Cork hurlers are beaten in league opener away to Waterford despite bright start

By Rory Noonan  – The Echo

Waterford 1-24 Cork 3-17

Disappointment for Cork as the got their hurling league campaign off to a losing start at Walsh Park.

Cork got off to the perfect start, with two goals in just over a minute. The first came after the full-forward line combined, with Horgan and Kingston setting up Lehane to score. A minute later and Horgan turned provider again, this time setting up Kingston, to make it 2-0 to no score, with three minutes gone.  Neil Montgomery got Waterford off the mark when he scored from a sideline, with Horgan responding for Cork from a free. Waterford started to get the upper hand, with Stephen Bennett on target from a free, followed by two from Kieran Bennett, to make it 2-1 to 0-4 after nine minutes. Darragh Fitzgibbon scored for the Rebels, but Calum Lyons and Montgomery combined to set up Patrick Curran for a goal to bring Waterford right back into contention. Bennett hit two more frees, along with a point from Jack Fagan to see them lead afer 16 minutes, 1-7 to 2-2. Harnedy got his first of the game, with Kieran Bennett replying for Waterford. Horgan and Bennett exchanged scores, before a second from Harnedy, followed by a Horgan free had the sides level again. Bennett hit another free, with Cahalane replying but a strong finish to the half, with two more from Bennett along with one from Curran saw Waterford lead at the break 1-13 to 2-8.

Stephen Bennett hit the first two points of the second-half, with Horgan replying for Cork from a free. Bennett was on target again, along with Kieran Bennett as they kept the scoreboard ticking over and with 48 minutes gone they led by 1-17 to 2-11.

Cork responded with two points from Coleman and another Horgan free.  Stephen Bennett, Prendergast and Iarlaith Daly hit three in-a-row for Waterford rto put them back in front, with Fitzgibbon on target for the Rebels. Two from Mikey Kearney, along with one from Curran had Waterford in control, but a late goal from Kingston gave Cork a glimmer of a hope, as he made it 3-16 to 1-24. Cahalane got his third of the game, but two late wides from Cork saw their chances of a draw disappear.

Scorers for Waterford: S Bennett 0-11 (0-7 f, 0-1 65), P Curran 1-2, K Bennett 0-5, M Kearney 0-2, I Daly, J Fagan, N Montgomery (sl), J Prendergast 0-1 each.

Cork: S Kingston 2-2, P Horgan 0-6 f, C Lehane 1-0, S Harnedy, D Fitzgibbon, M Coleman 0-2 each, D Cahalane 0-3.

WATERFORD: S O’Keeffe; C Gleeson, C Prunty, S McNulty; C Lyons, D Fives, I Daly; J Prendergast, J Dillon; N Montgomery, J Fagan, K Bennett; D Hutchinson, S Bennett, P Curran.

Subs: S Fives for C Gleeson (30m), M Kearney for J Dillon (49m), P Hogan for D Hutchinson (52m), D Lyons for N Montgomery (58m), T Barron for J Fagan (62m),

CORK: A Nash; N O’Leary, R Downey, S O’Donoghue; C O’Leary, T O’Mahony, D Cahalane; B Cooper, M Coleman; S Harnedy, D Fitzgibbon, A Walsh; C Lehane, S Kingston, P Horgan.

Subs: L Meade for A Walsh (49m), S O’Leary Hayes for N O’Leary (52m), S Twomey for C Lehane (60m), R O’Flynn for S Harnedy (67m),

Ref: John Keenan, Wicklow.