Shane Stapleton pores over the numbers to show how Waterford’s scoring rate has jumped up in this year’s championship compared with the previous decade.
BY GERARD BROWNE
Liam Cahill has turned Waterford’s hurling fortunes around this year — powered largely by a higher scoring rate from his forwards.
The Déise will take on Kilkenny in Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final, after beating Clare 3-27 to 3-18 last weekend.
The 2017 beaten All-Ireland finalists have averaged 29 points from their three championship outings this campaign, their best scoring return in over ten years.
This represents an increase of seven points from their average scorelines during the last decade.
Twelve different players got on the scoreboard in that victory over the Banner at Páirc Úi Chaoimh, with Dessie Hutchinson (two) and Jack Fagan striking for first-half goals.
Cahill is gaining a reputation for himself as an offensive manager, as his time in charge of Tipperary underage teams from 2016-2019 has also shown.
Under the guidance of the Ballingarry native, minor and under-20/21 sides scored 47 goals, including eight vs Wexford in an All-Ireland under-20 semi-final last year.
Michael Verney is full of praise for the 43-year-old and the job he is doing.
“This is a Waterford side that scored ten points in a home match versus Limerick last year and they’re averaging three times that now,” says the Birr clubman.
“It’s just the energy he has brought and you know the shift you’re going to get out of each player.
“They’re a lot of selfless play, where they’re just creating opportunities and making hard runs for others to profit from.
“Particularly the goals, they really went for them against Clare when they presented themselves.”
The Déise are the fourth favourites with the bookmakers to go all the way but Verney feels there will be a great belief in the panel, they can bridge a 61-year gap to land the Liam McCarthy Cup.
“I know they were all very proud after the performance in the Munster final but that pride is now changing,” states the ex-Offaly player.
“They will feel there is more to be got here and they won’t fear anybody.”
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