Cork 2-17 Waterford 3-10
A STRONG second half, despite playing for the last 25 minutes with 14 players, got Cork over the line over the line with four points to spare at Páirc Uí Rinn to book their place in the Munster final.
Cork, with five changes to the named starting 15, handed roles to Emma Murphy, Aoife O’Neill, Ciara O’Sullivan, Cliona Dooley and Fiona Keating while Waterford lined out with a strong selection and from the start, they showed huge intensity.
Waterford led by just a point at the interval despite having enjoyed the majority of possession playing with the aid of the strong wind.
Goals from Mairead O'Brien and Lorraine Bray helped keep them in front as Cork, having made the better start with an Amy O'Connor goal inside the opening two minutes, found themselves trailing by four points at the end of the opening quarter.
Cork gradually got to grips and began to come more into the game and with O'Connor and Chloe Sigerson on target they eat into the Waterford lead and were just one in arrears at the break.
On the resumption, Niamh Rockett and Emma Murphy swapped points then came the sending-off. Laura Treacy conceded a free and referee Mike Ryan flashed a yellow card and then proceeded to approach the Cork player and issued a second yellow, which he indicated was for persistent verbal interaction.
Rockett converted the free and Waterford went two clear but it was to be the last team they would lead as a fired-up Cork tore into the game. O'Connor converted two free and one from play. Saoirse McCarthy fired over a superb effort on the run and with Murphy adding her third, Cork went three in front.
Defending superbly Cork mopped up anything Waterford threw at them with Aishling Thompson dropping back deep they contained the threat up front while their work-rate all over the pitch was superb.
With Beth Carton and O'Connor swapping points Cork stayed in front but in the space of two minutes we had a goal at each end. First Sigerson flicked the ball past Brianne O'Regan as Cork went six in front but back came Waterford with a Sarah Lacey reply.
Battling to hold their lead Cork dug deep. O'Connor and Carton exchanged frees.
O'Connor stretched it to three with a 45 and the final say with Murphy to ensure Cork were four in front at the full-time whistle.
A O'Connor 1-10 (0-5 f, 0-1 45), C Sigerson 1-2, E Murphy 0-4, S McCarthy 0-1.
B Carton 0-4 (0-2 f), S Lacey 1-1, N Rockett 0-4 (0-3 f), L Bray, M O’Brien 1-0 each, V Falconer 0-1.
A Lee (c); A O'Neill, L Coppinger, M Cahalane; L Hayes, L Treacy, S McCarthy; K O’Mahony, C O'Sullivan; E Murphy, I O'Regan, C Dooley; A O'Connor, F Keating, C Sigerson.
A Thompson for Dooley (h-t), A Hurley for O'Regan (45), K Wall for O’Mahony (58), O McAllen for O'Sullivan (58).
B O'Regan; K Corbett-Barry; I Heffernan, M Power; A Landers, C Carroll, R Walsh; C Griffin, L Bray (c); T Power, B Carton, M O'Brien; S Lacey, V Falconer, N Rockett.
K Lynch for K Corbett-Barry (h-t), C O'Sullivan for T Power (50), A Flynn for M O'Brien (50).
Mike Ryan (Tipperary).