Cork bandwagon rolls on

munster championship hurling cork waterford
18 June 2017; Christopher Joyce, left, and Anthony Nash of Cork celebrate after the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Waterford and Cork at Semple Stadium in Thurles, Co Tipperary. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Cork booked their place in a first Munster senior hurling final since 2014, with a 0-23 to 1-15 victory over Waterford at Semple Stadium, Thurles.

The Rebels proved their win over All Ireland and Munster champions Tipperary was no fluke as Patrick Horgan scored 10 points to help his side to another impressive victory.

That despite Cork losing corner back Colm Spillane to a second yellow card in the 62nd minute, but they were able to hold out to set up a final meeting with Clare on 9 July.

While the Rebels will be hoping for a first Munster title since 2014, Clare will be targeting a first provincial title since 1998. It will be the first Munster senior final between the counties since 1999.

Final appearance

Waterford’s hopes of reaching a third successive Munster final appearance were alive and well as the sides went into the break level at 0-10 apiece.

Approaching half-time, Waterford had received a massive psychological lift by drawing level, and before Kevin Moran’s equaliser, Waterford goalkeeper produced heroics to deny first Alan Cadogan and then Seamus Harnedy.

As the second half progressed, Cork grew in stature, and even the dismissal of Spillane wasn’t enough to knock them off their stride and give Waterford a way back in.

Indeed, it was Cork who finished the stronger and they finished with ten different scorers.

Cork boss Kieran Kingston, said: “There was a lot written about this team during the league, and justifiably so, in terms of our consistency game to game and that’s something we’ve been working hard on.

munster championship hurling cork waterford
18 June 2017; Cork supporters congratulate Cork manager Kieran Kingston, second from right, and selector Diarmuid O’Sullivan after the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Waterford and Cork at Semple Stadium in Thurles, Co Tipperary. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

“On the back of the Tipperary game, to be honest I think the team didn’t get the credit in some quarters that it deserved for the display against what is an outstanding Tipperary team.

“I’m delighted they put in that performance today.

“Our fitness today, we did it for the entire game and in this heat I think that was important, in particular when we went down to 14 men. We had to chase everything and the lads responded hugely to that.”

Cork will go into their Munster decider against the Banner men as favourites, but Kingston won’t have to work too hard at keeping everyone’s feet on the ground.

“We don’t get too carried away. Our job as management is to prepare the team and we try and keep the outside out all the time. We have to concentrate on ourselves,” said Kingston.

“It’s one more game, it’s a Munster final and that’s it. We’ve won nothing, there’s no medals handed out today.”

18 June 2017; Patrick Horgan of Cork scores a point from a free in the 48th minute of the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Waterford and Cork at Semple Stadium in Thurles, Co Tipperary. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Waterford manager Derek McGrath, said: “No complaints. I thought we were lucky to be in it at half-time. SOK (Stephen O’Keeffe) kept us in it in the first half with a couple of brilliant saves.

“It’s disappointing from our point of view, everything we talked and planned to do, we just didn’t do.

“We were actually fairly conventional on the day and it didn’t suit us. We wanted, with the breeze, we wanted a situation whereby Cork would be coming into bodies as opposed to the way it worked.

“And, we ended up basically chasing the game in terms of everyone going for the ball when we had the long puc-out strategy in the first half.

munster championship hurling cork waterford
18 June 2017; Waterford manager Derek McGrath before the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Waterford and Cork at Semple Stadium in Thurles, Co Tipperary. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

“We didn’t play our game which is the disappointing thing and I think Cork actually played a mini-version of our game if you like at the end, with 13 or 14 bodies behind the ball.

“They have the skill to manipulate the ball. No complaints, no complaints, I’ve been championing how good Cork have been and I’m not trying to prove myself right on it but they’re just a better team all round.

“The disappointing thing for us is that we left any hint of intensity that we wanted to bring to the Championship, it looks like we left it in Fota during camp.”

Scorers for Cork: P Horgan 0-10 (7fs, 1 65), C Lehane 0-4, S Harnedy 0-2, M Ellis, M Coleman (sl), B Cooper, D Fitzgibbon, A Cadogan, L O’Farrell and M Cahalane 0-1 each.

Scorers for Waterford: Pauric Mahony 0-5 (1f), M Shanahan 1-1 (1f), A Gleeson, J Barron and Stephen Bennett 0-2 each, K Moran, Shane Bennett and B O’Halloran 0-1 each.

CORK: A Nash; S McDonnell, D Cahalane, C Spillane; C Joyce, M Ellis, M Coleman; B Cooper, D Fitzgibbon; L Meade, C Lehane, S Harnedy; A Cadogan, P Horgan, S Kingston.

Subs: M Cahalane for Kingston (55), D Kearney for Fitzgibbon (60), L O’Farrell for Meade (60), B Lawton for Lehane (68), D Brosnan for Cadogan (70+3).

WATERFORD: S O’Keeffe, S Fives, B Coughlan, N Connors; C Gleeson, T de Búrca, Philip Mahony; J Barron, K Moran; Stephen Bennett, Pauric Mahony, M Walsh; A Gleeson, M Shanahan, Shane Bennett.

Subs: T Ryan for Stephen Bennett (47), B O’Halloran for Shane Bennett (54), D Fives for S Fives (58), J Dillon for Gleeson (63), P Curran for Walsh (66).


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