Saturday 17 February 2018

Red mist descends on Leeside as Waterford emerge victorious

Cork 1-14 Waterford 0-20

Maurice Shanahan in action against Stephen McDonnell. Cork. Picture credit: Eóin Noonan / SPORTSFILE
Maurice Shanahan in action against Stephen McDonnell. Cork. Picture credit: Eóin Noonan / SPORTSFILE
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

A fractious end to this Allianz Div 1A and the salvation of a late Patrick Horgan goal direct from a free doesn't disguise just how bad Cork were for so long in Pairc Ui Rinn.

The expected backlash from last week's defeat to Galway materialised much too late with the suspicion that it had taken a few adverse refereeing decisions to goad them into a response, particularly after a high challenge that forced Aidan Walsh from the field went unpunished and actually gifted Colin Dunford a point for a 0-19 to 0-12 lead on 56 minutes.

Two players, Waterford's Maurice Shanahan and Cork's Alan Cadogan were subsequently sent off on straight red cards and to their credit Cork did rally with some decent contributions off the bench and some leadership up front from Conor Lehane and Horgan.

But for the most part they were very poor and manager Kieran Kingston has quite a job now to keep them in this division.

Waterford controlled this game for a long time but their failure to close this game out was a disappointment.

Still they are top of the division and showing a lot of maturity in the top flight over the first two weekends. 

They had set up along expected lines with Darragh Fives again adapting well to sweeping duties and Austin Gleeson pushing further upfield where he joined Jamie Barron and Colin Dunford in a congested midfield.

Not surprisingly goal chances were at an absolute premium though Patrick Curran did manage to find some space behind the Cork defence and draw a great save from Anthony Nash.

Waterford had eased their way into a 0-5 to 0-2 lead by the 13th minute before Cork shook themselves and points from Daniel Kearney and Brian Lawton reduced the gap to the minimum.

But local optimism was shortlived as Waterford continued to exercise control through the calm and measured play of Philip Mahony, Barry Coughlan and Kevin Moran in defence and especially the dynamism of Jamie Barron and Dunford around the middle.

In truth their interval lead should have been double the four points, 0-11 to 0-7, it was, given their territorial dominance.

Their aerial dominance was never more pronounced than it was for their final point of the half when Jake Dillon, not the tallest, eased above the competition to catch a Gleeson sideline and score.

The introduction of Alan Cadogan at half-time gave them some impetus but not before Waterford stretched their lead with points from Shanahan (free) and Dunford.

But four wides didn't help home progress and soon Waterford were easing clear again, Gleeson, Bennett and Barron all hitting glorious points  as the lead stretched to double figures, 0-16 to 0-8 by the 47th minute.

That Dunford point pressed them seven points clear but their failure to create any more goal chances left this game open for Cork to attack in the final quarter.

Scorers - Waterford: M Shanahan 0-6 (5fs, 1 65), A Gleeson 0-3 (1f), C Dunford, J Barron, P Curran, J Dillon all 0-2 each, D Fives, S Bennett, K Moran 0-1 each.

Cork: P Horgan 1-6 (1-0 pen, 0-4fs), C Lehane 0-3, B Lawton 0-2, D Kearney, A Walsh (sl), A Cadogan all 0-1 each.

Waterford: S O'Keeffe; S Fives, B Coughlan, N Connors; P Mahony, D Fives, K Moran; J Barron, A Gleeson; M Walsh, P Curran, J Dillon; M Shanahan, S Bennett, C Dunford. Subs: B O'Halloran for Bennett (59), T Devine for Curran (61), M Kearney for Dunford (69)

Cork: A Nash; C Spillane, S McDonnell, S O'Neill; D Cahalane, C Joyce, W Egan; D Kearney, L McLoughlin; B Cooper, P Horgan, A Walsh; B Lawton, C Lehane, W Leahy. Subs: A Cadogan for Leahy (ht), S Moylan for Kearney (ht), M Ellis for Egan (45), C Murphy for Spillane (47), P O'Sullivan for McLoughlin (65).

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