Waterford Footballers pulled off a rare win over Cork, to advance to the McGrath Cup Final against UCC, after an 0-8 to 0-7 win in front of 337 spectators in Clashmore this afternoon.
The Deise held the Rebels to just one point from play, as they delivered a hard earned win against the reigning champions
Having fired seven goals past Mary Immaculate College in the opening round, and delivering a five-point win over Tipperary last time out, Cork were hotly fancied to advance, but for the second Sunday in a row, Waterford delivered a home win in Clashmore.
Despite just holding onto a one-point lead at the full-time whistle, Waterford never trailed this contest.
Level at 0-2 apiece after 27 minutes, all of the early scores had come from frees, with Dan MacEoin delivering two for Cork, and Shane Aherne firing both of Waterford’s scores
In a low scoring encounter, the hosts took a 0-4 to 0-2 at half-time, with Patrick Hurney and Michael O’Halloran taking points late in the half.
Indeed they had loads of chances to add further to their tally, and amassed seven wides by the 31st minute.
On the restart Waterford made their scoring chances count as they pushed 0-6 to 0-2 ahead by the 43rd minute, but Cork worked hard to cut the gap to one with 15 minutes remaining.
Waterford moved two points clear after 62 minutes, but a pointed free by half-time substitute Colm O’Neill in the 65th minute ensured a tense finish.
Leading 0-8 to 0-7, Waterford stayed ahead in front despite strong Cork pressure to book a first appearance in the decider since 2002.
13 years is a long time to wait for a final berth, but Waterford’s wait for a McGrath Cup title stretches back the inaugural competition in 1981 - their lone title win so far.
WATERFORD: S Enright; D Crowley, N Walsh, T O’Gorman; T Ó hUallacháin, M O’Gorman, R Ó Ceallaigh; S Aherne (0-3, 3f), T Prendergast; M Curry, M O’Halloran (0-2), P Hurney (0-1); L Lawlor, G Nugent (0-2), J Veale. Subs: C Phelan for Curry (51); L O Corraoin for Veale (59); D Hallahan for Ó Ceallaigh (64).
CORK: K O’Halloran; L Jennings, T Clancy, S O’Donoghue; P Hodnett, E Cadogan, J O’Sullivan; M Cussen, M Collins (0-1); K O’Driscoll, B O’Driscoll, G Durrant; D MacEoin (0-2, 2f), F Ó Deasunaigh, J Hayes. Subs: D O’Connor (0-2, 2f) for MacEoin (HT); C O’Driscoll for Ó Deasunaigh (HT); C O’Neill (0-2, 2f) for Durrant (HT); P Kerrigan for Hayes (43); J O’Rourke for O’Sullivan (61)
REFEREE: Sean Joy (Kerry)