MUNSTER CHAMPIONS CORK have made it through to this year’s decider, but not without facing a stern test from Waterford in Thurles.
With two of the seven minutes of injury time played, the sides were tied at 1-20 each, but late points from Patrick Horgan, Colm Spillane and captain Séamus Harnedy earned them the win.
Cork knew that a win would guarantee them a place in the final but, despite Waterford not having anything to play for, they put up a strong challenge.
In front of 14,737 people, the Déise were far better in the first half, only trailing after Patrick Horgan had opened the scoring, with Cork’s shooting not up to scratch for much of the half.
Pauric Mahony, from play and dead balls, led the Waterford scoring charge in the opening half and they were 0-10 to 0-6 ahead after a six-minute period in which they outscored Cork by six to two.
Cork looked to have shaken off their sluggishness as Horgan, Daniel Kearney and Harnedy brought them back to within one only for Waterford to push on again through Jake Dillon, Tommy Ryan, Mahony and Tom Devine and they led by 0-15 to 0-11 at half-time.
With the wind behind them, Cork eventually drew level at 0-16 each when Horgan coverted a 65 on 53, but Waterford had an instant response as Jamie Barron and Michael Walsh combined to set up Ryan for a well-taken goal.
It was a last contribution for Walsh – playing a record 74th championship game – before he left the field to a standing ovation and even though his replace Stephen Bennett was forced off injury within five minutes, Waterford were keeping their noses in front.
Mark Coleman’s nice point had Cork within two on 65 and then, finally, they got in front two minutes later as Horgan fed Harnedy, who held off a challenge before firing home.
Still Waterford weren’t done as Mahony put them in front again with a pair of frees but Kingston levelled and Cork definitively got on top in the closing stages.
Scorers for Cork: Séamus Harnedy 1-3, Patrick Horgan 0-5 (0-2 frees, 0-1 65), Conor Lehane, Bill Cooper, Shane Kingston 0-3 each, Daniel Kearney, Mark Coleman (0-1 sideline) 0-2 each, Colm Spillane, Darragh Fitzgibbon 0-1 each.
Scorers for Waterford: Pauric Mahony 0-8 (0-4 frees, 0-1 65), Tommy Ryan 1-3, Brian O’Halloran, Jake Dillon 0-2 each, Austin Gleeson, Jamie Barron, Tom Devin, Maurice Shanahan, DJ Foran 0-1 each.
1. Anthony Nash (Kanturk)
2. Seán O’Donoghue (Inniscarra)
3. Damien Cahalane (St Finbarr’s)
4. Colm Spillane (Castlelyons)
6. Eoin Cadogan (Douglas)
5. Christopher Joyce (Na Piarsaigh)
7. Mark Coleman (Blarney)
8. Darragh Fitzgibbon (Charlevile)
9. Bill Cooper (Youghal)
12. Daniel Kearney (Sarsfields)
14. Séamus Harnedy (St Ita’s)
10. Luke Meade (Newcestown)
15. Patrick Horgan (Glen Rovers)
11. Conor Lehane (Midleton)
13. Shane Kingston (Douglas)
19. Conor O’Sullivan (Sarsfields) for O’Donoghue (45)
21. Michael Cahalane (Bandon) for Meade (62)
24. Jack O’Connor (Sarsfields) for Fitzgibbon (70)
1. Ian O’Regan (Mount Sion)
2. Ian Kenny (Ballygunner)
3. Conor Gleeson (Fourmilewater)
4. Noel Connors (Passage)
10. Kevin Moran (De La Salle)
7. Philip Mahony (Ballygunner)
6. Austin Gleeson (Mount Sion)
5. Michael Walsh (Stradbally)
8. Jamie Barron (Fourmilewater)
14. Tom Devine (Modeligo)
9. Pauric Mahony (Ballygunner)
12. Jake Dillon (De La Salle)
15. Tommy Ryan (Tallow)
11. Colin Dunford (Colligan)
13. Brian O’Halloran (Clashmore-Kinsalebeg)
26. Séamus Keating (Ardmore) for Connors (24, injured)
23. DJ Foran (Portlaw) for Dillon (40)
22. Stephen Roche (Mount Sion) for O’Halloran (46, injured)
24. Stephen Bennett (Ballysaggart) for Walsh (55)
21. Maurice Shanahan (Lismore) for Bennett (60, injured)
Referee: John Keenan (Wicklow)
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