Cork were given an almighty scare by Waterford at Fraher Field in Dungarvan, but edged home 1-12 to 1-11 to advance to the Munster SFC semi-finals.
The win set up a showdown with Tipperary for a place in the final, but Cork manager Peadar Healy will know that his charges will need to raise their game for their 10 June meeting with Tipp, who knocked out the Rebels on their way to reaching last year’s final and the All Ireland semi-finals.
Cork’s goal came when Mark Collins soloed through before picking out Paul Kerrigan to fist to the net.
Waterford goalkeeper Stephen Enright produced a fine save just moments after the restart to prevent a second Cork goal, with Colm O’Neill the man denied.
It proved an even more significant moment when Gavin Crotty then found the back of the Cork goal to level things up – Crotty shooting low to the net after Cork keeper Ken O’Halloran had failed to deal with a free.
Waterford edged ahead through captain Paul Whyte and Donie Breathnach, only for Donncha O’Connor and James Loughrey to hit back for the Rebels.
The two sides traded scores before Cork were dealt a blow when they lost Alan O’Connor to a red card on 65 minutes. But it was the Rebels who responded the better and Paul Kerrigan and Donncha O’Connor pointed to put Cork ahead.
A frantic finish saw Waterford draw level once again – through Paul Whyte and Breathnach – as the game moved into seven additional minutes of injury time.
Points from Colm O‘Neill and Kerrigan proved just enough to get Cork over the finishing line, although Breathnach’s score made sure for a nervy finish before the Rebels could breathe a sigh of relief.