A SHOCK result at the Fraher Field yesterday as Waterford defeated Cork in Munster Ladies SFC.
The defending All-Ireland champions were simply beaten by outside the Waterford camp who would have predicted this result in advance.
But they were deserving winners on the day, and no doubt came into the game full of confidence after their recent win over Kerry.
Having that championship game behind them certainly worked in their favour, against a Cork side who only had six of the side that started the All-Ireland final in their starting line-up.
Cork found it difficult to break down the blanket Waterford defence and when the home side broke they did so at pace, with the highly impressive Aileen Wall and Michelle Ryan causing all sort of problems for the Rebels.
Using the strong wind Waterford took just 19 seconds to take the lead when Wall got them off the mark and in the third minute they got their opening goal.
A quick free found Wall and she played Roisin Tobin in, to give Martina O’Brien no chance of saving.
It took Cork 10 minutes to register their first score, when captain, Brid O’Sullivan, led by example to open their account. From the re-start they regained possession and Libby Coppinger got their second.
Again from the re-start Cork won the kick-out, with Niamh Cotter winning a great ball in midfield to put in Aine O’Sullivan for their third point.
But Waterford responded in style and in a six minute spell hit 1-3 to extend their lead.
Maria Delahunty scored a magnificent point from distance from a free, with 14 minutes gone. From the re-start they regained possession and Wall was involved again to set up Grainne Kenneally for their second goal.
Points from Katie Murray and Michelle Ryan made it 2-4 to 0-3, with 20 minutes gone.
Cork responded with a goal of their own, with Finn setting up Aine O’Sullivan, but again Waterford showed they weren’t going to be beaten easily.
Wall and another great free from Delahunty, saw the home side well in control at half-time, as they led by 2-6 to 1-3.
Aine O’Sullivan opened the scoring after the break, but Waterford continued their dominance, with Ryan hitting two in-a-row to keep them in control. Tobin and Ryan, again, made it 2-10 to 1-4 as Cork were struggling all over the pitch
But this Cork side don’t give up easily, with Eimear Scally and Finn coming more into the game.
Enjoying their best spell of the game, two from Scally and three from Finn, reduced the deficit, to make it 1-9 to 2-10, with 10 minutes to go.
But a great break by Waterford saw Wall get their third goal and it was game over for the Rebels. Ryan added a late point, before two in injury-time by Jessica O’Shea rounded off the scoring for Cork.
They now face Kerry in a must-win game in two weeks time.
Scorers for Waterford: A Wall 1-2, R Tobin 1-1, G Kenneally 1-0, M Ryan 0-5, M Delahunty 0-2 (2f), K Murray 0-1.
Cork: A O’Sullivan 1-2, O Finn 0-3 (1f), J O’Shea, E Scally 0-2 each, L Coppinger, B O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
WATERFORD: J Fitzgerald; M Dunford, C McGrath, K McGrath; D Ni hAodha, K McGrath, M McGrath; M Wall, E Murray; R Tobin, G Kenneally, K Murray; A Wall, M Delahunty, M Ryan.
Subs: A Murray for R Tobin, N Fennell for K Murray, E Fennell for G Kenneally, L McGregor for A Wall.
CORK: M O’Brien; M Ambrose, R Phelan, E Spillane; M Duggan, B Stack, S Kelly; N Cotter, J O’Shea; L Coppinger, B O’Sullivan, A Hutchings; E Scally, A O’Sullivan, O Finn.
Subs: A Barrett for R Phelan, A Walsh for L Coppinger, M O’Callaghan for N Cotter, S Moore for B O’Sullivan, N Cotter for S Moore (inj).
Ref: Seamus Mulvihill, Kerry.