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Cork avoid shock Munster football defeat to Waterford as they claim one-point win

The Fraher Field was the venue for tonight’s game.

Cork 1-12
Waterford 1-11

Fintan O’Toole reports from Fraher Field, Dungarvan

CORK CAME DESPERATELY close to being stunned in the Munster senior football championship for the second successive year this evening but escaped from Dungarvan with their provincial hopes still intact.

Waterford put in a towering performance with Donie Breathnach contributing 0-6 but Cork managed to dig out a victory in the last quarter.

Substitute Donncha O’Connor kicked three crucial points while captain Paul Kerrigan finished with 1-3.

But Cork were hugely relieved to hear the final whistle of a game where they finished with 13 men after Alan O’Connor was shown a red card in the 66th minute and James Loughrey received a black card late on after they had used their full complement of substitutes.

Paul Kerrigan celebrates scoring the first goal of the game Paul Kerrigan celebrates scoring Cork's goal. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Defeat was rough justice on a Waterford side who were well-drilled, packed their defence with bodies and counter-attacked at pace. Captain Paul White were hugely effective as a sweeper who broke forward while full-back Thomas O’Gorman confirmed his defensive class.

Gavin Crotty bagged the goal that ignited their challenge in the 40th minute, profiting when Cork goalkeeper Ken O’Halloran spilled a high ball under pressure.

Cork in contrast missed two goal opportunities after half-time with Waterford’s Stephen Enright beating away a Colm O’Neill drive and Kerrigan firing another past the post.

Waterford built on Crotty’s goal to move ahead 1-6 to 1-4 by the 50th minute before Cork quickly drew level. In a tense finale the teams were tied on four occasions in the final quarter.

Tommy Pendergast with Kevin O'Driscoll and Paul Kerrigan Cork's Paul Kerrigan and Kevin O'Driscoll in action against Waterford's Tommy Prendergast. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Points from White and Breathnach left the teams all square at 1-10 apiece in the 72nd minute and Cork were on the ropes. Despite having 14 men, they steadied themselves with O’Neill and Kerrigan grabbing vital points.

Breatnach cut the deficit with another Waterford free but Cork managed to hold on and survive in a game where they had been in front 1-4 to 0-4 at the interval.

Peadar Healy Cork boss Peadar Healy Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

The Cork goal had arrived in the 18th minute, the ball scrambled in when Kerrigan punched home after it was laid across by Colm O’Neill.

John O’Rourke was the brightest spark in Cork’s attacking efforts in the opening period, a composed kicker in front of goal that picked off 0-3 from play.

They were truly tested in the second half and there’s plenty to ponder before a semi-final tie with Tipperary in Páirc Uí Rinn in a fortnight.

Tom McGlinchey Waterford manager Tom McGlinchey

Scorers for Cork: Paul Kerrigan 1-3, John O’Rourke, Donncha O’Connor (0-1f) 0-3 each, Colm O’Neill (0-1f), Mark Collins, James Loughrey 0-1 each.

Scorers for Waterford: Donie Breathnach 0-6 (0-5f), Gavin Crotty 1-0, Paul White 0-2, Tommy Prendergast, Michael Curry, Aidan Trihy 0-1 each.

Cork

1. Ken O’Halloran (Bishopstown)

7. Kevin Crowley (Millstreet)
6. Michael Shields (St Finbarrs)
3. Jamie O Sullivan (Bishopstown)

5. Tomas Clancy (Fermoy)
2. James Loughrey (Mallow)
4. Stephen Cronin (Nemo Rangers)

8. Aidan Walsh (Kanturk)
9. Ruairi Deane (Bantry Blues)

10. Kevin O Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh)
11. Mark Collins (Castlehaven)
12. John O Rourke (Carbery Rangers)

13. Colm O Neill (Ballyclough)
14. Peter Kelleher (Kilmichael)
15. Paul Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers – captain)

Subs

17. Alan O’Connor (St Colum’s) for Walsh (inj) (11)
20. Donncha O’Connor (Ballydesmond) for O’Driscoll (45)
22. Ian Maguire (St Finbarr’s) for Deane (49)
25. Sean Powter (Douglas) for Cronin  (53)
21. Gary Murphy (Castletownbere) for Kelleher (63)
18. Barry O’Driscoll (Nemo Rangers) for O’Rourke (67)

Waterford

1. Stephen Enright (Ballinacourty)

2. Brian Looby (Ballinacourty)
7. Ray Ó Ceallaigh (An Rinn)
3. Thomas O’Gorman (The Nire)

4. Tadhg Ó hUallacháin (An Rinn)
6. Stephen Prendergast (Kilrossanty)
5. James McGrath (The Nire)

8. Tommy Prendergast (Kilrossanty)
9. Michael Curry (Rathgormack)

23. Fearghal Ó Cuirrín (An Rinn)
11. Paul Whyte (Kilrossanty – captain)
24. Aidan Trihy (Clashmore-Kinsalebeg)

13. Donie Breathnach (An Rinn)
14. Joey Veale (Kilrossanty)
15. Gavin Crotty (Dungarvan)

Subs

22. Lorcán Ó Corraoin (An Rinn) for Murray (44)
10. Michael O’Halloran (Ballinacourty) for Veale (49)
20. Dylan Guiry (The Nire) for Trihy (70)

Referee: Rory Hickey (Clare)

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