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Dublin: 10°C Sunday 9 May 2021

Late Dalton goal hands 14-man Cork dramatic win over Waterford in Munster U21 semi-final

The Rebels booked a final place at the finish in Walsh Park.

Declan Dalton fires a late penalty to the net for Cork.
Declan Dalton fires a late penalty to the net for Cork.
Image: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Cork 2-17
Waterford 1-19

A GOAL DEEP in injury-time from a penalty by Declan Dalton handed Cork a dramatic victory over Waterford in the Bord Gáis Energy Munster U21 hurling semi-final tonight.

Declan Dalton strikes a penalty at the final minute Declan Dalton fires a late penalty to the net for Cork. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Cork were reduced to 14 men in injury-time when Darragh Fitzgibbon, who sparkled throughout at midfield, was shown a red card for a pull across goalkeeper Billy Nolan.

That looked to signal their exit at the first hurdle as Waterford were in control of a game where Patrick Curran, Colm Roche and Shane Bennett had all impressed for the home side in Walsh Park.

But Cork mounted one last attack in injury-time and after working the ball downfield, substitute Jack O’Connor was fouled as he rushed towards goal.

Dalton, who finished with 1-12 and displayed superb markmanship all night, held his nerve from the resultant penalty to smash the ball to the net.

Referee Fergal Horgan sounded the final whistle soon after and Cork celebrated another notable victory after the county’s senior and minor teams claimed Munster crowns last Sunday in Thurles.

Defeat was rough justice on Waterford. They had trailed 0-10 to 0-8 at the interval but chipped away at Cork’s advantage in the second half despite conceding a 37th minute goal when Robbie O’Flynn neatly finished to the net for Cork after being played in by Tim O’Mahony.

Shane Bennett sits dejected at the end of the game A dejected Shane Bennett after Waterford's defeat. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

But the game seemed to turn in Waterford’s favour when Shane Bennett finished cleverly from close range for a goal in the 51st minute. Dalton tied the teams at 1-15 apiece soon after yet then Waterford reeled off three points without reply and looked to be on the cusp of victory.

Shane Bennett scores past Patrick Collins Shane Bennett grabs Waterford's goal despite the efforts of goalkeeper Patrick Collins Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Cork hung in there. They had to start without senior attacker Luke Meade through injury while another key forward Shane Kingston was well held by the Waterford rearguard and substituted in the second half.

However Dalton was brilliant throughout and weighed in with 0-7 in the opening period when Cork were backed by the wind.

Fitzgibbon was also superb in the second half while Dalton constantly supplied scores from placed balls. It appeared as if Curran would be the scoring star on the other side until that late penalty award and Dalton made sure it would be Cork who face Limerick in the decider on 26 July.

Declan Dalton and David Lowney celebrate at the end of the game Declan Dalton and David Lowney celebrate Cork's victory. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Scorers for Cork: Declan Dalton 1-12 (0-8f, 0-2 sideline), Robbie O’Flynn 1-0, Darragh Fitzgibbon 0-3, Michael O’Halloran, Paul Leopold 0-1 each.

Scorers for Waterford: Patrick Curran 0-10 (0-7f, 0-1 ’65) Colm Roche 0-5, Shane Bennett 1-1, Cormac Curran 0-2, Jack Prendergast 0-1.


1. Patrick Collins (Ballinhassig)

2. Sean O Donoghue (Inniscarra)
3. Eoghan Murphy (Sarsfields)
4. David Griffin (Carrigaline)

5. Billy Hennessy (St Finbarrs)
6. Darren Browne (Kanturk – captain)
7. Mark Coleman (Blarney)

8. Paul Leopold (Sarsfields)
9. Darragh Fitzgibbon (Charleville)

10. Chris O’Leary (Valley Rovers)
11. Declan Dalton (Fr O’ Neills)
19. Aaron Myers (Sarsfields)

13. Robbie O’Flynn (Erins Own)
14. Shane Kingston (Douglas)
15. Michael O’Halloran (Blackrock)

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21. Tim O’Mahony (Newtownshandrum) for Myers (29)
16. Eoghan Healy (Ballymartle) for O’Donoghue (half-time)
20. Jack O’Connor (Sarsfields) for Kingston (50)
17. David Lowney (Clonakilty) for O’Leary (54)


1. Billy Nolan (Roanmore)

2. David Prendergast (Lismore)
3. Conor Gleeson (Fourmilewater)
4. Darragh Lyons (Dungarvan)

5. Jordan Henley (Tallow)
6. Conor Prunty (Abbeyside)
7. Callum Lyons (Ballyduff Lower)

8. Andy Molumby (Cappoquin)
9. Colm Roche (Shamrocks)

10. Jack Prendergast (Lismore)
11. Cormac Curran (Brickey Rangers)
12. Shane Ryan (De La Salle – captain)

13. Patrick Curran (Dungarvan)
14. Shane Bennett (Ballysaggart)
15. Peter Hogan (Ballygunner)


22. Darragh Lynch (Passage) for Molumby (42)
17. Edmond O’Halloran (Clashmore-Kinsalebeg) for Lyons (42)
18. Andrew Casey (Ballyduff Upper) for Cormac Curran (49)
20. John Paul Lucey (Shamrocks) for Ryan (59)

Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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