“It was against the odds anyway, no doubt about that,” admitted delighted Cork manager Pat Kenneally. “But it was the ‘Patrick Collins Show’. I want to give credit to the lads all over the field but Patrick was sheer class — at least six point-blank saves, just incredible.”
Indeed it was. Collins is a precocious talent, a senior outfield star with Ballinhassig, but even though he is still a minor this is his second season at U21, and as his manager noted, he put on a show. Three times in a first half in which Cork were really under the cosh he denied Waterford — Austin Gleeson, Donie Breathnach and Jamie Barron in turn — and his heroics meant Cork were well in touch at the break, losing by just a point (0-11 to 0-10).
It wasn’t just Collins of course. Anchored by Colm Barry and captain Cillian Burke down the middle, that defence bolstered by the deep-lying midfielders and the roaming Robert O’Shea (covered miles), Waterford just couldn’t get their high-powered attack into gear, while up front the aforementioned O’Shea (five points), along with senior star Alan Cadogan (three) and centre-forward Colm Spillane, kept the scoreboard ticking over for Cork.
Into the second half and again Cork had the squeeze on that Waterford attack.
“They couldn’t get past the wall we put up,” explained Cork selector Damien Irwin; “Traditionalists in Cork mightn’t like it, but it worked for us this evening.”
Two points was all Waterford could manage in the next 15 minutes, though mind you Collins was again called on, this time saving a point with a high catch over the crossbar. Cork, meanwhile, had managed to get on the goal trail, Cadogan showing great strength to field a high Cormac Murphy centre between two defenders, holding both off to find the net from close range.
With points also from O’Shea (two), the powerful high-fielding Shane O’Keeffe (outstanding in the second half), Colm Spillane and captain Burke, it was the visitors in the lead on 44 minutes, 1-15 to 0-13. Then came the red card for senior man Cormac Murphy, the umpire calling referee Fergal Horgan’s attention to an off-the-ball incident.
That should have signalled the Waterford revival but instead, disaster.
Another of several short puck-outs gone astray, intercepted by Anthony Spillane, another Cork goal, and Waterford had a mountain to climb.
Spillane’s second goal, in the 57th minute, was simply icing.
“I want to pay tribute to Anthony Spillane also, two goals in the second half, Rob O’Shea and Alan Cadogan getting the points in the first half,” added Kenneally. “This is an important grade and this was a highly-regarded Waterford team; for us to come down here and even compete with them, never mind beat them, was a big ask but that’s what happened.”
Scorers for Cork: R O’Shea 0-8 (4f, 1 65); A Spillane 2-1; A Cadogan 1-3; C Spillane 0-3; S O’Keeffe 0-2; C Burke 0-1.
Scorers for Waterford: A Gleeson 0-7 (3f, 2 65s); J Dillon 0-3; G O’Brien 0-2; R Barry, R Donnelly, J Barron, S Bennett, 0-1 each.
CORK: P Collins (Ballinhassig); S Murphy (Blackrock), C Barry (Castlelyons), C Buckley (Na Piarsaigh); K Kavanagh (Carrigaline), K Burke (Midleton – C), C Murphy (Mallow); D Brosnan (Brian Dillon’s), R Cahalane (Ballymartle); S O’Keeffe (Blackrock), C Spillane (Castlelyons), M Collins (Ballinhassig); A Cadogan (Douglas), A Spillane (Castlelyons), R O’Shea (Carrigaline).
Subs: M Sugrue (Bandon) for Brosnan (47); K McIntyre (Carrigaline) for C Spillane (58); C Walsh (Midleton) for A Spillane (60+1).
WATERFORD: S Barry (Lismore); S Roche (Shamrocks), K Daly (Dungarvan), S McNulty (De La Salle); M Harney (Bonmahon), T Bourke (Clashmore/Kinsalebeg), R Barry (Lismore); M Kearney (Ballyduff Upper), C Dunford (Colligan); J Dillon — (C, De La Salle), A Gleeson (Mount Sion), G O’Brien (Roanmore); D Breathnach (An Rinn), R Donnelly (Dungarvan), J Barron (Fourmilewater).
Subs: S Bennett (Ballysaggart) for Breathnach (39); K Power (Clonea) for Harney (45); T Devine (Modeligo) for Kearney (54).
Referee: F Horgan (Tipperary).
45th minute, Cork’s Cormac Murphy having just received a straight red card, full-forward Anthony Spillane intercepted a poor short Waterford puckout, goaled. Put Cork 2-15 to 0-13 ahead. No way back then.
Cork’s powerhouse display, even when down a player, Waterford’s poor performance, given they had 10 senior panelists.
Yes, did this underrated, undersung, unheralded Cork team really just destroy Waterford.
So many Cork stars — pick a forward, any forward, pick a defender/midfielder, but this night belonged to youngster Patrick Collins, still a minor.
Cork, by a street; reinforced their defence from the start with deep-lying midfielders, then adjusted perfectly when going a man down, Mark Sugrue coming on for DarraghBrosnan.
Fergal Horgan (Tipperary) — what’s this Tony Considine says, wouldn’t spot a ’foul’ in a hen-house???
Munster final on Wed July 30 for Cork.