By Michael Moynihan, Walsh Park.
Waterford 1-13 Cork 1-21
Cork had the upper hand in windy Walsh Park, winning by eight points against an off-colour Waterford side.
The 6,629 in attendance saw Cork start into the scoreboard end, backed by a strong breeze but Waterford opened brightly with a Shane Bennett goal on five minutes to make it 1-1 to 0-1.
Cork were level on 12 minutes thanks to Bill Cooper and Conor Lehane, with long-range Anthony Nash and Lehane frees putting them ahead on 18 minutes, 0-7 to 1-2.
Both sides sniffed goals but didn’t make it count: Cork went long with the breeze but even though Waterford’s spare man at the back, Tadhg de Burca, hit a lot of ball, the wind began to tell.
Lengthy Cork clearances caused problems in the Waterford defence, and a burst of five points on the spin pushed Cork to a seven-point lead at the break, 0-14 to 1-4.
With the roles reversed Waterford, and Padraic Mahony’s four frees in particular, began to eat into Cork’s lead, but the visitors made early attacks count with points from Dean Brosnan and Luke Meade.
On 49 minutes Meade burst onto a loose ball in the Waterford half-back line and went through to finish from close range: 1-17 to 1-9.
The game took another twist when Maurice Shanahan got a straight red with 12 minutes left; a Christopher Joyce point immediately afterwards gave Cork a nine-point lead.
Seamus Harnedy’s late dismissal had no effect on the game, as Cork ran out surprisingly comfortable victors in the end.
Scorers for Waterford: P. Mahony (0-8, frees); Shane Bennett 1-0; P. Curran (0-2); M Shanahan, A. Gleeson, Stephen Bennett (0-1 each).
Scorers for Cork: C. Lehane (0-8, 7 frees); L. Meade (1-1); B. Cooper (0-3); C. Joyce, A. Nash (free), M. Coleman, M. Cahalane, D. Brosnan, S. Kingston, S. Harnedy, L. McLoughlin, P. Horgan ( 0-1 each).
WATERFORD: S. O’Keeffe, S. Fives, B. Coughlan, N. Connors, D. Lyons, T. de Burca, K. Moran (c), J. Barron, C. Dunford, P. Mahony, A. Gleeson, Shane Bennett, M. Shanahan, M. Walsh, Stephen Bennett.
Subs: C. Gleeson for Barron (inj., 14); T. Devine for Dunford (47); P. Curran for Shane Bennett (51); T. Ryan for A. Gleeson, B. O’Halloran for Walsh (63).
CORK: A. Nash, S. McDonnell, D. Cahalane, C. Spillane, C. Joyce, M. Ellis, M. Coleman, D. Brosnan, L. McLoughlin, B. Cooper, C. Lehane, S. Kingston, A. Cadogan, S. Harnedy, L. Meade
Subs: M. Cahalane for Cadogan (inj, 32); P. Horgan for Kingston (inj., 63); K. Burke for McDonnell (inj., 65); C. O’Leary for McLoughlin (68).
Referee: B. Kelly (Westmeath).