Waterford finally get off the mark against depleted Cork
Late scores from Stephen Bennett and Stephen Roche ensured they took the points
Waterford’s Shane Fives is caught by Christopher Joyce of Cork during their Allianz League Division One clash. Photo: Oisin Keniry/Inpho
Cork 1-15 Waterford 1-20
Waterford claimed their first Allianz HL Division 1A points of the current campaign as they pulled away from 14-man Cork in the second half at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
The visitors had led by 1-12 to 1-9 at half-time after a surge in the wake of Cork captain Séamus Harnedy’s 25th-minute dismissal, but despite losing Conor Lehane to injury, Cork came out strongly at the start of the second half.
Two points from Patrick Horgan – he would finish with 1-10 – were allied to scores from Tim O’Mahony and Mark Ellis and with Waterford only having a long-range Austin Gleeson free in response, the sides were level at 1-13 each.
However, that was as good as it got for Cork as they would add just two more points in the final 21 minutes while Waterford reasserted their superiority with a trio of frees from Pauric Mahony and late scores from subs Stephen Bennett and Stephen Roche ensured that they took the points.
Manager Derek McGrath was happy with the display, even if he admitted that the win is unlikely to be enough to help them avoid the relegation play-off.
“We were searching for form,” he said, “not lacking confidence but desperately looking for a win among ourselves as a group.
“You can talk about process all you want and that’s what we’ve been talking about sticking to it, we’re training out there now with the summer in mind, but it was nice to get two points on the board although based on other results, the likelihood is we will be involved in a relegation match but it’s good to get a confidence boost in terms of the points.”
The sides were level five times as 12 points were shared in the opening 18 minutes before Horgan struck for a goal after Bill Cooper’s delivery. Waterford immediately responded as Mikey Kearney netted and Gleeson put them in front only for Horgan to level.
Cork then lost Harnedy after an incident with Barry Coughlan and Waterford finished the half stronger to take that three-point lead into the break.
Cork coach John Meyler struggled to take too many positives.
“There are always positives,” he said, “but I’ll find them for you later if you give me a few minutes to give me thoughts to myself.
“It’s disappointing, the performance, and that’s really it. It was up to 1-7 after 20, 25 minutes, we were going really well, the movement was good and we got a good score but unfortunately they came back through the middle. I’m not making excuses but losing Seamus and Conor was a loss.
“I’m disappointed. I thought we were going quite well up until the sending off. The sending off took the wind out of sails, we lost a key forward and to lose Lehane at half-time and they are in no way excuses because we didn’t play well enough.”
Waterford: S O’Keeffe; S Fives, B Coughlan, N Connors; T de Búrca, Philip Mahony, C Gleeson, A Gleeson (0-4, 3f); J Barron (0-1), K Moran; M Shanahan, M Kearney (1-1), P Mahony (0-10, 8f); T Devine, C Dunford (0-1).
Subs: S Roche (0-1) for Shanahan (48), B O’Halloran for Dunford (48), S Bennett (0-2) for Devine (57), J Dillon for Kearney (57).
Cork: A Nash; C O’Sullivan, E Cadogan, C Spillane (0-1); C Joyce, T O’Mahony (0-1), D Browne; M Ellis (0-1), M Coleman; B Cooper, D Brosnan, C Lehane (0-2); A Cadogan, S Harnedy, P Horgan (1-10, 9f).
Subs: R O’Flynn for Cooper (half-time), L McLoughlin for Joyce (54), L Meade for Brosnan (58), M Cahalane for O’Sullivan (64).
Referee: S Cleere (Kilkenny).