Cork cruised past troubled Waterford in Pairc Ui Chaoimh, eventually winning by 13 points. Waterford began with the breeze but Cork led early thanks to a third-minute Patrick Horgan goal and some fine point-taking. Waterford rallied with Stephen Bennett’s frees making it 1-3 to 0-3 on ten minutes.
Bennett kept Waterford in touch while Cork had more scorers from play, leading 1-5 to 0-7 20 minutes in. Stephen Bennett wasted a good goal chance on 24 minutes that could have galvanised Waterford; as it was Cork maintained that one-goal gap, and missed a gaping goal chance of their own through Seamus Harnedy on 28 minutes.
The goal that was threatening arrived two minutes later through Alan Cadogan after good work by Bill Cooper; when the latter and Mark Coleman added points it was 2-11 to 0-11 at the break. Waterford hit 1-1 on the resumption, Stephen Bennett hitting the goal, but Cork had five points in a row to restore their advantage, 2-17 to 1-12, by the 45th minute.
Shane Bennett had his side’s second goal, however, on 50 minutes - 2-18 to 2-14 as the lights came on in the stadium. Harnedy (two), Cadogan and sub Shane Kingston stretched Cork’s lead again, however, and it was an eight-point game turning into the final ten minutes. Cork finished with a flourish of points to end the game 2-30 to 2-17.
P. Horgan (0-9 frees)(1-10); A. Cadogan (1-2); D. Fitzgibbon, S. Harnedy, S. Kingston (0-3 each); M. Coleman, T. O’Mahony (0-2 each); C. Lehane, D. Kearney, M. Ellis, L. Meade, B. Cooper (0-1 each).
Stephen Bennett (0-7 frees)(1-8); Shane Bennett (1-2); J. Prendergast, P. Hogan (0-2 each); C. Lyons, J. Barron, A Gleeson (sl) (0-1 each).
A. Nash, S. O’Donoghue, E. Cadogan, N. O’Leary, R. Downey, M. Ellis, M. Coleman, B. Cooper, D. Fitzgibbon, D. Kearney, S. Harnedy, L. Meade, A. Cadogan, P. Horgan, A. Walsh.
S. Kingston for Walsh (41); C. Lehane for Kearney (46); C. Joyce for Downey (55); R. O’Flynn for Meade (65); T. O’Mahony for Cooper (68).
S. Roche for Kearney (HT); A. Gleeson for Ryan (46); C. Roche for O’Halloran (53); S. Fives for D. Lyons (55); M. Walsh for Prendergast (64).
J. Keenan (Wicklow).