Waterford came with a plan — basically parking the bus with 14 players in front of their goals as often as possible — which they carried out extremely effectively, slowed the tempo of the game and enjoyed long spells of controlled possession with their extra numbers in defence always able to find a free white jersey. Cork looked a team ready for championship but a completely different championship game, like a side that’d done all the physical preparation but hadn’t expected to be asked these type of questions yet.
They weren’t clinical in taking chances that might have killed the game — two missed one-v-ones at the start of the second half for Colm O’Neill and Paul Kerrigan stand out. Both actually came off assists from long balls won in the air by Peter Kelleher, a tactic which was neglected both before and afterwards.
Kerrigan kicked a lovely point, and to be fair for a night where not everything came off he still scored 1-3 from play.
Mark Collins boomed a point from the right wing as Cork finally pushed up to good effect. Cork had kept going and kept stubbornly trying to do something to win the game even if it wasn’t often the right thing.