Cork 6-24 Waterford 0-1
CORK easily qualified for the semi-final of the inaugural Munster U17 football championship with a comfortable win over a well-beaten Waterford at Dungarvan last evening.
Their reward is a home semi-final against Limerick in a month’s time with an away final two weeks on offer. Surely, it will be a bit tougher than this 41-point rout.
Cork set the tone for the evening straight from the throw-in, when wing-back James O’Mullane, operating on the left, stormed forward to initiate a move which led to the opening score from a Cronin free inside 30 seconds.
The kick-out was gathered by the other wing-back David Lardner who swept up field to kick Cork’s second point and even at this early juncture it looked like the beginnings of a stroll for the visitors.
By the conclusion of the opening quarter, Cork had advanced to 0-9 as the home side struggled to get the ball beyond half-way and no ideas of coping with their opponents’ pace and team work.
Captain Blake Murphy from Na Piarsaigh, Cronin and Conor McMahon decorated some impressive moves with equally eye-catching finishing even though Cork still registered nine wides in the half.
Midfielder Mark Keane used his height to break ball to awaiting half-forwards and half-backs as Cork created attack after attack before the inevitable first goal arrived after 23 minutes.
Cronin provided the telling pass for McMahon to fist home at the far post and the same pair linked once more to score Cork’s second goal a minute into injury-time.
The Nemo Rangers player, young brother of Stephen and Alan, played the initial ball to full-forward Conor Russell, who, unselfishly, off-loaded to the awaiting McMahon, who fired a low shot to the far corner of the net.
Waterford eventually opened their account in the closing act of the half, when wing-back Conor Burns popped up to leave it 2-11 to 0-1 at the interval.
Cork could have had a third goal within 30 seconds of the resumption, when Russell’s shot was well saved by keeper David Daniels before the Douglas player drove over the rebound.
And the pattern continued as the Waterford defence came constant pressure which led to a succession of Cork scores with Cronin, O’Mullane and Lardner stretching the lead.
It didn’t take long before the visitors started emptying their bench, Cronin rested after only 36 minutes as Cullen’s Colin Walsh was introduced.
And he didn’t long to make an immediate impression, banging in an unstoppable left-footed drive to claim Cork’s third goal four minutes later, 3-16 to 0-1.
Another Cork substitute, Killian Murphy (Glanmire), repeated the trick within seconds of his introduction, slamming in a rebound following a fierce scramble in the home goalmouth.
By this stage all bar one of Cork’s starting forwards had registered scores and Fionn Herlihy completed the set by finding the range seven minutes from the end of regulation time.
Cork wrapped up this procession with two late goals. Walsh bagged his second before O’Mullane, who never stopped running all evening, highlighted his outstanding performance by slamming in goal number six.
The attendance was 233, most of whom had to fork out a tenner to watch such a lop-sided game.
C McMahon 2-3, C Walsh 2-1, B Murphy 0-6, D Lardner 0-4, M Cronin 0-4, 2f, J O’Mullane 1-1, K Murphy 1-0, F Herlihy 0-3, J Murphy, C Russell 0-1 each
C Burns 0-1
C Langfort (Kilavullen); J Corcoran (Nemo Rangers), D O’Mahony (Knocknagree), E Lehane (Canovee); D Lardner (Fermoy), G Lardner (do), J O’Mullane (Kilmurry); M Keane (Mitchelstown), N O’Sullivan (Adrigole), J Murphy (Eire Og); M Cronin (Nemo Rangers), C Russell (Douglas), C McMahon (Kilshannig).
M Walsh (Cullen) for Cronin 36, C Crowley (Glanmire) for Keane 39, K Murphy (Glanmire) for Murphy 40, D Doody (Buttevant) for Langfort 46, D Twomey (Eire Og) for O’Mahony and R O’Flynn (do) for Russell both 51.
D Daniels; R Stringer, J Keane, S Kelly; C Burns, J Devine, captain, S Cronin; N MacCathmhaoil, T Ahern; B Flynn, D Beresford, R McGrath; K Roche, A Gleeson, J O Lionain.
M Lonergan for MacCathmhaoil 41, J Dunne for McGrath 46. J Griffin for Gleeson 46, B Gough for Burns 52, J Walsh for O Lionain 54
B Griffin (Kerry)