Goulding again the ace in Cork U-21 romp

CORK coach Tony Leahy still has much to mull about despite his side’s easy Cadbury’s Munster U-21 FC semi-final victory over Waterford at Fraher Field, Dungarvan, on Saturday.

A total mismatch, his charges did chalk up a nice tally as they steamrolled towards the four-in-a-row. But, in truth, they were still far from impressive as a unit up front, though Leahy can feel well satisfied with his defensive line that was rock solid, no-nonsense and, most of all, composed and comfortable all though.

Daniel Goulding was again the ace in attack, scoring 1-6, ably abetted by man of the match Fintan Goold, who kicked five fine points from his midfield berth. To a lesser degree Colm O’Neill also showed good touches, but the rest of the forward division can be looking over their shoulders.

Still Leahy was optimistic: “Look, we were on a hiding to nothing, everyone expected us to win, and we did. We had some good passages, but we know things are still not right. We are trying hard to eliminate mistakes.

“The players are really working hard to find the form of last year. There were some positives from the game, though, to be honest, it didn’t benefit us too much. We did get some good scores, but we know there’s still much work to be done. We know it’s going to be a far different battle in the final.”

That’s for sure. Yet to say Cork were a different class on Saturday would be an understatement. From the time Goulding pointed the champions into a third minute lead, following a terrific ball from Goold, it was all one-way traffic, Waterford failing to register a single score in the first-half despite playing with the aid of the very strong wind.

Goulding went on to score two more points and O’Neill and Goold one apiece before Waterford keeper David Dennison – later to retire injured — made the first of two outstanding saves to deny Shane McCarthy a goal as Cork led 0-5 to 0-0 after the opening quarter.

But a goal had to come and it duly arrived in the 20th minute courtesy of O’Neill, after a great ball from Eoin Cadogan. Game over now – even corner-back Gearóid O’Shea got in on the scoring — and despite some good foraging by Sean Hare and Cillian O’Keeffe, Waterford could do nothing to stem the tide.

Goold had the point of the match in the 23rd minute and Dennison again had to be alert to deny O’Neill, but Cork were coasting when leading 1-9 to 0-0 at the break.

No question Cork took their foot off the gas in the second-half. Paul Kerrigan missed some good chances and it took them eight minutes to register their first score — a free from Goulding. And they were content with just two more entering the final quarter as they led 1-13 to 0-0.

Cork were now slowly clearing out the bench, though, to be fair, Waterford never gave up despite being hopelessly outclassed. It took them 49 minutes to register their only point — a Pat Hurney free, after Brian Phelan was fouled. But they were hit two minutes later by Cork’s second goal from Goulding, after substitute goalkeeper Cian McDonagh fumbled O’Donoghue’s long delivery. Waterford were nearly in for a late goal when first O’Donoghue and then goalkeeper Ken O’Halloran denied substitute Conor McGrath. But these were merely token efforts.

But Cork can’t be too complacent before final day. They may have scored 2-34 in their two championship outings, but there is still much room for improvement before they tackle either Clare or Tipperary.

Scorers: Cork: D. Goulding 1-6 (0-3 frees), F. Goold 0-5, C. O’Neill 1-1, G. O’Shea, F. Lynch, C. Callanan, R. Leahy, D. Kearney 0- each.

Waterford: P. Hurney 0-1 (free).

CORK: K. O’Halloran; R. Carey, M. Shields, G. O’Shea; S. O’Donoghue, D. Limerick, E. Cadogan; F. Goold, F. Lynch; S. McCarthy, C. Keane, P. Kerrigan; C. O’Neill, D. Goulding, R. Leahy.

Subs: C. Callanan for Keane (27), K. Harrington for Shields (41), S. Cahalane for Kerrigan (44), E. Cotter for Carey (49), D. Kearney for Goulding (54).

WATERFORD: D. Dennison; C. MacBride, J. Seaward, C. Phelan; J. Kindregan, S. Prendergast, S. Lannon; S. Hare, B. Phelan; D. Allen, P. Hurney, C. O’Keeffe; J.J. Hutchinson, M. O’Gorman, M. Moore.

Subs: R. Power for Hutchinson (ht), C. McGrath for O’Gorman (ht), C. McDonagh for Dennison (35), T. Connors for Moore (40), J. Cooney for Kindregan (47).

Referee: D. Cahill (Tipperary).

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