Stephen O'Keeffe save denies Cork a draw against dominant Waterford

Stephen O'Keeffe save denies Cork a draw against dominant Waterford

By Michael Moynihan, Pairc Ui Rinn

Cork 1-14 Waterford 0-20

Waterford needed a late Stephen O'Keeffe save from Cork substitute Paudie O'Sullivan to preserve their win in Pairc Ui Rinn, an unlikely prospect for much of this NHL 1A clash given how the Deise dominated.

Both sides used their announced fifteens as a starting point, with many players moving to fresh postings as soon as the ball was thrown in.

Lorcan McLoughlin dropped deep for Cork, while Colin Dunford ranged well outfield for Waterford, who also deployed Jake Dillon at wing-forward, Kevin Moran dropping to wing-back.

Waterford had the better start, getting four points in the first 10 minutes to Cork's one - Kevin Moran's long range effort to open the scoring the pick of the bunch.

Stephen O'Keeffe save denies Cork a draw against dominant Waterford

Patrick Horgan's point from play sparked a Rebel comeback of sorts, Cork one behind at the end of the first quarter.

Though Cork's intensity was better than it was last week, the issues with winning possession from puck-outs remains, the home side were under huge pressure on their own restarts.

Waterford were crisper and more accurate in execution than their opponents, to use a rugby term, moving the ball with purpose and interchanging their forwards to good effect.

Maurice Shanahan's accuracy from placed balls nudged Waterford four ahead by the 25th minute, 0-8 to 0-4.

Waterford were well on top in the second quarter from general play, and Cork needed Horgan's accuracy from placed balls to stay in touch at the break, 0-11 to 0-7.

Waterford resumed with two quick points, from Shanahan and Dunford; Horgan hit a free in response and then Austin Gleeson and Shane Bennett golfed a couple over from long range - 0-15 to 0-8 and Waterford well on top, 10 minutes in.

Fittingly, a well-worked Barron score soon after made it double scores.

Cork rallied going into the final 10 minutes, cutting the Waterford lead to five, and Maurice Shanahan's dismissal gave them hope, but a long range Gleeson free restored Waterford's lead to six with five minutes left.

Alan Cadogan got another straight red minutes later, to compound a night to forget for the home fans.

A late Horgan penalty cut the difference to three points, but O'Keeffe was on hand to deny O'Sullivan in injury time, sending Waterford home with the win.

Scorers for Cork: P. Horgan (1-0 pen, 0-4 frees)(1-6); C. Lehane (0-3); B. Lawton (0-2); D. Kearney, A. Walsh (sideline), A. Cadogan (0-1 each).

Scorers for Waterford: M. Shanahan (0-5 frees, 0-1 65)(0-6); A. Gleeson (0-1 f), P. Curran (0-3 each); J. Barron, C. Dunford (0-2 each); J. Dillon, S. Bennett, D. Fives, K. Moran (0-1 each).

CORK: A. Nash, S. O'Neill, C. Joyce, S. McDonnell ( c), D. Cahalane W. Egan, C. Spillane, D. Kearney, A. Walsh, B. Cooper, P. Horgan, L. McLoughlin, C. Lehane, W. Leahy, B. Lawton.

Subs: A. Cadogan for Leahy and S. Moylan for Kearney (HT); M. Ellis for Egan (46); C. Murphy for Spillane (48); C. McCarthy for Walsh (blood 57- ); P. O'Sullivan for McLoughlin (64).

WATERFORD: S. O'Keeffe, S. Fives, B. Coughlan, N. Connors, K. Moran ( c), D. Fives, P. Mahony, J. Barron, C. Dunford, A. Gleeson, J. Dillon, S. Bennett, M. Walsh, C. Dunford, M. Shanahan, P. Curran.

Subs: B. O'Halloran for Bennett (58); T. Devine for Curran (60); M. Kearney for Dunford (69).

Referee: J. Owens (Wexford).

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