A 10-minute spell of dominance which yielded three goals in quick succession was the foundations for Cork’s victory over Waterford in round three of the Littlewoods Division 1 National League at Castle Road yesterday.
The result gives Cork three out of three, one a walkover, and with one game to go against Galway in three weeks qualification to the latter stages is secured.
Cork lined out with Briege Corkery, Niamh O’Callaghan, Saoirse McCarthy and Ciara McCarthy handed starting roles and Julia White making a return after injury, while Amy Lee, Katie McCarthy, Cliona Healy and Siobhán Hutchison were all introduced over the course of the hour.
Playing with the aid of the strong wind in the opening half Waterford hit three wides in a row as Saoirse McCarthy, making her first senior league start, opened the Cork account with a point.
With Orla Hickey and Beth Carton finding the range Waterford edged in front Cork regained the lead with Orla Cronin and Julia White linking up well before parting to Amy O’Connor who finished low to the net to give Cork a lead they never relinquished.
With the pacey Cork inside line opening up the Waterford defence twice in quick succession Saoirse McCarthy and Amy O’Connor extended the lead further with goals and with Cork moving well they held the upper hand.
O’Connor, who worked hard all through, then pointed before Beth Carton converted a Waterford free. Linda Collins had one before Waterford responded with two in a row and it was 3-2 to 0-5 in Cork’s favour at the interval.
Waterford in an effort to curb the pace of Cork crowded out the middle of the field for the second half. Niamh Rockett cut the deficit with an early score but two in a row from Orla Cotter frees and one from senior debutant Ciara McCarthy stretched the advantage.
As both sides began to show signs of tiredness Waterford hit three points in a row but with continuing to find holes in the Waterford defence Cork kept the pressure on. They won a free which Orla Cotter duly converted.
Beth Carton did likewise at the other end of the field but again Cork responded well with Cotter and O’Connor finding the range with late points to consolidate Cork’s lead to the full-time whistle.
Scorers for Cork: A O’Connor 2-1, O Cotter 0-4 f, S McCarthy 1-1, L Collins, S McCarthy 0-1.
Waterford: B Carton 0-6 (0-3 f), N Rockett 0-2, A Power, O Hickey 0-1 each.
CORK: A Murray; N O’Callaghan; L Treacy, L Hayes; H Looney, B Corkery, C Sigerson; C McCarthy, A Thompson; A O’Connor, O Cronin, J White; O Cotter, L Collins, S McCarthy.
Subs: A Lee for A Murray (35), K McCarthy for H Looney (39), C Healy for S McCarthy (45), S Hutchinson for J White (48).
WATERFORD: C Jackman; S Harney, I Heffernan, M Power; A Landers, A Lyng, C Whyte; C McGrath, L Bray; K Corbett-Barry, O Hickey, B Carton; N Rockett, A Power, K Tobin.
Subs: K Lynch for C Whyte (h-t), C Griffin for A Landers (h-t), S Fitzgerald for C McGrath (45), S Curran for K Tobin (45), N Murphy for N Rockett (57).
Referee: Liz Dempsey (Kilkenny).