Waterford hero Jamie Barron said the Deise's All-Ireland semi-final victory over Cork was in part inspired by the desire to give suspended half-back Tadhg de Búrca the opportunity to feature in next month's decider.
De Búrca has been a key cog in the Waterford team this year, but was suspended after being sent off in the quarter-final victory over Wexford.
An appeal failed to yield a reprieve, and while Darragh Fives stepped into De Búrca's sweeper role against the Rebels, Barron said the side were delighted to give the defender the chance to return to Croke Park this summer.
"During the week we were told that Tadhg wouldn't be playing, and that was a big incentive for us to get over the line," Barron told RTÉ Sport.
"I don't think it was a big disruption - obviously Tadhg is a massive player for us, he's an unbelievable player - but we said Tadhg, he deserves to be in an All-Ireland final, and thankfully we were able to get it over the line today."
The sending-off of Cork full-back Damien Cahalane proved the key moment as Waterford took advantage with three late goals that delivered a 4-19 to 0-20 triumph, with star midfielder Barron claiming his second of the game.
"We're happy to have gotten to an All-Ireland final," he added. "We go out every day and sometimes we are criticised for not getting goals - but we got four today.
"The sending off had a big impact I suppose, but we went out and set our stall out to work hard.
"We're delighted to be there and we'll work hard for the next three weeks and give it a right good rattle against Galway."
Manager Derek McGrath also acknowledged the motivational boost gleaned from De Búrca's ban.
"We talked about the Tadhg incident," he said. "The motivation was huge in terms of getting to the final for him.
"He's been at the centre of everything we've tried to do and outside of that he's a pure hurler, so that was part of our motivation."
While De Búrca should be back for the final, both Conor and Austin Gleeson could both face a nervy few days to be sure of their involvement.
Midfielder Conor was shown a red card for an altercation with Cork's Patrick Horgan, while Austin could in trouble for removing the helmet of an opponent.
"I didn't see it to be honest," McGrath said of the sending-off. "There was so much fervour on on the sideline.
"A red card is a red card, so there's avenues that we've exhausted in the last two weeks with Tadhg that we'll probably have to follow again, depending on what we see."