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Dublin: 11°C Monday 17 May 2021
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Waterford end losing streak in style as they defeat Cork to claim first Munster win since June 2016

Semple Stadium hosted today’s game.

Jubilant Waterford players after the game.
Jubilant Waterford players after the game.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Waterford 1-28
Cork 1-24

WATERFORD’S RECENT STRUGGLES and hardship in the Munster senior hurling arena drew to a close today with a rousing win to kick-start the Liam Cahill era.

In a surreal Halloween setting, Waterford sparkled under the Semple Stadium floodlights as they fashioned a success over Cork that was more convincing than the final four-point margin would have suggested.

Waterford have endured a wretched run in Munster, this marked their first success since June 2016 when they defeated Clare. Nine losses and a draw have marked their provincial record in the interim while the 2017 All-Ireland semi-final over these opponents was their most recent championship success.

But they deserved to progress to a Munster final here on a day when Stephen Bennett top scored with 0-12, Dessie Hutchinson shone with three lovely points illustrating his attacking threat and Calum Lyons excelling from wing-back as he bombed forward for 1-2.

Jamie Barron produced an all-action display in controlling the middle sector with three points t0 mark the occasion while the biggest influence was exerted by Tadhg De Búrca at the heart of the Deise defence. He was a magnet for possession throughout, Cork struggling to bypass him whenever they sought to feed their inside attackers.

Kieran Kingston’s second spell in charge of Cork on the championship stage began in a hugely disappointing fashion. Cork were chasing this game from a long way out, Lyons whipping home a 38th minute goal after a marauding run forward that put real daylight between the teams.

tim-oo-mahony-and-dessie-hutchinson Tim O'Mahony in action for Cork against Dessie Hutchinson. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Cork raised a late green flag that served as a consolation when Patrick Horgan crashed home a free to cut the gap to three points but substitute Patrick Curran crowned Waterford’s endeavours with the insurance point. Horgan produced a customary impressive contribution in front of goal as he struck 1-8, five points served up from play, but in general Cork did not produce sufficient attacking passages of play that could hurt Waterford.

Shane Kingston spearheaded the drive in the opening half and Seamus Harnedy had a fruitful third quarter yet Waterford always seemed in the ascendancy as the second half unfolded.

Cork’s team selections may have been accused of staleness but they shook things up before this one, pitching youngsters Sean O’Leary-Hayes and Daire Connery in for their senior championship debuts. Waterford had their own pair of new faces in Jack Fagan and Hutchinson. The latter has lit up the club stage with Ballygunner and he picked off two first-half points from play here.

Both teams had struggles in getting their shooting aligned during the first half. Waterford were ahead on the scoreboard 0-15 to 0-12 at the interval and in front 14-9 in the wide tally. They struck eight shots wide in the second quarter while early on it had been Cork who had failed to capitalise as they amassed eight such missed opportunities.

It was 0-5 to 0-4 in Cork’s favour after a fine effort by Kingston in the ninth minute but Waterford quickly accelerated clear with five points on the bounce and would not trail again. Cork enjoyed an improved spell before the break after staring at a deficit of 0-14 to 0-8 at one juncture.

They looked to be in the hunt when trailing by three at that midway mark but Waterford emerged in a forceful fashion after the break. They outscored Cork 1-5 to 0-2 in the opening five minutes of the half and that set the tone.

With a hefty scoreboard cushion to lean back on, Waterford could retreat and repel Cork’s attacking advances while picking off points themselves. Their qualification for a first Munster final in four years was nailed down before the full-time whistle blasted, Cork face into the qualifiers with plenty uncertainty to contend with.

Scorers for Waterford: Stephen Bennett 0-12 (0-12f), Calum Lyons 1-2, Dessie Hutchinson, Austin Gleeson, Jamie Barron 0-3 each, Kevin Moran, Shane McNulty, Kieran Bennett, Jack Prendergast, Patrick Curran 0-1 each.

Scorers for Cork: Patrick Horgan 1-8 (1-3f), Shane Kingston 0-4, Seamus Harnedy 0-3, Bill Cooper, Conor Lehane, Mark Coleman (0-1 sideline) 0-2 each, Christopher Joyce, Alan Cadogan, Declan Dalton 0-1 each.

Waterford

1. Stephen O’Keeffe (Ballygunner)

2. Shane Fives (Tourin)
3. Conor Prunty (Abbeyside – captain)
4. Shane McNulty (De La Salle)

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5. Calum Lyons (Ballyduff Lower)
6. Tadhg De Búrca (Clashmore-Kinsalebeg)
10. Kevin Moran (De La Salle)

8. Jamie Barron (Fouremilewater)
12. Kieran Bennett (Ballysaggart)

15. Jack Prendergast (Lismore)
7. Austin Gleeson (Mount Sion)
11. Jack Fagan (De La Salle)

13. Dessie Hutchinson (Ballygunner)
14. Stephen Bennett (Ballysaggart)
9. Jake Dillon (De La Salle)

Subs

21. Billy Power (Clonea) for Kieran Bennett (55)
24. Neil Montgomery (Abbeyside) for Fagan (61)
23. Darragh Lyons (Dungarvan) for Dillon (63)
20. Patrick Curran (Dungarvan) for Gleeson (70)

Cork

1. Anthony Nash (Kanturk)

17. Sean O’Leary-Hayes (Midleton)
2. Damien Cahalane (St Finbarrs)
4. Sean O’ Donoghue (Inniscarra)

5. Christopher Joyce (Na Piarsaigh)
6. Robert Downey (Glen Rovers)
9. Tim O’ Mahony (Newtownshandrum)

7. Mark Coleman (Blarney)
8. Bill Cooper (Youghal) 

11. Conor Lehane (Midleton)
14. Shane Kingston (Douglas)
25. Daire Connery (Na Piarsaigh)

10. Seamus Harnedy (St Itas)
13. Alan Cadogan (Douglas)
15. Patrick Horgan (Glen Rovers)

Subs

24. Jack O’Connor (Sarsfields) for Connery (40)
23. Declan Dalton (Fr O’Neill’s) for Lehane (54)
22. Luke Meade (Newcestown) for Cadogan (57)
19. Billy Hennessy (St Finbarr’s) for Joyce (65)
26. Brian Turnbull (Douglas) for Harnedy (72)

Referee: Sean Stack (Dublin)

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The42 GAA Weekly is here! Join hosts Shane Dowling and Marc Ó Sé as they preview Tipperary v Limerick, Donegal v Tyrone, and the rest of the weekend’s action:


Source: The42 Podcasts/SoundCloud

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole  / Reports from Semple Stadium

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