Sizzling Cork melt Waterford

After the highs of their victory over Tipperary a number of weeks ago the Cork senior hurlers continue to gain momentum as the season progresses. Last Sunday at Semple Stadium another superb team performance saw them defeat Waterford by a five point margin.
Played in sweltering heat Cork were the better side and in the end there was no denying their place in the Munster final against Clare. Cork were quick into the action, Patrick Horgan opened the scoring with a delightful point, while a long range effort from Darragh Fitzgibbon in the 4th minute made it 0-2 to no score. Waterford quickly got up to the pace and three points on the trot by the Bennett brothers and Pauric Mahony moved them ahead. The sides were level for the second time at 0-3 apiece in the 9th minute when ‘man of the match’ Mark Coleman set up the hardworking Seamus Harnedy for a point. Waterford took the lead again when a great bit of skill by Austin Gleeson saw him score a fantastic point. At the other end a point from a sideline cut by Mark Coleman in the 13th minute had them tied again at 0-4 each. The game’s first goal scoring opportunity came Cork’s way soon after when Seamus Harnedy found the well placed Patrick Horgan whose attempt at goal went narrowly wide. Nevertheless, Cork were growing in confidence at this stage. In the 15th minute a clearance by Mark Coleman was fetched in the air by Conor Lehane and following a fine solo run Lehane scored one of his trademark points. Both teams added a point before Patrick Horgan with a free in the 18th minute made it 0-7 to 0-5. Mark Ellis got in on the scoring act soon after when he received a good pass from Luke Meade. Waterford battled back once again with Tadgh De Burca, Jamie Barron, Pauric Mahony and Michael Walsh most effective. Points from Pauric Mahony (2) and Shane Bennett closed the gap to a point by the 26th minute, 0-9 to 0-8. Cork responded with a free by Patrick Horgan before the Waterford keeper Stephen O’Keeffe certainly came to his sides rescue over the next couple of minutes. Firstly he denied Alan Cadogan. Tadgh de Burca set up Jamie Barron for a great point for Waterford before O’Keeffe came to Waterford’s rescue once again when a pin point pass by Patrick Horgan found Seamus Harnedy whose attempt for the bottom corner of the net was brilliantly saved on the line by the Waterford netminder. The clearance by Noel Connors saw Jamie Barron and Michael Walsh work well for Kevin Moran to get the equalising score, and in the process ensured it was all to play for at the break when tied at 0-10 each.
On the restart both teams were quick into the action with Bill Cooper and Austin Gleeson trading points. Waterford came close to a goal when Shane Bennett cut in from a tight angle only to see his effort at goal As the half went on Cork were showing the greater urgency, teamwork and fitness levels. Four points on the trot by key forwards Patrick Horgan (3) and Conor Lehane moved them 0-15 to 0-11 clear by the 42nd minute.
Waterford were finding it hard to make headway at the other end. Pauric Mahony kept them in touch with a well taken point before they thundered their way back into the tie when Maurice Shanahan got through to score the only goal of the game, 0-15 to 1-12. Waterford were expected to mount a serious challenge from here but in truth it never transpired. Instead Cork hit the front when Patrick Horgan pointed a free. Bill Cooper set up Conor Lehane for a point in the 51st minute while a minute later Damian Cahalane found Colm Spillane whose long clearance resulted in a fine point by Alan Cadogan. Waterford responded with a point courtesy of Brian O’Halloran but Cork stretched their lead when Michael Cahalane and Patrick Horgan were on target by the 58th minut, 0-20 to 1-13. Cork were reduced to 14 players soon after when Colm Spillane was dismissed for a second yellow card offence but they continued to show the greater work rate in the last 13 minutes. Seamus Harnedy and Jamie Barron traded a point. Waterford tried hard to get back in the hunt but it was an impressive display by the Cork defence that stood firm. At the other end Patrick Horgan with a free from out near the sideline made it 0-22 to 1-14 before the hardworking Seamus Harnedy set up Luke O’Farrell for Cork’s last score in injury time. Waterford completed the scoring in stoppage time courtesy of a Maurice Shanahan point but it proved a mere consolation score at this stage as Cork ran out deserving winners.
Scorers for Cork: Patrick Horgan 0-10 (0-7f, 0-1 ‘65’), Conor Lehane 0-4, Seamus Harnedy 0-2, Mark Coleman 0-1 (s/l) Darragh Fitzgibbon 0-1, Luke O’Farrell 0-1, Alan Cadogan 0-1, Mark Ellis 0-1, Bill Cooper 0-1, Michael Cahalane 0-1.
Waterford: Pauric Mahony 0-5 (0-1f), Maurice Shanahan 1-1 (0-1f), Stephen Bennett 0-2, Austin Gleeson 0-2, Jamie Barron 0-2, Shane Bennett 0-1, Kevin Moran 0-1, Brian O’Halloran 0-1.
Cork: Anthony Nash (Kanturk), Stephen McDonnell (Glen Rovers), Damian Cahalane (St Finbarr’s), Colm Spillane (Castlelyons), Christopher Joyce (Na Piarsaigh), Mark Ellis (Millstreet), Mark Coleman (Blarney), Bill Cooper (Youghal), Darragh Fitzgibbon (Charleville), Luke Meade (Newces-town), Conor Lehane (Midleton), Shane Kingston (Douglas), Alan Cadogan (do), Seamus Harnedy (St Ita’s), Patrick Horgan (Glen Rovers). Subs: Michael Cahalane (Bandon) for Shane Kingston, Daniel Kearney (Sarsfields) for Darragh Fitzgibbon, Luke O’Farrell (Midleton) for Luke Meade, Brian Lawton (Castlemartyr) for Conor Lehane (inj), Dean Brosnan (Glen Rovers) for Alan Cadogan.
Waterford: Stephen O’Keeffe (Ballygunner), Shane Fives (Tourin), Barry Coughlan (Bally-gunner), Noel Connors (Passage), Conor Gleeson (Fourmilewater), Tadgh De Burca (Clashmore/Kinsalebeg), Philip Mahony (Ballygunner), Kevin Moran (De La Salle), Jamie Barron (Fourmilewater), Stephen Bennett (Ballysaggart), Pauric Mahony (Bally-gunner), Michael Walsh (Strabally), Shane Bennett (Ballysaggart), Maurice Shanahan (Lismore), Austin Gleeson (Mount Sion). Subs: Tommy Ryan (Tallow) for Stephen Bennett, Brian O’Halloran (Clashmore/Kinsalebeg) for Shane Bennett, Darragh Fives (Tourin) for Shane Fives, Jake Dillon (De La Salle) for Austin Gleeson, Patrick Curran (Dun-garvan) for Michael Walsh.
Referee: Barry Kelly (Westmeath).