"I didn’t go to sleep that night. I made them train the next day at 8 or 9 o’clock"
"I wanted them to go home and I wanted them to feel that hurt."
Davy Fitzgerald remembers the day well, how could he possibly forget it?
After edging Limerick by a single point to make it into the 2011 Munster senior hurling final, Waterford were quietly confident.
They were the reigning champions and coming through that acid test in Semple Stadium against the Treaty had them battle-hardened.
The All-Ireland champions Tipperary were their opponents and though the Premier had blazed through Munster like scalded cats, the Déise wouldn't have feared them heading down to Cork.
What transpired on the green grass of Páirc Uí Chaoimh on the second Sunday of July was one of the GAA's most brutal massacres in recent history. Not only were Waterford beaten, they were savaged by a Lar Corbett inspired Tipperary machine.
By half-time, the scoreline read 5-10 to 0-8, by full time there were 21 points in it with the lethal Tipperary forward line playing the ball around like there wasn't even anybody near them.
The Clare man was speaking to Dion Fanning on another great episode of Ireland Unfiltered recently when he discussed the mood in the Waterford dressing room in the immediate aftermath of that soul destroying demolition.
"I remember losing a Munster final with Waterford, 2011, right? We were beaten 7-21 to 21 points. I’ll never forget it, like. We’d prepared well, we’d done everything, we were reigning Munster champions. But just on the day, you were just getting it. Tipperary were on fire, we seemed a bit starstruck, we just weren’t going to the ball 110%," he began.
Davy was dejected, so were the Waterford players but he was intent that they wouldn't be drowning their sorrows that night.
"There’s very little you can do when that happens. I remember after the game I said to the lads, ‘No out, no drink’. Next thing I had my selectors and my captain come to me, saying, ‘Davy, we need to go out and unwind and let go’. Now, nine times out of ten I would have felt the same way. But no, this was an embarrassing defeat. You go out you’ll have people clapping you on the back saying, ‘Ah listen, don’t worry about it, next time’ or whatever.
And to double-down on the curfew, there was training the next morning at eight or nine.
"Whereas I felt, didn’t go to sleep that night. I made them train the next day at 8 or 9 o’clock. We met in Dungarvan.""
"I wanted them to go home and I wanted them to feel that hurt. I was in Dungarvan at 6 o’clock, sitting outside and I was wondering, ‘What am I doing? What am I actually doing here?’ And you know what? I did get a lot of resistance about not letting them out, but I’m glad, I’m glad i didn’t because that hurt absolutely fuelled them boys. We played Galway two weeks later, we were unreal, incredible."
Indeed they were, the Déise putting in one of their best ever performances to beat Galway by ten points in the All-Ireland quarter final.
How would lads react to a beer-ban the night of a Munster final now?
You can watch the full interview with Fitzgerald below.
Ireland Unfiltered, brought to you in partnership with Carlsberg Unfiltered, will be available everywhere you get your podcasts and on YouTube every Tuesday.