Deise young guns step up to plate for Fitzgerald
Waterford crystal Cup (SH) Final
IT might not be taken on a parade through the streets of Waterford, but Davy Fitzgerald was pleased to see his side take home the title from Pairc Ui Rinn on Saturday.
Seven unanswered points early in the second half pushed the Deise into an unassailable 0-16 to 0-9 lead as an inexperienced Cork side were kept at bay.
"Nothing beats winning I suppose," said manager Fitzgerald afterwards, "and it was nice for us to be able to pick up a trophy.
"A lot of those lads out there hadn't played before and it was good for them to get that experience, that's the name of the game.
"We had a couple of established lads and then a few who were brand new and younger lads -- we were missing about 17 players who would be in with a shout," added Fitzgerald.
While there are some big names yet to return to the Waterford fold, the visitors were still able to call on more experience than their opponents, who named a very experimental team, inspired by teenager Conor Lehane.
The wing-forward scored seven points from play for Denis Walsh's side, but while Waterford relied upon midfielder Richie Foley for 10 of their points, they had a greater scoring spread.
Once they had weathered the early efforts of a wind-assisted Cork, Waterford took control, Shane O'Sullivan and Stephen Molumphy on top at midfield as they edged ahead, and by half-time they led by 0-9 to 0-6.
Three points in the first two minutes of the second half, from Lehane, Bill Cooper and impressive sub Cian McCarthy, had Cork level, but seven points in a row from Waterford -- five from Foley -- put the visitors in a secure position.
While Lehane continued to do his best, Waterford were too strong and Seamus Prendergast was unlucky not to get a goal for them near the end, while Foley continued to be accurate from frees.
It leaves Waterford well placed ahead of next week's league opener with Dublin.
"We have four lads coming back this week," Fitzgerald said.
"We have six lads who are out injured for the next six weeks, and there's then the De La Salle lads, so there's a nice lot to come back into what we had today."
Scorers -- Waterford: R Foley 0-10 (7f, 1 '65'), S Prendergast 0-3, S Casey, E Murphy 0-2 each, S O'Sullivan, C Ryan, G Crotty, P Mahony 0-1 each. Cork: C Lehane 0-7, C McCarthy 0-4 (1f), B Cooper 0-2, C Joyce, R Ryan, E Murphy (1f) 0-1 each.
WATERFORD -- C Hennessy; D Fives J Maher, J Nagle; S O'Sullivan, M Walsh, C Ryan; S Molumphy, R Foley; G Crotty, B O'Halloran, P Mahony; S Casey, S Prendergast, E Murphy. Subs: S Hannon for O'Halloran (5, inj), K McGrath for Ryan (58), E Kelly for Crotty (68), J Prendergast for O'Sullivan (70).
CORK -- M Coleman; P O'Leary, C Fogarty, S Murphy; C Joyce, M Ellis, R Ryan; G Callanan, B Lawton; T Murray, B Cooper, C Lehane; J Coughlan, E Murphy, B Hartnett. Subs: C McCarthy for Lawton (29), A Nash for Coleman (h-t), S Harnedy for Cooper (50), M Cussen for E Murphy (50), L O'Farrell for Hartnett (56).
Ref -- M O'Connor (Limerick).