Cork picked up an opening-round win in the Allianz Hurling League as Waterford were overcome by the Rebels on Leeside.
The final scoreline showed a seven-point margin between the sides, but each team had a late burst. Cork had been 11 points ahead at one stage during the second half but were pegged back to four by Waterford as the end of normal time loomed.
Then, three goals from subs – one by Shane Kingston and two from Alan Connolly – more or less secured victory as they moved 13 clear, but Waterford did score 1-03 without reply at the death, the goal from Stephen Bennett.
Cork never trailed, with Waterford matching them point for point early on before the hosts moved 0-6 to 0-4 ahead by the water-break. Jack O'Connor had gone closest to an early goal for the Rebels but they had the ball in the net when action started again. It was a flowing move that saw Shane Barrett and Darragh Fitzgibbon link to set up Robbie O’Flynn for a well-taken finish.
Frees from captain Patrick Horgan and a Séamus Harnedy point helped them to a 1-12 to 0-8 half-time lead, with Stephen Bennett the Waterford scorer-in-chief.
Cork moved eight ahead thanks to Horgan early in the second half and, after Bennett responded, Horgan almost had another Cork goal but Waterford full-back Conor Prunty pulled off a superb block.
Even so, Horgan (free) and Luke Meade were on hand to put Cork nine ahead, 1-15 to 0-9. After Waterford’s Kieran Bennett got his second point, the Rebels struck for a second goal, with Jack O’Connor finding the net after Waterford were turned over coming out of defence.
The lead was 2-15 to 0-10, but Waterford came back again, with Austin Gleeson impressive for them while Bennett continued to be deadly accurate from dead balls.
It was 2-18 to 0-18 by the time of the second-half water-break, with Cork pushing ahead again as Horgan and O’Flynn had points.
Still Waterford wouldn’t relent and ate into the deficit, point by point. With the margin down to four points, Cork might have been nervous but it didn’t show and they made sure they did enough to secure the victory as Kingston’s goal gave them breathing space before Connolly was on hand to net his brace.
They travel to face Tipperary next Saturday night while Waterford are up against Westmeath.
CORK: Patrick Collins; Niall O'Leary, Damien Cahalane, Seán O’Donoghue; Tim O’Mahony (0-02, 0-01 free), Mark Coleman, Niall Cashman; Billy Hennessy, Darragh Fitzgibbon (0-03); Robbie O’Flynn (1-01), Séamus Harnedy (0-01), Luke Meade (0-01); Jack O’Connor (1-00), Patrick Horgan (0-12, 0-07 frees, 0-02 65), Shane Barrett (0-02).
Subs: Alan Cadogan for O’Connor, Shane Kingston for Harnedy (both 54), Daniel Meaney for Hennessy (59), Alan Connolly (2-00) for Barrett (65), Conor Cahalane for Robbie O’Flynn (65), James O’Flynn for O’Mahony, Robert Downey for Damien Cahalane (both 70).
WATERFORD: Billy Nolan; Ian Kenny, Conor Prunty, Shane McNulty (0-01); Mark O’Brien, Iarlaith Daly (0-01), Kieran Bennett (0-03); Darragh Lyons, Calum Lyons; Jack Fagan (0-01), Conor Gleeson, Neil Montgomery; Stephen Bennett (1-12, 0-07 frees, 0-01 65), Austin Gleeson (0-05), Colin Dunford.
Subs: Billy Power for Montgomery (half-time), Peter Hogan for O’Brien, Mikey Kearney (0-02) for Dunford (both 46), Shane Fives for Kenny, Patrick Curran (0-01) for Gleeson (both 54), Michael Kiely (0-01) for Fagan (65).
Referee: Seán Cleere (Kilkenny).