Touchline action with Waterford’s Ethan Hurley and Cork’s Darren Murphy. Photo: Jim O’Sullivan.

Touchline action with Waterford’s Ethan Hurley and Cork’s Darren Murphy. Photo: Jim O’Sullivan.

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Wat. League 2; Cork League 1

Free flowing football and attacking football was not really the order of the day during the League of Ireland season at the RSC for the past number on months but on Sunday morning last that statement could not be made because both Waterford and Cork served up a thrilling and open game that was a joy to behold.

In many ways perhaps a draw would have been a fair outcome because the young visitors played some lovely football during the course of the hour but as the saying goes you make your own luck in football and as a result the young Blues deserved their hour of glory. Having said that this young Waterford team are well coached and managed by Gary Coad and Alan Sullivan and they were determined to enjoy every minute of their big day.

Speaking on Saturday, Gary Coad stated that this would be the biggest day in the young lifes of the Waterford players because it would be the first time they would have the honour of wearing a Waterford shirt and everyone of them certainly did themselves proud. They are now top of their qualifying group and they will be looking forward to playing the West Waterford-East Cork League in January. Every person present at the wet and windy RSC enjoyed the game and the football on offer made us all forget about the weather. More of the same please. Yes indeed this was well and truly a great pre Christmas cracker !

CJ makes his mark

The action began in the very first minute when the powerful Tramore striker Mishak Babudu went stroming down the right flank before getting in a cross which was well cut out by the Cork goalkeeper Eric Crowe. Cork’s Darragh Lucey then played in Ger Harte on six minutes but he was crowded out by three Waterford defenders. The visitors were back on the attack again on 11 minutes with Darren Murphy cutting in from the left but his shot on the run went wide of the far upright. Waterford broke the deadlock after 13 minutes of play. Another strong run down the right by Mishak Babudu was met at the far post by CJ Hamilton. His first effort was kicked off the goaline by defender Alan Browne but when the ball came back to him, CJ Hamilton made no mistake with his second attempt. Cork went on the attack three minutes later with Kevin Rocks playing the ball to Darren Murphy who fired in an angled drive from the right but the Waterford goalkeeper Declan Doyle produced a wonderful save by turning the ball away for a corner kick. Cork won quite a few free kick’s during the remainder of the first half, mostly taken by Darragh Lucey but the home defenders dealt superbly with his efforts.

Jamie Walsh winner

In the opening minutes of the second half Mishak Babudu crossed from the right. His ball was headed clear by defender Richard Sweetman into the path of Jamie Walsh who let fly at goal but goalkeeper Eric Crowe produced a fine save. Ger Harte then cracked in a super shot from 20 yards but the ball whistled inches wide of Declan Doyle’s right upright. Cork did however eventually equalise on 40 minutes. Sean Keane, their right full back went down the line before crossing into the Waterford penalty area. The ball was only half cleared by the home defence and Darragh Lucey played it back into the danger area and there was Ger Harte to hook the ball over the head of the stranded Waterford goalkeeper Declan Doyle from 25 yards. Tw minutes later Jamie Walsh made the Cork goalkeeper work with a well struck free kick. Shortly afterwards, Jamie Walsh did score what proved to be the winning goal. CJ Hamilton swung over a corner kick from the right. The Cork defenders found it difficult to clear Hamilton’s flag kick and when the ball fell to Jamie Walsh out on the left he found the far corner of the net from a very acute angle. Waterford went close again on 49 minutes wirh Mishak Babudu running down the right wing and then picking out CJ Hamilton but he was off target with a shot on the run. Cork thought they had grabbed a draw with time running out when Bryan Lane cut lose from 30 yards with a stinging right footed shot but the ball came crashing back off Declan Doyle’s left upright. The remaining minutes saw Crok pile on the pressure but the Waterford youngsters at the back stood tall and firm and as a result their Inter League careers got off to a flying start.

Waterford League (Full panel, one to twenty): Declan Doyle, Jack Hale, Liam Mulligan, Dale O’Mahony, Ethan Hurley, Conor Whittle, Patrick Fitzgerald, Jamie Walsh, Evan O’Donnell, Misshak Babudu, CJ Hamilton, Kieran Abdu, Eamon Moore, Mark Walsh, Ross Batty, Tadgh Whelan, Jamie Hunt, Shane Mackey, Andrew O’Connor, Sam O’Neill, Ryan Sinnott.

Cork League (Full panel, one to twenty): Eric Crowe, Sean Keane, Alan Kiely, Richard Sweetman, Alan Browne, Kevin Rocks, Ger Harte, Darragh Lucey, Sean O’Mahony, Darren Murphy, Darragh Corcoran, Anthony McElvey, Aaron Tang, Kenneth Dawson, Liam O’Connor, Mark O’Shea, Bryan Lane, Eoin Sexton, Corey Long, Aaron O’Mahony.

Referee: John Purcell.