Thursday 14 December 2017

Cork bounce back into contention with resounding win over Waterford

Cork 1-21 Waterford 1-13

Seamus Harnedy of Cork in action against Shane Bennett and Kevin Moran of Waterford
Seamus Harnedy of Cork in action against Shane Bennett and Kevin Moran of Waterford
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Waterford delivered their poorest league display in three campaigns as Cork bounced back into contention in the Allianz Division 1A with a resounding Walsh Park win.

Waterford manager Derek McGrath had wondered during the week about how his team might reaction to an inevitable lull when it comes and while one poor performance shouldn't constitute that they were badly off colour against a Cork side determined to make up for lost ground in their two previous weekends.

Waterford showed little fluency on a surface that was sticky and did not allow any of their talented forwards to prosper.

In contrast Bill Cooper and Conor Lehane really led the line impressively for Cork.

The signs had been ominous in the opening half for Waterford despite their tonic start when, after Pauric Mahony from a free and Bill Cooper traded points, Michael 'Brick' Walsh claimed possession from a puck-out made a few metres and popped a pass to Stephen Bennett who kept sufficient distance from his pursuers to squeeze a shot past Anthony nash in the fifth minute.

Against such a strong wind it should have provided a better cushion than it did but Cork stepped it up, especially in the physical exchanges, and were able to gain superiority in most of the rucks that developed around Stephen O'Keeffe's puck-outs which came under pressure as a consequence.

By the 12th minute Conor Lehane, always a threat at half-forward, had equalised and though Stephen Bennett nudged Waterford ahead again Cork powered on, using the wind to steadily build an advantage.

Waterford really missed Jamie Barron who went off injured after only 14 minutes.

Stephen Bennett of Waterford in action against Damian Cahalane of Cork
Stephen Bennett of Waterford in action against Damian Cahalane of Cork

Seamus Harnedy might have had a goal on 23 minutes but for a smart advance by Stephen O'Keeffe to narrow the angle before Harnedy popped a point for a 0-8 to 1-2 lead.

There were slim pickings for the Waterford attack with Maurice Shanahan and Pauric Mahony struggling to get into the game.

Gleeson had the gap at just two points in the 27th minute, 0-9 to 1-4 but Cork hit the next five points unanswered to leave the home side in a challenging position.

They didn't give sufficient chase and while Shanahan did improve a straight red card in the 59th minute killed any prospect of a late surge.

By then Luke Meade had stretched the Waterford defence for Cork's only goal on 49 minutes to give them a 1-17 to 1-9 lead.

Cork also had Harnedy sent off late on for a second yellow card.

Scorers - Cork: C Lehane 0-8 (6fs), L Meade 1-1, B Cooper 0-3, D Brosnan, A Nash (f), M Coleman, S Kingston, M Cahalane, P Horgan, L McLoughlin, C Joyce, S Harnedy all 0-1 each.

Waterford: P Mahony 0-8 (8fs),  Shane Bennett 1-0, P Curran 0-2, A Gleeson, Stephen Bennett, M Shanahan all 0-1 each.

Cork: A Nash; S McDonnell, D Cahalane, C Spillane; C Joyce, M Ellis, M Coleman; L McLoughlin, D Brosnan; B Cooper, C Lehane, L Meade; A Cadogan, S Harnedy, Kingston. Subs: M Cahalane for Cadogan inj (31), P Horgan for Kingston (64), K Burke for McDonnell inj (66), C O'Leary for McLoughlin (68).

Waterford: S O'Keeffe; N Connors, B Coughlan, S Fives; D Lyons, T De Burca, K Moran; J Barron, Shane Bennett; C Dunford, A Gleeson, P Mahony; Stephen Bennett, M Walsh, M Shanahan. Subs: C Gleeson for Barron inj (14), T Devine for Dunford (48) P Curran for Shane Bennett (51), B O'Halloran for Gleeson (64), T Ryan for Walsh (64).

Referee: B Kelly (Westmeath)

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