Waterford shock Cork to grab final spot

Pat Sullivan’s Waterford secured a sensational six-point victory over reigning TG4 Munster and All-Ireland ladies senior football champions Cork.

The Déise girls ran out 3-11 to 1-11 winners at Fraher Field to book a first Munster senior final appearance in ten years.

Cork now face a winner-takes-all clash with Kerry in a fortnight’s time to see who will provide Waterford’s provincial final opposition.

On the weekend it was confirmed that dual star Rena Buckley will not be committing to football this year, Cork fell to their first championship defeat since the 2015 Munster final loss to Kerry.

Waterford were off to a flyer when Aileen Wall scored the opening point. Roisin Tobin’s added a goal in the third-minute goal and in the 14th minute, Grainne Kenneally netted their second goal.

Aine O’Sullivan netted for Cork in the 25th minute but they trailed 1-3 to 2-6 at the interval.

Waterford had played with the breeze in the opening half and while Cork have found themselves in worse situations in championship football, this was one rescue act they couldn’t pull off.

Two brilliant Michelle Ryan points early in the second half maintained Waterford’s momentum but a run of five unanswered scores had Cork ominously in contention with nine minutes left.

Cork had moved to within four points, 1-9 to 2-10, but Wall found the top corner for Waterford’s third goal in the 52nd minute. That strike had Waterford 3-10 to 1-9 clear and another Michelle Ryan point stretched their advantage.

Cork did register the final two scores of the game, midfielder Jess O’Shea on target with both, but Waterford were left to savour a famous victory, one that blows the race for provincial and All-Ireland honours wide open.

In Leinster, Laois beat Kildare by 2-13 to 2-8 in Tullamore, and face Dublin in the provincial semi-final.

Laois led by 0-7 to 0-3 at half-time, before Erone Fitzpatrick netted a crucial goal early in the second half for the O’Moore girls.

In the closing minutes, Erica Burke goaled for Kildare but that effort was cancelled out by Fitzpatrick’s second goal. There was still time for Trina Duggan to net a penalty but Laois held out.

In the Leinster intermediate championship, Meath enjoyed an impressive 6-8 to 0-9 victory over Wicklow.

And on Saturday, Tipperary’s intermediates racked up a huge 8-16 to 1-3 victory over Limerick .


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