Cork 1-18 Waterford 1-9
CORK duly clinched a place in the McGrath Cup final against either Kerry or Tipperary following a hard-fought win over Waterford at Páirc Uí Rinn on Tuesday night.
Cork, who were unchanged, once again had Brian Hurley to thank for their second win as he accounted for 1-6 once more with Dan Dineen contributing 0-4.
Waterford did manage to open the scoring with a second-minute Darragh Cashman free, but they wouldn't add to their tally for another 28 minutes as Cork took over.
They responded almost immediately with a Hurley goal following a long ball in from Blake Murphy which the Castlehaven punched beyond the stranded keeper Ben Kirwan.
It was 1-3 to 0-1 at the first water-break with the visitors' tackling impressively in defence though Hurley's class was always evident, adding a couple of fine points from play.
Newcomer Aodhan Ó Luasa marked his debut with a free before Murphy kicked a super point after 19 minutes.
The pattern continued on the resumption with the home side sweeping 1-7 to 0-1 in front, Murphy increasing his tally with another eye-catching score with the outside of his right boot.
Waterford almost made a breakthrough at the other end only for captain Sean Meehan to sweep the ball off the line after 25 minutes.
Young Tom O'Connell ended Waterford's barren spell with a free before completing the first-half scoring with a superb score, Cork in front by 1-9 to 0-3.
Both teams made changes at the break with Cork handing a debut to dual underage star Jack Cahalane, who is eligible for U20 again this year.
Another alteration was in goal for Waterford, where newcomer Aaron Beresford marked his introduction by denying Hurley a second goal with a fine save.
Cahalane also made a favourable impression, linking well with Murphy to open his senior inter-county account with a 44th-minute point.
Hurley was still the fulcrum for Cork's attacks, either finishing exemplary himself or bringing others into the play and they stretched the lead to 1-14 to 0-5 approaching the second water break.
Cian Kiely and Dineen helped extend that advantage, but Cork conceded a sloppy goal after 53 minutes when Corcoran took full advantage to score with a low shot to the corner of the net.
And O'Connell brought Waterford's tally to 1-7 with one of the best points of the night only for Cork to respond with three scores of their own.
Dineen kicked his fourth, Kevin O'Donovan landed one via an upright before Kiely finished well for an 11-point advantage.
B Hurley 1-6 (0-2 f), D Dineen 0-4, B Murphy and C Kiely 0-2 each, K O'Donovan, J Cahalane, C Walsh 0-1 each, A Ó Luasa 0-1 f.
D Corcoran 1-4 (0-3 f), T O'Connell 0-3 (0-1 f), D Meehan 0-1, D Ryan 0-1 f.
J Creedon; P Allen (Newmarket), S Meehan (Kiskeam), captain, T Corkery (Cill na Martra); L Fahy (Ballincollig), K Histon (Nemo Rangers), M Taylor (Mallow); J Grimes (Clonakilty), C Kiely (Ballincollig); E Cooke (do), B Murphy (St Vincent’s), K O’Donovan (Nemo Rangers); A Ó Luasa (Naomh Abán), B Hurley (Castlehaven), D Dineen (Cill na Martra).
K Flahive (Douglas) for Meehan, K Cremin (Boherbue) for Fahy and J Cahalane (Castlehaven) for Ó Luasa half-time, C O'Sullivan (Kilshannig) for Cooke and C Walsh (Kanturk) for Murphy 48, J Kiely (Valley Rovers) for O'Donovan and A Walsh (Kanturk) for Hurley 65, F Finner (Castletownbere) for Grimes 68.
B Kirwan; L Fennell, D O Cathasaigh, C Burke; J Flavin, C Walsh, D Ryan; M Curry, J O'Leary; D Guiry, B Lynch, D Hallihan; S Curry, T O'Connell, D Corcoran.
K Taylor for O'Leary 20, A Beresford for Kirwan, A Jones for Burke and J Keane for S Curry, half-time, D Meehan for Taylor 48, R Reddy for O'Leary, R Elliffe for O'Connell, C Murray for Hallihan and C Curran for Flavin 60.
P O'Sullivan (Kerry).