Former Waterford captain Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh made a welcome return to the county senior hurling team at the Ballyduff Upper grounds on Bank Holiday Monday in a fundraiser for the host club’s Pa Kearney Benevolent Fund.
‘Brick’ played alongside Tony Browne and Ken McGrath in the half-back line against a Cork side which featured just one of the 17 players used in the NHL defeat to Galway just 24 hours earlier.
However, Passage corner-back Noel Connors had to retire early in this game with an injury which is bound to be a cause of some concern to Davy Fitzgerald in the coming days.
Waterford needed a late Thomas Ryan pointed free to beat what was very much a second-string Cork selection. The Deisemen held a 1-9 to 2-5 interval lead. Luke O’Farrell registered the first goal of the evening when he scored 13 minutes in. Eight minutes later Stephen Molumphy cancelled out O’Farrell’s goal when he tapped in, but two minutes from the break Cork raised a second green flag courtesy of a Cian McCarthy 21m free.
Denis Walsh made five changes at the break and Cork were soon in front thanks to points from Adrian Mannix and Tony Murphy within two minutes of the restart.
The Rebels were unable to pull away significantly from Waterford and were made to pay the penalty when Thomas Ryan twice converted penalties, firstly on 41 minutes and again on 58.
In between these Cork were awarded a penalty themselves and Leigh Desmond planted the ball in the net. Two minutes later Tony Murphy had Cork three points to the good when he scored a third goal for the Rebels.
Stephen Molumphy hit a point for Davy Fitzgerald’s charges to give them a one point lead but with time ticking down Desmond, who scored 1-7 against Waterford in last year’s Munster Intermediate Final, brought his tally for the evening to 1-12 until Ryan’s late point sealed victory for Waterford.