenny Hurling and while the All Ireland Senior title wont be going back noreside this year, I would certainly think that it will make an appearance again in the not too distant future.
As for the Championship itself, all I can say is WOW.
It’s the most open and enjoyable Championship I have seen for some time, with 2013 a close rival.
Galway and Cork both have more in them despite tasting provincial success.
Clare are by no means done, Tipperary will enjoy a battle with the Banner which will be close and Wexford V Waterford will also be an interesting dual with Davy facing the county he once managed to an All Ireland Final appearance.
Let the good times roll.