Cork 2-18 Waterford 0-7
A blistering start, when assisted by the strong wind, set Cork up for the anticipated McGrath Cup victory over Waterford at a biting cold Gold Coast Resort yesterday.
Some 297 souls braved sub-zero temperatures on a bright afternoon to witness Cork expose the wide gulf in standards with an encouraging opening to new manager Ronan McCarthy’s first competitive outing.
As a contest, it was game over by the interval, with Cork 1-13 to 0-1 in front, all their scores coming from open play, and many of them the end product of some flowing moves.
It was literally a score a minute from the throw-in with John O’Rourke, who started in the half-forward line, beginning the trend in the opening sequence.
Cork’s finishing was particularly impressive for the time of year as Cathal Vaughan, Steven Sherlock, Sean Powter, and Mark Collins found the range from distance.
Sherlock’s inclusion from the start was one of the three enforced changes from the selected team.
The St Finbarr’s star replaced Colm O’Neill while Cian Dorgan came in for midfielder Cillian O’Hanlon in a rejigged set-up, which involved Collins moving to midfield and O’Rourke diverting from the corner.
The other alteration came in the half-back line, where another Barr’s player, Dylan Quinn, deputised for Jamie O’Sullivan.
Waterford knew they were in for a long afternoon, trailing by 0-9 to 0-0 after just 11 minutes as Cork piled on the pressure and it got worse with the visitors’ opening goal three minutes later.
Collins did the donkey work by securing dirty ball on the deck and Powter sensed his opportunity with the sort of scorching run which has become his trademark.
His penetrating drive at the defence sent the Douglas player clear and Powter finished in style, with a low shot to the corner of the net for a 1-9 lead.
And it could have been even worse for the home side after Sherlock found himself in space, only to fire over the crossbar, when a goal looked on.
After having a ‘goal’ of their own disallowed for an earlier infringement, Waterford eventually got on the scoreboard, courtesy of Michael Curry after 27 minutes.
Sherlock completed the first-half scoring just before the break to leave Cork 15 points in front and fully in control, even if they were facing the wind on the resumption.
As expected, Waterford became more of an attacking threat in the second half and early points from Gavin Crotty and Jason Curry reduced the deficit.
It was only a temporary reprieve, though, because Cork regained control, with Dorgan opening their second period account in the 45th minute.
Sherlock must have believed it wasn’t going to his day goal-wise after wasting a second opportunity before home keeper David Whitty denied the industrious Ruairi Deane with his feet.
A couple of Sherlock frees stretched Cork’s advantage and they closed out the game with a superb second goal two minutes from the end of regulation time.
Deane sent Powter flying through the middle to create the chance for substitute Padraig Clancy to palm home from close range and apply the perfect finish to an impressive move.
Scorers for Cork: S Sherlock 0-7 (0-2 f), S Powter 1-2, J O’Rourke 0-4, P Clancy 1-0, C Vaughan and C Dorgan 0-2 each, M Collins 0-1.
Waterford: J Curry 0-3 (0-2 f), M Curry 0-2, G Crotty, JJ Hutchinson 0-1 each.
CORK: R Price (O’Donovan Rossa); E Lavers (Dohenys), C Dorman (Bishopstown), M McSweeney (Newcestown); K Flahive (Douglas), S White (Clonakilty), D Quinn (St Finbarr’s); I Maguire (St Finbarr’s), captain, M Collins (Castlehaven); R Deane (Bantry Blues), S Powter (Douglas), J O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers); C Vaughan (Iveleary), C Dorgan (Ballincollig), S Sherlock (St Finbarr’s).
Subs: C Kiely (Ballincollig) for White and M Hurley (Castlehaven) for Vaughan 47, S Wilson (Douglas) for McSweeney and P Clancy (Fermoy) for Quinn 54, M Taylor (Mallow) for Dorman and D O’Callaghan (Clyda Rovers) for Maguire 62.
WATERFORD: D Whitty; B Looby, T O’Gorman, T Prendergast; J McGrath, S Ryan, D Guiry; M Curry, C Maguire; G Crotty, J Veale, M O’Halloran; C Murray, P Whyte, J Curry.
Subs: JJ Hutchinson for Guiry and M Curry for Maguire 45, G Cullinan for McGrath, black card, 68.
Referee: S Lonergan (Tipperary).