WIT go through after tough encounter

Waterford IT 2-14 Cork IT 1-9

The quality of the hurling never quite matched the magnificent playing surface, but the exchanges were keen and competitive with an improved second half providing an exciting spectacle as Cork tried valiantly, but ultimately unsuccessfully, to defend a tenuous three-point interval lead.

With John Gardiner superbly shoring up their defence from his pivotal berth, and Christy Murphy doing trojan work beside him, Cork IT made it difficult for WIT for much of that second half.

However their brave resistance eventually crumbled when man of the match Rory Jacob superbly clipped a ground delivery to the net in the 50th minute, and three minutes later the final nail in their coffin was hammered home by substitute Cathal Parlon, when he notched his side's second goal. Game, set, and match for the modern-day Fitzgibbon specialists.

Although CIT were backed by the very strong breeze in the opening half, virtually all of the early running was made by the winners. Jacob began as he finished with a quality 2nd minute point, and though John Dixon levelled within 30 seconds, Cork were soon in arrears again when Brian Dowling pointed a free.

The winners had eased into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead by the 9th minute, but with things starting to look particularly ominous for them Cork found inspiration in the great defensive play of Gardiner and had the better of matters for the rest of the half.

The deficit was down to the minimum when Stephen O'Sullivan struck the sweetest of points in the 17th minute, and ninety seconds later they were in front for the first time when Kevin Canty goaled after centre-back Kevin Brady dropped the ball, his one and only lapse in what was an otherwise impeccable performance.

Cork would most probably have had a second goal in the 26th minute if corner back Alan Kirwan hadn't managed to hook O'Sullivan. The ball flew inches wide.

CIT's 1-5 to 0-6 half-time lead looked less than adequate given the strength of the wind, and so it proved. Waterford were level within four minutes of the restart with super points from Eoin Reid and Brian Dowling, and, while Cathal Naughton briefly restored Cork's advantage, the respite was temporary.

Reid and Jacob edged the winners back in front and it was a lead they were never again to surrender.

To Cork's credit they hung on for a while, but the killer blows came with the Jacob and Parlon goals and there was no way back for them. CIT tried in the face of their impossible task, but Waterford held the aces, booking their place in next month's semi-final.

Scorers: WIT: R. Jacob (1-4); B. Dowling (0-5, 0-3 frees); C. Parlon (1-0); E. Reid (0-2); C. O'Brien, A. Cullinane, G. Mahon (0-1) each. CIT: K. Canty (1-0); S. O'Sullivan (0-2); J. Gardiner (0-2, frees); J. Dixon, M. O'Sullivan, C. Naughton, C. O'Leary, A. Nash (0-1) each.

WIT: M. McKeogh; K. Rossiter, K. Moran, A. Kirwan; D. Hoctor, K. Brady, H. Moloney; C. O'Brien, M. Walsh; C. Phelan, A. Cullinane, B. Dowling; E. Reid, W. Ryan, R. Jacob.

Substitutes: C. Parlon for Ryan; R. McLoughney for Cullinane; G. Mahon for Walsh.

CIT: M. Coleman; E. O'Sullivan, S. Murphy, C. Murphy; D. O'Sullivan, J. Gardiner, N. Teehan; J. Griffin, P. J. Copse; K. Canty, M. Fennelly, C. Naughton; M. O'Sullivan, J. Dixon, S. O'Sullivan.Substitutes: C. O'Leary for Canty; A. Nash for Dixon; B. Smiddy for D. O'Sullivan.

Referee: B. White (Tipperary).

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