THE sun shone as did the hurling as Cork are back in the Munster final.
The expression Cork are back will be much used over the next few weeks, but no matter what happens in the final this side is shaping up to be serious All-Ireland contenders and game by game are growing in stature.
The defence is starting to look far more settled, with the half-back line now as good as any in the country and behind them McDonnell, Cahalane and Spillane are also showing their class.
There were many incidents yesterday to show just how strong a unit they are as they made life tough for the Waterford forwards all through.
Even when Spillane was sent off they didn’t panic, with Christopher Joyce dropping into the sweeper role and time after time he, along with those around him drove out of defence.
And when they did what a joy it must have been to see the likes of Seamus Harnedy, and others, driving the ball over the bar to secure the win.
Afterwards, Harnedy was, naturally, delighted with the win and said they were looking forward to the Munster final now,
“Yea delighted to be in the Munster final, it was tough out there today and I’m still trying to catch my breath, to be honest.
“But look we are well grounded and it’s on to the next day now. A few of us have club games next weekend and we will go back to our clubs now to prepare for that and that will be my focus before even thinking about the Munster final.
“It’s always great to play with your club as well and it was great to see some of the lads from the club afterwards out on the pitch.”
Reflecting on yesterday’s game he said: “Waterford are a great team, they play a different type of hurling and they can hurt you from one to 15.
“Their keeper, Stephen O’Keeffe, made some fabulous saves before half-time. After half-time we came out good and got a couple of scores, but the nature of Waterford showed and they struck back.
“I thought my shot was in, but it’s not the first time he has saved from me, but look as long as we get the scores I don’t care who gets them.
“But look we stuck to our guns and I think a lot of the young lads stood up again today and showed how good they are. We all work for each other out there and that’s all you can do and once you know the fella alongside you has got your back and you have his that’s the nature of it.
“We are a very tight-knit group and we all work for each other and it’s great to be in the final in a couple of weeks time,” concluded Seamus.
And that it certainly is, but Kieran Kingston and his fellow selectors won’t let these fellas get carried away and know that Clare aren’t there just to make up the numbers on July 9.
He will reflect on the fact that Waterford hit 16 wides over the 70 minutes, a stat that Clare are unlikely to reproduce.
Kingston will be all too aware of the threat they pose and no doubt is already working on his strategy for that game.
But the facts are simple, Cork are in the Munster final and have beaten what are considered two of the top four teams in the country.
They have done so in style and have showed they are capable of taking on sides who play different styles of hurling. Tipperary was a straight forward shoot-out and yesterday was more of a tactical game as they had to get to grips with the sweeper system.
But they did and can now have no fear of taking on any side in the country.
Of course they are still emerging and have a way to go before they can be happy with all in their displays.
But for now you simply can’t take away from the fact they have joined the footballers in their equivalent and all going well a long summer stretches out in from of them.
Roll on July 9, it’s going to be a cracker!