Denis Hurley reports from Fraher Field- report from 42.ie
CORK PROGRESSED TO the final of the Co-Op SuperStores Munster HL as they saw off Waterford by four points at Dungarvan on Sunday afternoon.
A crowd of 2,976 was present at Fraher Field to witness what was typical pre-season fare, with home side Waterford having 16 wides while Cork built on the pre-Christmas win over Kerry. They will face Clare or Limerick in the decider on 12 January.
Points from Conor Lehane and Michael O’Halloran had put Cork 0-3 to 0-1 ahead before Waterford struck for a goal on nine minutes, Kieran Power’s delivery breaking for Stephen Bennett, who set up Patrick Curran for a good finish.
That score was key for much of the half, with Bennett putting Waterford 1-3 to 0-5 ahead on 21, but Cork dominated from there until half-time. Lehane’s third had them level and he put them in front again from a 65, awarded after his goal attempt from a close-range free was repelled.
Then, on 27, Cork moved four ahead as Chris O’Leary’s ball from deep wasn’t dealt with by the home defence, allowing Tommy O’Connell – just on as a blood sub – to latch on to possession and fire home.
Cork might have had another goal just after that following a good move but Nolan smothered O’Halloran’s half-chance. Nevertheless, points from Jack O’Connor (two) and Lehane with his fifth had Cork seven ahead before Waterford responded in added time through Stephen Bennett and Jack Lyons to trail by five.
The home side should have eaten into that lead on the resumption but were hampered by poor shooting. They did eventually get off the mark through a Curran free on 40 and he added another four minutes later when play was brought back following a Mikey Kearney goal chance that went wide.
While Luke Meade broke Cork’s second-half duck after that, Waterford remained on top and Curran’s fifth brought them within two with 20 minutes left. Robbie O’Flynn and Aidan Walsh looked to have given Cork breathing space again but Waterford couldn’t be shaken and Shane McNulty, Curran and Kevin Moran had points to leave just one in it with nine left.
Ultimately, Waterford were paid to pay for their inaccuracy though as Lehane, Aidan Walsh and O’Connell made the game safe.
Scorers for Cork: Conor Lehane 0-6 (0-3 frees, 0-1 65), Tommy O’Connell 1-1, Jack O’Connor 0-3, Luke Meade, Robbie O’Flynn, Aidan Walsh 0-2 each, Michael O’Halloran 0-1.
Scorers for Waterford: Patrick Curran 1-6 (0-5 frees), Stephen Bennett 0-2 (0-1 free), Shane McNulty, Kevin Moran, Kieran Bennett, Darragh Lyons, Calum Lyons 0-1 each.
1. Ger Collins (Ballinhassig)
2. Seán O’Leary Hayes (Midleton)
4. Eoghan Murphy (Sarsfields)
20. Niall O’Leary (Castlelyons)
5. Chris O’Leary (Valley Rovers)
6. Bill Cooper (Youghal)
18. Damien Cahalane (St Finbarr’s)
8. Aidan Walsh (Kanturk)
9. Ryan Walsh (Kanturk)
10, Robbie O’Flynn (Erin’s Own)
11. Conor Lehane (Midleton)
12. Seán Twomey (Courcey Rovers)
15. Jack O’Connor (Sarsfields)
14. Michael O’Halloran (Blackrock)
13. Luke Meade (Newcestown)
21. Tommy O’Connell (Midleton) for Twomey (25-half-time, blood)
22. Shane O’Regan (Watergrasshill) for O’Halloran (55)
25. Seán O’Donoghue (Inniscarra) for Ryan Walsh (60)
O’Connell for Lehane (65)
19. David Lowney (Clonakilty) for Cooper (68)
1. Billy Nolan (Roanmore)
4. Shane McNulty (De La Salle)
3. Conor Prunty (Abbeyside)
2. Conor Gleeson (Fourmilewater)
7. Kevin Moran (De La Salle)
6. Kieran Power (Dungarvan)
5. Iarlaith Daly (Lismore)
8. Kieran Bennett (Ballysaggart)
9. Jake Dillon (De La Salle)
12. Jack Fagan (De La Salle)
11. Darragh Lyons (Dungarvan)
10. Neil Montgomery (Abbeyside)
13. Billy Power (Clonea)
14. Stephen Bennett (Ballysaggart)
15. Patrick Curran (Dungarvan)
17. Calum Lyons (Ballyduff Lower) for Daly (35, injured)
20. Mikey Kearney (Ballyduff Upper) for Montgomery (half-time)
23. Jack Prendergast (Lismore) for Fagan (half-time)
18. Tom Barron (Fourmilewater) for Stephen Bennett (53)
21. Shane Ryan (Fourmilewater) for Curran (66)
Referee: John McCormack (Tipperary)