Credit Waterford with battling qualities aplenty, but in pure footballing terms they were totally outclassed.
It was never a contest and the result had inevitability etched all over it long before the final whistle ended the Decies’ misery.
It took Cork a mere 20 seconds to prise open the home defence when a foul on outstanding midfielder Carthach Keane yielded a penalty which full-forward David Goulding confidently dispatched to the net.
They had 1-4 on the board inside 10 minutes with Waterford’s opening score not coming until the quarter hour when Patrick Hurney was on target. They managed to contain the Leesiders in the second quarter but were still six points adrift at the break, 1-6 to 0-3.
Whatever lingering hopes Waterford might still have been clinging to were firmly buried within minutes of the restart, with Goulding the destroyer in chief.
He deftly pointed in the 33rd minute and 90 seconds later scored his second goal after a fine movement in which Colm Callinan and Andy Concannon were also prominently involved.
Waterford did respond with three points on the trot from Miceal O’Toibin, Mark Gorman and Joey Veale, but the respite was fleeting and in quick time Cork were calling the shots.
Andrew O’Sullivan and Carthach Keane were unbeatable in the middle of the field, and their speedy forwards thrived on the monopoly possession that was being fed to them.
A plethora of points flowed from all angles and distances and the rout was complete when Goulding registered his hat-trick with another fine goal four minutes from the end.
It might be more prudent to await a more searching test of Cork’s true worth, but they moved with an impressive fluency throughout and their huge 17-point winning margin scarcely flattered them.
For Waterford it was a case of not being nearly good enough although they deserve full marks for battling right to the end.
: Cork; D. Goulding (3-2); C. Callinan (0-3); A. Concannon, K. Canty, C. Keane and F. Gould (0-2 each); A. O’Sullivan and P. Kerrigan (0-1) each. Waterford; M. O’Toibin (0-3); P. Hurney, I. Cantwell, M. Gorman and J. Veale (0-1 each).
: K. O'Halloran; R. Carey. N. Horgan. K. Harrington; M. Shields. E. Cadogan. S. Keohane; A. O'Sullivan. C. Keane; C. Callinan. F. Gould. F. Lynch; A. Concannon. D. Goulding. P. Kerrigan. Subs; K. Canty for Lynch; S. O’Donoghue for Cadogan; G. O’Shea for Keohane; D.Crowley for Kerrigan.
: D. Dennison; C. Hayes. K. McBride. K. Dunne; T. Grey. S. Prendergast. J. Seward; P. Phelan. M. O'Toibin; M. Fives; P. Hurney. I. Cantwell; J. Veale. C. McDonald. M. Gorman; Subs; K. O’Keeffe for Cantwell; D. Allen for Phelan; C. Phelan for Seward; J. O’Keeffe for McDonald; P. Weldon for Gorman.
: T Lynch (Kerry).