Fanning wants 'no crazy reactions' after another lost summer for Déise
Cork 2-30 Waterford 2-17
No more of Waterford then, another summer lost and a long unappealing vista of rueful reflections, and possible recriminations, to follow.
At Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday, the expected death blow was landed by Cork, seizing on their opponents' vulnerability and outscoring them 0-13 to 0-3 over the final 20 minutes.
There was some remote chance that Waterford could linger if they pulled off a victory but they appeared half-resigned to their fate, even going for a new-look side, as if already thinking to a new season.
Two debutants, goalkeeper Billy Nolan and corner-back Darragh Lyons, were unveiled and they left out Austin Gleeson, Stephen O'Keeffe, Maurice Shanahan and Kevin Moran - reflecting an altered path, the conversion from contenders to a county entering a serious phase of soul-searching and uncertainty.
Retirements There will be retirements, it's expected, and the sight of Michael 'Brick' Walsh as a second-half substitute might be the last in a Waterford shirt after a long and distinguished service. "Right now we have to regroup, reflect, take some positives out of it - we know there aren't a lot of those, we're not naive enough to think otherwise - but there are things that have to be addressed and looked at," said manager Páraic Fanning.
"That has to be done in a measured, balanced way, without the crazy reactions we've had already from people who don't understand, with the greatest respect, what has actually gone into the team, how these lads have prepared."
Amid rumours of a troubled Waterford camp, Cork were business-like, with Patrick Horgan scoring 1-10, nine from frees, that part of his game recovering after a dip in the win over Limerick.
"I'm delighted with the performance, it matched the performance three weeks ago against Limerick," beamed John Meyler. "We were coming in with no game under our belt which meant we were a small bit rusty."
Horgan's goal in the sixth minute set Cork on their way but Waterford, with the wind, were sticking with them for much of the opening half. Stephen Bennett nailed six frees and there were excellent points from Jamie Barron, Calum Lyons and Shane Bennett, while the latter almost goaled when his kicked effort off the ground went narrowly wide.
Yet Cork looked like they had more in them and, leading 2-11 to 0-11, they went out after the break with the wind to their back to begin shooting into the Blackrock end. Using the wind they began picking off scores from distance. Alan Cadogan returned for his first start since the defeat by Waterford in the 2017 All-Ireland semi final and scored 1-2, vying for man of the match with Horgan.
His goal four minutes before half-time knocked Waterford back on their heels, and while Stephen Bennett had a fine goal soon after the interval, Cork responded with five scores on the trot, three of them from Horgan frees. Waterford sprung Gleeson from the bench after 48 minutes and within two minutes they had a second goal when Shane Bennett reduced the deficit to four points.
On came Conor Lehane, Shane Kingston and Tim O'Mahony and Cork accelerated clear, Kingston hitting three points, and O'Mahony two. Seamus Harnedy was denied a goal by a fine Nolan save in the first half but still nicked three points.
Bossed Bill Cooper and Darragh Fitzgibbon bossed midfield and Cork were able to deal with the sweeping Tadhg de Búrca, using the ball intelligently by playing it wide into the space for Cadogan and Horgan to run on to.
Cooper set up the goal for Cadogan in the 31st minute, after his own effort to score a goal had been denied by a good save by Nolan.
At the back Eoin Cadogan had a big battle with Stephen Bennett and Seán O'Donoghue gave a fine performance of vigilant defending. But Cork know that they can expect a more thorough examination from Clare when they head to Ennis for their final match next Sunday. "We need a result in Ennis now to be in the top three," said Meyler, "that's our primary objective."
Scorers -Cork: P Horgan 1-10 (9f), A Cadogan 1-2, S Harnedy, D Fitzgibbon, S Kingston 0-3 each, M Coleman, T O'Mahony 0-2 each, D Kearney, L Meade, B Cooper, M Ellis, C Lehane 0-1 each. Waterford: Stephen Bennett 1-8 (7f), Shane Bennett 1-2, J Prendergast, P Hogan 0-2 each, J Barron, C Lyons, A Gleeson (s/l) 0-1 each.
Cork - A Nash 7; S O'Donoghue 9, E Cadogan 7, N O'Leary 7; R Downey 7, M Ellis 7, M Coleman 8; B Cooper 8, D Fitzgibbon 8; D Kearney 7, S Harnedy 8, L Meade 7; A Cadogan 9, P Horgan 9, A Walsh 6. Subs: S Kingston 8 for Walsh (41); C Lehane 7 for Kearney (48); C Joyce 6 for Downey (56); R O'Flynn 6 for Meade (64); T O'Mahony 7 for Cooper (66).
Waterford - B Nolan 8; S McNulty 7, C Prunty 6, D Lyons 6; C Lyons 7, T de Búrca 7, C Gleeson 7; J Barron 7, M Kearney 7; Shane Bennett 8, B O'Halloran 6, J Prendergast 7; T Ryan 6, Stephen Bennett 8, P Hogan 7. Subs: S Roche 7 for Kearney (h-t); A Gleeson 7 for Ryan (49); C Roche 6 for O'Halloran (53); S Fives 6 for D Lyons (55); M Walsh 6 for Prendergast (64).
Ref - J Keenan (Wicklow)