Cork 1-18 Waterford 1-24
Waterford will meet Clare on Sunday for a place in the final of the Munster Hurling League after they overcame Cork following a strong second half at Mallow on Wednesday night.
In manager Páraic Fanning’s first game in charge, the visitors had trailed by 1-11 to 0-12 at half-time following a strong finish to the first half by the Rebels and Michael O’Halloran put a goal between the teams immediately after the restart.
However, Waterford were level as Michael Walsh, beginning his 17th year on the county panel, netted for them, having been switched from midfield to full forward. Thomas Ryan put them ahead and they would hold the lead from there to the end.
Having trailed by 0-4 to 0-3 after 10 minutes, Waterford scored seven of the next eight points, with Stephen Bennett – who finished with 13 points – Jamie Barron and Mikey Kearney all on target.
However, just as it looked that Cork had allowed the game to slip away from them, they responded well. First, Aidan Walsh's goal got them back in the game and then Declan Dalton's excellent free-taking saw them eat into the lead and then eradicate it. Cormac Murphy was another to find his range and by half-time John Meyler's side led by 1-11 to 0-12.
O’Halloran extended the advantage further after the start of the second half but Walsh cancelled out the lead and then Waterford pushed on impressively, with Ryan scoring twice and Barron getting his second as they led by three.
While Cork stayed in touch for a time, a trio of bad wides was costly and three Bennett frees, followed by Mikey Kearney’s fourth point, left it 1-21 to 1-15 with six minutes left.
Cork had one last kick, scores from Tim O'Mahony, Christopher Joyce and Dalton to come to within a goal, but Bennett (two) and sub Jack Prendergast had points as Waterford finished strongly.
CORK: P Collins; N O'Leary, D Griffin, D Lowney; C Joyce (0-1), T O'Mahony (0-1), R Downey; C Cahalane, W Kearney (0-1); C Murphy (0-3), M O'Halloran (0-2), A Walsh (1-0); J Coughlan, D Dalton (0-9, seven frees), R O'Flynn (0-1).
Subs: C Beausang for O'Flynn (25 mins, inj), C O'Callaghan for Lowney (34, inj), E Murphy for Walsh (half-time), S O'Leary Hayes for Downey (65), P Leopold for Coughlan (66).
WATERFORD: B Nolan; S McNulty, S Fives, N Connors; J Henley, M O'Brien, K Moran (0-2); J Barron (0-2), M Walsh (1-0); DJ Foran, M Kearney (0-4), B O'Halloran; T Ryan (0-2), S Bennett (0-13, 12 frees), C Roche.
Subs: C Prunty for O'Brien (55 mins), S Roche for Walsh (56), A Gleeson for Moran (66), J Prendergast (0-1) for Roche (67), K Bennett for McNulty (70).
Referee: J Murphy (Limerick).