Cork remain in the hunt for a place in the Electric Ireland Munster MHC final after an improved second half saw them past Waterford at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday evening.
With the visitors already eliminated, Cork were favourites to take the points but they were made to work for the win, the sides level after the first half. However, the Rebels scored six of the first seven points after the restart to take command. The result means that a Clare win over Limerick on Sunday would set up a Cork-Clare Munster final regardless of what happens in the final round of games.
Cork, who came in off the back of a three-week break, started well and a trio of points by captain Darragh Flynn inside the first six minutes had them in control. While Joe Booth’s effort got Waterford off the mark soon after that, another Flynn free made it 0-4 to 0-1 but Cork would go ten minutes without a score after that as Waterford eroded their lead.
Reuben Halloran got them going with a pair of fine efforts, one a free. While Brian O’Sullivan looked to have added a fifth for Cork, his effort was ruled wide and Johnny Burke had Waterford level on 13, though they couldn’t find a lead score.
Flynn, yet again, was on target for Cork to make it 0-5 to 0-4 but it wasn’t the signal for them to take over again as Halloran levelled before Burke found the net, batting home from a Caolán Mac Craith sideline puck.
Cork might have immediately replied in kind but Waterford goalkeeper Mark Kilgannon saved from Jack Cahalane and Paul O’Riordan in quick succession. Nevertheless, Cork did have points from Isaac Walsh and two from Daniel Hogan, both set up by O’Riordan to tie matters at 0-8 to 1-5.
Approaching half-time, Cathrach Daly and sub Cian Rellis gave Waterford a two-point lead again but O’Sullivan and Luke Horgan were on hand for Cork to send the teams in level at half-time.
Horgan was again on hand after the resumption to restore the lead to Cork and O’Riordan added two more, sandwiching a Rellis effort for Waterford. That made it 0-13 to 1-8 with 21 minutes left and Flynn, O’Riordan and Jack Cahalane stretched the advantage, the latter having his shot tipped over by Kilgannon.
Though another Halloran free brought Waterford back to within four, two Flynn frees moved Cork on again and Cahalane might have had a late goal, Kilgannon saving well. Halloran (two) and Daly made it a one-score game again in injury time, but Ethan Twomey eased Cork’s worries. At the death, Halloran left three in it again but it proved to be the last score.
Scorers for Cork: D Flynn 0-8 (0-6 frees), P O’Riordan 0-3, L Horgan, D Hogan 0-2, B O’Sullivan, J Cahalane, I Walsh, E Twomey 0-1 each.
Scorers for Waterford: R Halloran 0-7 (0-6 frees), J Burke 1-1, C Rellis, C Daly 0-2 each, J Booth 0-1.
B Saunderson (Midleton); S Kingston (Ballinora), Cian McCarthy (Blackrock), C O’Brien (St Catherine’s); Cian McCarthy (St Oliver Plunkett’s), C Joyce (Castlemartyr), B O’Sullivan (Kanturk); E Twomey (St Finbarr’s), L Horgan (Glen Rovers); P O’Riordan (Tracton), D Flynn (Ballygiblin), D Hogan (Sarsfields); Colm McCarthy (Sarsfields), J Cahalane (St Finbarr’s), I Walsh (Lisgoold).
Subs: C O’Donovan (Newcestown) for Colm McCarthy (55), C Walsh (Kanturk) for I Walsh (59), J Carr (Fermoy) for Cahalane (60).
M Kilgannon (Ballygunner); C Walsh (Kilrossanty), S O’Neill (Ballygunner), J Ó Floinn (An Rinn); C Daly (Lismore), R Furlong (Roanmore), T Loftus (Dungarvan); S Burke (Roanmore), J Booth (Colligan); A Ryan (Fourmilewater), C Mac Craith (An Rinn), M Fitzgerald (Passage); J Foley (Ballygunner), J Burke (Dungarvan), R Halloran (De La Salle).
Subs: C Rellis (Tramore) for Foley (29, injured), E Walsh (Ballinameela) for Loftus (47), B Frisby (Mount Sion) for Burke (48), J Power (Modeligo) for Booth (54), M Cummins (Passage) for Fitzgerald (58).