Friday 19 January 2018

Bennett and Curran deliver for Deise

Waterford 1-21 Cork 1-11 Munster U21 HC quarter-final

Waterford’s Shane Bennett wins the Man of the Match award hours after finishing a Leaving Cert exam
Waterford’s Shane Bennett wins the Man of the Match award hours after finishing a Leaving Cert exam

Denis Hurley

Shane Bennett and Patrick Curran were the stars as Waterford were too strong for Cork in the Bord Gáis Energy Munster U21HC quarter-final at Páirc Uí Rinn.

While they trailed 0-5 to 0-2 inside the opening quarter, six unanswered points helped the visitors to lead by 0-9 to 0-6 at half-time and a good start to the second half gave them a commanding lead.

Luke Meade gave Cork brief hope late on as he netted to bring them back to within six points, 0-20 to 1-11, but the outstanding Bennett responded at the other end to bring his tally to 1-4. Curran's 12th point of the night rounded off proceedings to send Waterford into a semi-final meeting with Clare.

Cork worked hard in the first half and midfielder Martin Brennan was one of many to impress early on as he scored two points. Waterford never panicked though.

At the back, Tadhg de Búrca was excellent and in attack Curran's free-taking was outstanding while Ryan Donnelly also got in on the act and Bennett scored a super point from range as Derek Lyons' side asserted themselves. While Cork sub David Geary was on target inside a minute of the restart, three in a row from Waterford, including one outstanding effort from Austin Gleeson, opened up a five-point lead and the margin would never be closer than four after that.

Shane McNulty drew a save from Cork goalkeeper Patrick Collins on 43, but even without a goal, Waterford continued to augment their advantage and Curran (two), Bennett and Colin Dunford contributed to a four-point burst to make it 0-19 to 0-10.

Cork pressed for a goal, with Waterford's Darragh Lyons having to make a great block on Seán O'Donoghue minutes before Meade netted. Hope was fleeting, however, with Bennett capping his display as he kicked a goal after Shane Hegarty had initially denied him.

Scorers - Waterford: P Curran 0-12 (0-7f, 0-1 65), Shane Bennett 1-4, R Donnelly, A Gleeson, C Dunford, Stephen Bennett, DJ Foran 0-1 each.

Cork: L Meade 1-1, M Brennan, M O'Connor (0-3f) 0-3 each, D Geary 0-2, C Twomey (0-1f), K O'Neill 0-1 each.

WATERFORD - B Nolan; S McNulty, C Gleeson, K Bennett; M Harney, T de Búrca, T Devine; R Donnelly, C Dunford; A Gleeson, D Lyons, Shane Bennett; Stephen Bennett, DJ Foran, P Curran. Subs: M Kearney for Donnelly (43), C Curran for Harney (51), B Phelan for Foran (57), B O'Sullivan for Shane Bennett (60).

CORK - P Collins; D Browne, A Dennehy, S O'Donoghue; D Noonan, C Twomey, N Cashman; R Cahalane, M Brennan; D Casey, K O'Connor, K O'Neill; M O'Connor, A Spillane, L Meade. Subs: D Geary for K O'Connor (26), D Lee for M O'Connor (41), K Histon for Noonan (51), S Hegarty for Dennehy (57-59, blood), Hegarty for Browne (60).

Ref - F Horgan (Tipperary).

Irish Independent

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