Strong finish earns victory for Rebels
Cork 0-23 Waterford 1-17
Cork made it into the Bord Gáis Energy Munster U21HC final for the second year in a row, but it wasn't easy to get past a dogged Waterford at Páirc Uí Chaoimh last night.
A greater representation of senior players had made the Rebels the bookmakers' fancy, but it wasn't until Mark Coleman's 51st-minute point made it 0-17 to 1-13 that the home side led this encounter before pulling away in the closing stages.
Before an attendance of 3,260, Waterford were impressive in the first half, opting to play with the wind and carrying the game to their hosts, with a from John Paul Lucey putting them 1-2 to 0-2 in front before further points from Andrew Casey and Neil Montgomery gave them a cushion.
Cork did threaten goals - Billy Nolan denied Shane Kingston and then he and corner-back Darragh Lynch combined to repel Michael O'Halloran's effort - but half-time still saw Waterford ahead by 1-8 to 0-8.
Lucey and Darragh Lyons re-established the five-point lead but Cork had upped their game considerably, led by Darragh Fitzgibbon and Billy Hennessy. They finally hit the front through Coleman, with Dalton, Fitzgibbon, Jack O'Connor and sub Conor Cahalane on target as they saw out the game. The win guarantees Cork two more games under the new system which sees the Munster and Leinster champions play the runners-up from the other province. They now await Tipperary or Limerick - who play tonight - in the final on July 4, also at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Scorers - Cork: D Dalton 0-8f, D Fitzgibbon 0-3, S Kingston, R O'Flynn, J O'Connor, D Connery, L Healy 0-2 each, M Coleman, C Cahalane 0-1 each. Waterford: JP Lucey 1-2, J Prendergast 0-4f, B Nolan 0-3f A Casey 0-2, P Hogan, D Lyons, N Montgomery, I Daly, C Prunty, C Lyons 0-1 each.
Cork - G Collins; D Lowney, D Griffin, N O'Leary; E Murphy, M Coleman, B Hennessy; C O'Leary, D Fitzgibbon; R O'Flynn, D Dalton, M O'Halloran; L Healy, S Kingston, J O'Connor. Subs: D Connery for O'Halloran (36), C Cahalane for O'Leary (44), L O'Shea for O'Connor (60).
Waterford - B Nolan; J Curran, M Daykin, D Lynch; C Prunty, J Henley, G Cullinane; A Casey, M Mahony; D Lyons, JP Lucey, N Montgomery; E Meaney, J Prendergast, P Hogan. Subs: I Beecher for Casey (42), I Daly for Montgomery (54), C Lyons for Lynch (49), H Ruddle for Meaney (60).
Ref - J McCormack (Tipperary)