Cork 5-17 Waterford 2-8
All-Ireland champions Cork were brutally clinical as they swatted Waterford aside in the Munster SFC semi-final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday afternoon.
Apart from a brief spell late in the first half where the visitors ate into the Rebels’ lead, this was all one-way traffic as Cork efficiently carried out the task at hand to set up a provincial decider against Kerry in a month’s time.
It has been one of the criticisms levelled at this Cork team that they do not score enough goals and fail to kill off teams, but here they attempted to do so early on, having registered 3-7 in the first 19 minutes, Waterford having only mustered two points.
The first of these goals carried plenty of good fortune, as centre-back John Miskella’s ball from between the 45 and 65, intended for Daniel Goulding, was misjudged by Waterford goalkeeper Kieran Cotter and allowed to bounce into the net.
That made it 1-1 to 0-1 with four minutes elapsed, but the second goal, on nine, had no luck attached to it as Cork carved open the Waterford defence. They possibly overdid things, Donncha O’Connor playing a sideline to Ciaran Sheehan and taking the return before twice exchanging passes with Patrick Kelly, who then palmed across goal for Goulding for an easy finish.
The points were flowing over as well, Sheehan with a beauty on 12 and Goulding with another before the third goal. Kelly’s lovely pass into the path of Alan O’Connor set things in motion, the midfielder just getting his toe to the ball to send it to Goulding and his handpass allowed Paul Kerrigan to finish clinically past Cotter.
Amazingly, the Rebels would then go 14 minutes without scoring as Waterford added three points, Brian Phelan’s score top quality, and while Aidan Walsh ended Cork’s drought with a fine score, Waterford still finished stronger.
Brian Wall’s effort crept just over Alan Quirke’s crossbar before Gary Hurney was pushed in the small rectangle by Eoin Cadogan, the corner-forward taking the penalty himself and sending Quirke the wrong way.
Clearly Cork were lectured at half-time about letting Waterford back into contention, however, as a fourth goal had arrived within 18 seconds of the restart, Walsh and Donncha O’Connor combining to give Goulding a chance which he took with relish.
Thereafter it was a procession, Cork continuing to go for the jugular as Waterford were completely stifled, barely getting a sniff of a chance.
Goulding was unlucky not to get his hat-trick on 41, his ground shot blocked by Kieran Connery after he had dispossessed Cotter, but sub Fintan Goold ensured that the Rebels scored five goals in a championship match for the first time since the 1993 All-Ireland semi-final win over Mayo with a brilliant top-corner finish moments later.
Corner-back Eoin Cotter and sub David Goold also got in on the scoring act, though Waterford did glean some consolation as Brian Wall’s free from 35 yards eluded Quirke and bounced in.
Scorers - Cork: D Goulding 2-3, P Kerrigan 1-3, J Miskella 1-2, F Goold 1-0, F Lynch, D Goold 0-2 each, P Kelly, A Walsh, C Sheehan, E Cotter, D O’Connor (0-1f), G Spillane 0-1 each.
Waterford: B Wall (1-0f), G Hurney (1-0 penalty) 1-1 each, T Prendergast S Fleming (0-1f) 0-2 each, S Briggs, B Phelan 0-1 each.
CORK: A Quirke; E Cadogan, E Cotter, M Shields; G Canty, J Miskella, P Kissane; A O’Connor, A Walsh; C Sheehan, P Kelly, F Lynch; D Goulding, D O’Connor, P Kerrigan.
Subs: F Goold for Sheehan, N Murphy for Walsh (both 39), G Spillane for Miskella (45), D Goold for Goulding, D O’Sullivan for Shields (both 55).
WATERFORD: K Cotter; M O’Gorman, T O’Gorman, K Connery; E Walsh, S Briggs, T Grey; M Ahern, B Phelan; B Wall, P Hurney, W Hennessy; G Hurney, S Fleming, T Prendergast.
Subs: R Ahearne for Hennessy (33), T Connors for P Hurney (44), C Phelan for K Connery (47), K Power for B Phelan (54), J Hurney for Walsh (57).
Referee: P Fox (Westmeath).