Waterford 2-17; Cork 1-13
The Waterford minor hurlers qualified for their second successive Munster final when they saw off a spirited Cork comeback before a big Walsh Park crowd on Wednesday evening.
For a while during a nail-biting second half it looked as if Waterford’s crown was slipping away as Cork scored point after point. But this Waterford team, as they showed in the drawn game last Saturday week, are made of strong stuff and in a tremendous finish they hung on for a famous victory.
Cork had the temerity to take an early lead when the ever-dangerous Brian Hartnett converted an early free but Waterford, aided by a stiff breeze, were soon back on level terms when Pauric Mahony penalised indiscipline in the Cork defence.
It wasn’t long before Waterford were two up when Jake Dillon scored a tremendous point followed by an equally good effort from Martin O’Neill.
The 2009 Munster champions were given a significant boost when a free from all of 100 yards by Eoin Madigan sailed towards the Cork goal. Although ’keeper William McCarthy got a hand to the ball, it still found its way over the line for a Waterford major.
A matter of seconds later Madigan’s club colleague Jake Dillon scored another tremendous point and Waterford were four to the good.
At this stage the Deise boys were dominant all over the pitch and Cork struggled to make any inroads up front. When they did get the ball upfield they found Waterford defenders Jamie Barron and Luke Egan at their imperious best. Indeed, their shackling of Cork duo Brian Hartnett and Jamie Coughlan went a long way to securing this Waterford victory.
In the 17th minute, a long delivery by Eamonn Murphy eluded Cormac Heffernan but the big full-forward was dogged in his pursuit. His persistence paid off when he managed to swing the ball into the path of Jake Dillon who made progress before sending an unstoppable drive past McCarthy.
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