Two goals in the space of a second-half minute sent Waterford into their first All-Ireland final in nine years, their seventh in total, as Cork were left to rue Damien Cahalane’s 51st minute red card, writes John Fogarty.
The goals followed that dismissal, the Cork defender picking up a second yellow card for a high foul on Conor Gleeson, who was later red carded and will now miss the All-Ireland final against Galway on September 3. A third followed when Jamie Barron added his second in additional time.
Austin Gleeson. Wow. #GAA— John Fogarty (@JohnFogartyIrl) August 13, 2017
But this could be a bittersweet win for Waterford given Conor Gleeson is set to miss out on the final after lashing out at Pa Horgan. He was dismissed in the 69th minute along with the impressive Horgan, who seemed to suffer for Shane Kingston’s moment of madness.
Although Tadhg de Búrca now enters the fray having served his suspension, Austin Gleeson could also be ruled out of the decider having been seen to tamper with an opponent’s helmet in the first half, an infringement not picked up by referee James Owens.
But Waterford were full value for this victory, seizing on the opportunity presented by Cork, who were two points up when Barron struck the first of his goals in the 58th minute having been teed up by Austin Gleeson.
A minute later and Gleeson beat Anthony Nash himself when he tapped to the net coolly having initially fumbled a ball given to him by Pauric Mahony. After that, the game followed a processional trend as Cork chased shadows.
The game was played on Waterford’s terms in the first half, Darragh Fives looking ideal for the sweeper role, and while the likes of Austin Gleeson and Pauric Mahony failed to fire there was more than enough offered by Kevin Moran and Michael Walsh to compensate.
But a bad day for Conor Gleeson and might turn out to be a similar one for Austin Gleeson. #GAA— John Fogarty (@JohnFogartyIrl) August 13, 2017
Cork led by 0-2 to 0-1 after four minutes when Walsh found the net, the squared ball from Shane Bennett eluding Mark Coleman, and Walsh’s shot while straight at Nash was too fierce to stop.
Cork, as they have done to conceded goals this summer, reacted well and Pa Horgan pointed from Nash’s following puck-out, and they were on level terms by the 18th minute, when Horgan sent over a free.
The Munster champions led when Horgan punished a Conor Gleeson foul on Luke Meade in the 23rd minute, but then next couple of points were Mahony frees, and it was Waterford who were just ahead going into the break after Jamie Barron’s effort was followed by another Horgan free.
Scorers for Waterford: Pauric Mahony (0-8, 4 frees); J. Barron (2-1); K. Moran (0-4); M Walsh (1-0); A. Gleeson (1-2); D. Fives, C. Gleeson, B. O’Halloran, M. Shanahan (0-1 each).
Scorers for Cork: P. Horgan (0-12, 6 frees); A. Cadogan, C. Lehane (0-2 each); S. Kingston, D. Fitzgibbon (sideline), S. Harnedy, L. O’Farrell (0-1 each).
WATERFORD: S. O’Keeffe; S. Fives, B. Coughlan, N. Connors; D. Fives; K. Bennett, C. Gleeson, Philip Mahony; J. Barron, K. Moran (c); M. Walsh, A. Gleeson, Pauric Mahony; Shane Bennett, J. Dillon.
Subs for Waterford: M. Shanahan for J. Dillon (46); B. O’Halloran for Shane Bennett (56); C. Dunford for Pauric Mahony (68); P. Curran for J. Barron (70+1).
Sent off: C. Gleeson (straight, 69).
CORK: A. Nash; C. Spillane, D. Cahalane; M. Ellis; C. Joyce, S. McDonnell (c), M. Coleman; B. Cooper, D. Fitzgibbon; S. Kingston, C. Lehane, L. Meade; P. Horgan, A. Cadogan, S. Harnedy.
Subs for Cork: M. Cahalane for L. Meade (h-t); D. Kearney for B. Cooper, L. O’Farrell for A. Cadogan (66);
Sent off: D. Cahalane (51, second yellow); P. Horgan (69, straight).
Referee: J. Owens (Wexford).