Cork 1-14 Waterford 0-20
Austin Gleeson ended an eventful week on the right note as reigning league champions Waterford made it two wins from two with a 0-20 to 1-14 win over Cork at Pairc Ui Rinn.
Gleeson was shown a straight red midweek for WIT but on this occasion he hit three majestic points, and it was Maurice Shanahan and Alan Cadogan who received their marching orders from referee James Owens.
Waterford led 0-11 to 0-07 at half-time, while Shanahan had shot six points before his dismissal, but Pat Horgan hit 1-06 and his late goal almost launched a remarkable comeback but it was too late.
Cork had the breeze at their backs in the first-half but they were hapless to resist Waterford’s advances at times and trailed by four points at half-time.
Waterford had a strong back-bone to their side - Gleeson and Darragh Fives were a towering presence in the half-back line and with Jamie Barron on form in midfield they built from that platform.
Pat Horgan shot nine points in Cork’s defeat away to Galway last weekend and they relied too heavily on him again in the first-half, he hit four points before the interval.
But Waterford’s Kevin Moran scored first after four minutes, and Horgan hit back. Waterford were the dominant force and Maurice Shanahan led them into a 0-05 to 0-02 lead after 13 minutes.
Fives advanced from the half-back line to add his name to the scoreline and Gleeson’s effort from distance was a fantastic score.
Daniel Kearney and Brian Lawton provided the Cork response and they reduced the arrears to the minimum, 0-05 to 0-04 after 16 minutes.
Barron hit a deserved point, and further efforts from Shanahan and Patrick Curran and a point from Jake Dillon ensured Waterford were in the ascendency at the break. But Horgan kept Cork in it with four first-half points.
Waterford started brightly after the break and Shanahan’s fourth free gave them a five-point lead. Horgan cancelled that out, before Waterford, through Gleeson, Shane Bennett and Barron, took a 0-16 to 0-08 lead.
But Horgan was the one shining light up front for Cork – he notched his sixth as he continued to take the fight to Waterford. Patrick Curran and Shanahan answered that.
However Aidan Walsh’s superb point from sideline-cut began the Cork fightback as they home crowd became more vocal.
Conor Lehane was on target with a couple of efforts as Cork got right back into it, and they trailed by 0-19 to 0-14 with just over ten minutes remaining.
The Rebels had not won a league title since 1998 and didn’t want to begin 2016 with two defeats in a row.
Their cause was aided when Shanahan was sent-off with a straight red card for an off-the-ball incident with just under five minutes of normal time left.
Gleeson settled Waterford with a point, and substitute Cadogan was also sent-off for Cork, but Horgan’s late goaled free wasn’t enough for the fairytale ending.
Waterford: S O'Keeffe; S Fives, B Coughlan, N Connors; A Gleeson (0-03, 0-01f), D Fives (0-01), P Mahony; J Barron (0-02), M Shanahan (0-06, 0-05f, 0-01 ’65); K Moran (0-01), S Bennett (0-01), M Walsh; P Curran (0-03), J Dillon (0-01), C Dunford (0-02).
Subs used: B O’Halloran for Bennett (59 mins), T Devine for Curran (61).
Cork: A Nash; S O’Neill, C Joyce, S McDonnell; D Cahalane, W Egan, C Spillane; D Kearney (0-01), A Walsh (0-01, 0-01 sl); B Lawton (0-02), B Cooper, L McLoughlin; C Lehane (0-03), W Leahy, P Horgan (1-06, 1-04f,).
Subs used: A Cadogan (0-01) for Leahy (35 mins), S Moylan (35), M Ellis for Egan (46), C Murphy for Spillane (46), P O’Sullivan for McLoughlin (64)