Cork produced a superb display to shock Waterford in Walsh Park and move off the bottom of Division 1A.
Leading by 0-14 to 1-4 at half-time, the Rebels never looked back after Luke Meade netted 13 minutes into the second half. The win sees Cork join Clare, Kilkenny and Waterford on four points going into the final round with Tipperary out in front and Dublin now propping up the table. "A 70-minute performance" was Kieran Kingston's summing up of the game from a Cork perspective.
With a crowd of 6,629 looking on, Shane Bennett gave the hosts a dream start when his fifth-minute goal helped them to a 1-1 to 0-1 lead. But with the wind to their backs, Cork had regained parity by the 12th minute thanks to points from Bill Cooper and Conor Lehane, while long-range frees from goalkeeper Anthony Nash and Lehane had them 0-7 to 1-2 up by the 18th minute.
Despite playing with seven at the back, the Deise couldn't keep the Cork attack at bay and five unanswered points meant the Rebels led by double scores at the break.
Four Padraic Mahony frees reduced the deficit on the restart, but Cork dug in and were rewarded with points from Dean Brosnan and Luke Meade before the latter raced onto a loose ball in the Waterford half back line and rattled the net to leave it 1-17 to 1-9 in the underdogs' favour.
Things went from bad to worse for the Deise when Maurice Shanahan received a straight red card in the 58th minute and Christopher Joyce immediately added a point to extend Cork's lead to nine points.
The Rebels also finished the game with 14 players after Seamus Harnedy was dismissed late on, but it had no bearing on the outcome.
Cork - A Nash (0-1f); S McDonnell, D Cahalane, C Spillane; C Joyce (0-1), M Ellis, M Coleman (0-1); B Cooper (0-3), L McLoughlin (0-1); D Brosnan (0-1), C Lehane (0-8, 7f), L Meade (1-1); A Cadogan, S Harnedy (0-1), S Kingston (0-1). Subs: M Cahalane (0-1) for A Cadogan, P Horgan (0-1) for S Kingston, K Burke for S McDonnell, C O'Leary for L McLoughlin.
Waterford - S O'Keeffe; S Fives, B Coughlan, N Connors; D Lyons, T De Burca, K Moran; J Barron, Shane Bennett (1-0); C Dunford, A Gleeson (0-1), P Mahony (0-8f); Stephen Bennett (0-1), M Walsh, M Shanahan (0-1). Subs: C Gleeson for J Barron, T Devine for C Dunford, P Curran (0-2) for Shane Bennett, B O'Halloran for A Gleeson, T Ryan for M Walsh.
Referee - B Kelly.