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Allianz Hurling League Division 1 – Waterford 0-18 Cork 0-17
Moran hits late to hurt Rebel cause
Waterford 0-18 Cork 0-17
Allianz Hurling League Div 1
By Cliona Foley for the Irish Independent newspaper
Monday March 14 2011
Waterford boss Davy Fitzgerald may be facing a big personal disciplinary test later this week, but his players certainly gave him plenty of reason for pride and optimism with this feisty display at Dungarvan yesterday. For the second year in a row a late Decies score settled a typically competitive league clash between these great Munster rivals. Last year Eoin Kelly snatched a late equaliser, and this time the heroics were provided by returning De La Salle duo John Mullane and Kevin Moran, who combined in a great give-and-go down the right wing before Moran grabbed Waterford’s 69th-minute winner.
Cork’s Willie Egan had a subsequent long-range chance from a difficult angle to share the points but swung it wide. Victory, even by so close a margin, kept Waterford’s league hopes alive and Fitzgerald was clearly delighted. “A good bit of character shown again and I’m delighted for the lads who got on and came back,” he said, pointing out that Moran’s two points from play from wing-back once again demonstrated his great versatility. “We’ve Kilkenny next, which doesn’t make it any easier; they’re going to want a big performance the next day and we’ve still work to do, it’s only mid-March.”
Poor attendances and games have caused hand-wringing aplenty about hurling this season, but the anticipation ahead of this pairing, who seem incapable of providing a boring game these days, was demonstrated by a decent crowd of 6,000 to Fraher Field, which caused such a log-jam that throw-in had to be delayed by 15 minutes. And they weren’t disappointed. ‘First touch’ on either side was far from perfect but, in typical Cork/Waterford fashion, they created loads of space and went at it hammer and tongs.
Despite a good Waterford start there was only a point between the teams at half-time and they were level seven times in the second half before Moran’s heroics eventually separated them. Waterford should have been ahead by much more than 0-11 to 0-10 at half-time, considering they’d had the aid of a gale. The wind dropped considerably afterwards, yet Cork still dominated the second-half exchanges but just couldn’t apply the right finish. Manager Denis Walsh felt they should have come away with more.
“The way that results went in other games, even a draw would have been good for us and we had chances, even at the end there,” he said ruefully. “Galway beating Kilkenny might change it now for everyone but we’ve Tipp next and that’ll decide the league for us.” Cork dominated midfield throughout the first half thanks to Lorcan McLoughlin and Pa Cronin, and Donal Og Cusack’s trademark short puck-outs, but up front only Patrick Horgan really cut loose. Asked afterwards if he wasn’t tempted to make changes to his attack earlier, Walsh stressed: “We got ample possession in our full-forward line, we just didn’t execute it.” He clearly trusted this forwards to come good and gave them plenty of time to do so, but it’s fair to say his half-forwards and full-forward never really got going.
His first substitution was defensive and a particularly good one as the introduction of Ronan Curran allowed John Gardiner to switch onto and curb Maurice Shanahan’s growing second-half influence. Shanahan had the game’s best goal chance after 55 minutes when he bore down on the square, only to be foiled by a brilliant Brian Murphy block. But Fitzgerald took great heart that his team stuck to their task as the game see-sawed to its dramatic conclusion. Shane Walsh, who started at full-forward, was Waterford’s hero with five points from play, including two in a row in the late stages that seemed to give them a second wind.
The return of Noel Connors (from injury) and the De La Salle boys from club duty all helped, though Cork’s Stephen McDonnell did a relatively good job on Mullane, despite some of his fabulous touches. Ken McGrath struggled on his first start of the season, but midfield was hardly his ideal placement, as Fitzgerald conceded, and David O’Sullivan did well on his debut at wing-back. In truth, this was a day where defenders from both sides dominated, with Cork’s Willie Egan and Waterford’s Wayne Hutchinson and Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh all catching the eye. One thing that certainly contributed to the free-flowing nature of the game was Barry Kelly’s refereeing, but at times it seemed a little too laissez-faire as players really had to battle to win their frees. Cork didn’t get their first free until 20 minutes into the match, and while this ‘let it run’ attitude is often welcomed, it is fair to wonder if the same standard is being applied by all other hurling referees across all divisions.
Man of the Match: S Walsh (Waterford).
Scorers — Waterford: S Walsh , R Foley (5f) 0-5 each, J Mullane 0-3, K Moran 0-2, P O’Mahony, S Prendergast and M Shanahan 0-1 each. Cork: P Horgan 0-6 (4f), L O’Farrell 0-3, W Egan, B Murphy, L McLoughlin, P Cronin, C McCarthy, N McCarthy, J O’Connor, J Gardiner (’65’) 0-1 each.
Waterford — A Power 6; D Fives 7, W Hutchinson 8, N Connors 8; D O’Sullivan 7, M Walsh 8, K Moran 8; R Foley 7, K McGrath 5; S Molumphy 5, S Prendergast 6, P O’Mahony 6; J Mullane 7, S Walsh 9, M Shanahan 8. Subs: E Kelly 6 for McGrath (46), T Ryan 6 for Molumphy (64).
Cork — D Og Cusack 8; C O’Sullivan 6, E Dillon 6, S McDonnell 7; B Murphy 8, J Gardiner 7, W Egan 8; L McLoughlin 7, P Cronin 8; T Kenny 5, C McCarthy 7, N McCarthy 6; P Horgan 7, P O’Sullivan 5, L O’Farrell 7. Subs: R Curran 7 for C O’Sullivan (56), J O’Connor 7 for McLoughlin (59), B O’Connor 6 for P O’Sullivan (63), C Naughton 6 for N McCarthy (64), M Cussen for O’Farrell (69).
REF — B Kelly (Westmeath)
Waterford 0-18 Cork 0-17
From the GAA.ie web site
As is often the case when these great Munster rivals meet, there was little to choose between Cork and Waterford on Sunday, but it was the home side who edged to a 0-18 to 0-17 win in a dramatic finale at Fraher Field. A replay was required to separate the sides in the Munster final last summer while the corresponding League fixture last year ended in a draw.
On this occasion, it was the Munster champions’ fans who went home the happiest as Kevin Moran hit the winning point with two minutes left. Moran, on his return to the side after Club commitments with De La Salle ruled him out of the earlier rounds of the Allianz League, struck a fine score from play with two minutes remaining to leave Waterford 0-18 to 0-17 ahead.
The Rebels did have a late chance to level the game with the last attack of the game deep into added time, but William Egan sent an ambitious effort from way out on the wing wide. It means Cork, quite cruelly, have lost by a single point in the Allianz League for the second game in a row.
Points from Niall McCarthy and Jerry O’Connor had left Denis Walsh’s side 0-17 to 0-16 ahead with five minutes left, but Richie Foley levelled for Davy Fitzgerald’s men with a free from his own ’65-metre line against the wind before Moran secured the points for his side late on. Throw-in was delayed for 15 minutes due to the large crowd in Dungarvan and they witnessed an entertaining first half as the home side edged into a 0-11 to 0-10 lead at the break.
Patrick Horgan contributed six scores from frees for Cork, while Richie Foley and Shane Walsh were the most consistent scorers for Waterford, who slot into fourth place in the table ahead of Cork with two wins and a draw from their four games to date.
Cork hurling manager Denis Walsh has made three changes for the Allianz Hurling League clash with Waterford at Fraher Field, Dungarvan on Sunday. Eoin Cadogan is on duty with the Cork football team and is replaced at full back by Eoin Dillon.
At left half back, the experienced Brian Murphy replaces Ray Ryan, while at midfield Lorcan McLoughlin comes in for Jerry O’Connor. The attack remains unchanged from the side that enjoyed a three-point win over Galway last Sunday. Despite making an impressive contribution after coming on as a sub against the Tribesmen, Cathal Naughton is once again named on the bench.
Cork (SH v Waterford): D Óg Cusack; S McDonnell, E Dillon, C O’Sullivan; J Gardiner, W Egan, B Murphy; L McLoughlin, P Cronin; T Kenny, C McCarthy, N McCarthy; P Horgan, P O’Sullivan, L O’Farrell