Cork v Waterford: Player ratings from the Rebel triumph 

After being at their lowest following defeats to Limerick and Clare, the Cork hurlers showed their true colours at last
Cork v Waterford: Player ratings from the Rebel triumph 

Darragh Fitzgibbon of Cork celebrates at the final whistle. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Patrick Collins: Made two fine first-half stops and also chipped in with a point. Excellent in his puck-outs too, varying between short and long. 9 

Seán O'Donoghue: Asked to keep tabs on Dessie Hutchinson and stuck to the task. Vice-captain and Cork’s best player this season. 9 

Rob Downey: Once Cork settled in defence, Downey was a serious presence at the edge of the square. Out in front and clever in his passing. 8 

Damien Cahalane: With Tim O’Mahony held in reserve, Cahalane picked up Stephen Bennett. Held him to a point from play and used his size excellently to stop Déise runners. 8 

Niall O'Leary: Deployed as a man-marker on Austin Gleeson, the mercurial Déise forward had three points thieved by half-time, but O’Leary then gained an advantage. Gleeson got distracted and ended up sent off. 7 

Ciarán Joyce: A massive showing for a rookie centre-back. Caught puck-outs and drove out through tackles time and again. 8 

Mark Coleman: In his All-Star habitat of wing-back, battling Jack Prendergast initially. By the break, the Cork captain had an assist and two soaring points. He was even better in the second half, dictating the tempo. 9 

Darragh Fitzgibbon: Once he clicked after the first quarter he was back to his best, 0-2 from play and key to Connolly’s first goal. Broke up the play at midfield once Cork got ahead, which was exactly what was required. 9 

Luke Meade: Restored to the line-up as the workhorse midfielder. He processed plenty of possession and clipped over a point. Withdrawn with the tank empty late on. 8 

Robbie O'Flynn: Didn’t score but his piercing support run led to the crucial first goal. Very combative from the first ball. 7 

Seamus Harnedy: Wearing 14 but out centre-forward. He nailed 0-5, secured aerial possession, was fouled for a free, and was involved in Connolly’s second goal. Immense 9 

Shane Barrett: Didn’t see much ball in the opening 25 minutes and replaced by Kingston. 6 

Conor Lehane: Ran himself into the ground and his work-rate was married to some sensational touches. Ended the afternoon with 0-3 from play and was fouled for a free he converted. 9 

Patrick Horgan: Broke the record as the top-scorer in championship history but Cork changed tack in the second half and went for Tim O’Mahony as a target-man. 6 

Alan Connolly: A real handful, striking for two goals, forcing the keeper into a save, and getting fouled for two frees. 8 

SUBS:

Shane Kingston: Put himself about, arrowed over 0-2 and set up Connolly’s game-breaking goal. 8 

Tim O’Mahony: Didn’t score but gave Cork a long ball option in tandem with Connolly for the second half. 7 

Conor Cahalane, Tommy O'Connell, Brian Roche: Brought in late.

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