Waterford made their first-ever Munster Hurling Final appearance in 1933 and it was a chaotic affair!
They took on Limerick at Cork's Athletic Ground on the 6th of August and even though the weather was rather tepid, the temperatures inside the ground reached a boiling point.
Waterford had beaten Tipperary to book their place in the Munster Final and that victory was described by The Irish Press newspaper as "The Surprise of the Century!" Waterford were determined to claim a maiden Munster crown and the great interest in the game was described by the GAA fanzine An Caman: "People who had never travelled to a hurling match came to cheer their favourites to an anticipated victory."
Attendance on the day was over 25,000, the majority were from Waterford, and when the referee threw in the sliotar the tension which hung around the ground immediately played out on the pitch.
The match was a menacingly tough one. Limerick outplayed Waterford and were leading them at half time 2-03 to 0-00. In the second half Waterford rallied and clocked up a goal and 2 points but, hot tempers got in the way of them surpassing the Limerick scoreline.
Limerick's Mick Mackey was sent off for unsportsmanlike behaviour while his teammate Chris O'Brien was taken down by a belt of ash from a Waterford player after he scored a goal to take the tally to 3-07 to 1-02.
While O'Brien was rolling in agony on the ground his teammate Dave Clohessey took a deadly swipe at the Waterford player he was marking and from there the match simply descended into mayhem.
The Irish Press reported: "the match turned into a pitched battle with upraised hurleys swinging dangerously at one another......a big portion of the spectators, obviously Waterford to judge by the flag they carried, invaded the playing area. Rowdyism and general fighting followed."
The Irish Independent reported: "Jim Ware the Waterford goalkeeper was carried off on a stretcher with a head injury while Gardai and stewards were unable to clear the field."
Because Limerick were winning until all hell broke loose the central council of the GAA decided to award them the Munster title. It was seen as a safer decision rather than seeing the two teams meeting in a replay!
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