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Thursday 8 December 2016

Maurice Shanahan leads way as Déise see off Rebel effort

Maurice Shanahan, Waterford, in action against Bill Cooper and Stephen McDonnell, Cork. Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Semi-Final, Waterford v Cork. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary
Maurice Shanahan, Waterford, in action against Bill Cooper and Stephen McDonnell, Cork. Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Semi-Final, Waterford v Cork. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary

Waterford repeated their League final success over Cork to qualify for their first Munster final since 2012 at Semple Stadium yesterday.

Their four-point winning margin scarcely did justice to their superiority. There was late drama when Patrick Horgan fired a Cork penalty to the net in the 70th minute to cut the deficit to two points.

With four minutes of injury time to be played it offered Cork an opportunity for an undeserved reprieve. However, their joy was short lived.

Two minutes later Waterford substitute Tom Devine beat Anthony Nash from close range to seal the Deise's place in next month's final against either Tipperary or Limerick.

In their current mood and form Waterford will fear no one as they bid for their first provincial title sine 2010.

They made light of the loss of ace marksman Pauric Mahony. Maurice Shanahan - also doubtful prior to the contest - stepped up to the mark hitting 1-9 and brilliantly leading the line in a Man of the Match performance.

But Waterford's success owes everything to the system which team boss Derek McGrath has devised.

Cork coped with it during the first quarter - they deservingly led 6-2 after 22 minutes. But goals change matches and Waterford struck for two in the 27th and 30th minutes respectively to take the lead for the first time.

The first was a brilliant individual effort from Shanahan. Within three minutes the Cork defence was completely exposed as Stephen Bennett and Michael Walsh combined before releasing Jake Dillon who ghosted in from the left flank and found the net.

Waterford were never subsequently led. Pa Cronin, a late replacement for hamstring injury victim Seamus Harnedy, was the one Cork forward who rose to the challenge - he finished the game with an impressive tally of five points from play.

Cork: A Nash; S O'Neill, S McDonnell, B Murphy; C Murphy, M Ellis (0-1), D Cahalane; D Kearney (0-1), B Cooper (0-1); C Lehane (0-1), P Cronin (0-5), A Walsh (0-1); A Cadogan (0-2), L O'Farrell (0-1), P Horgan (1-7, 1 gl pen 6f). Subs:R O'Shea for C Murphy 47m, D McCarthy (0-1, 1 65) for Kearney 51m; P O'Sulllivan for Walsh 57m;

Waterford: S O'Keeffe; S Fives, B Coughlan, N Connors; A Gleeson (0-1, 1f), T de Burca (0-1), P Mahony; J Barron, K Moran (0-2), M Walsh, C Dunford (0-1), J Dillon (1-0); B O'Halloran, M Shanahan (1-9, 7f, 1 65), Stephen Bennett (0-2). Subs: Shane Bennett (0-2) for O'Halloran 46m, T Devine (1-0) for Stephen Bennett 60m, E Barrett for Dunford 63m; P Curran (0-1) for Dillon 69m.

munster shc: waterford 3-19 cork 1-21

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