Waterford gained a winning start to the 2019 season tonight after seeing off Cork in the Munster Senior Hurling League with an impressive second-half display at Mallow.
Having gone in at the break trailing by 1-11 to 0-12, Paraic Fanning’s side were buoyed by an early goal from Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh – starting in his 17th season for the Deise men here – after the restart and Thomas Ryan’s point soon afterwards put them into a lead they’d never let slip.
Cork had looked to be cruising after 21 minutes of this contest, having built up a 0-10 to 0-5 lead, with very much Declan Dalton on-song from frees.
However, the victors rallied up to the break despite conceding an Aidan Walsh goal, which saw the big Kanturk man making the most of a Dalton sideline to convert to the net, helping the men from Leeside to lead by two at the halfway stage.
Michael O’Halloran extended the Cork lead early in the restart but that was about as good as it got for John Meyler’s charges as the visitors took control once Stradbally veteran Walsh supplied a neat finish to their net in the opening minutes of the resumption.
Points from Kevin Moran, who would be replaced by Austin Gleeson late on, Jamie Barron and Mikey Kearney followed and top scorer Stephen Bennett kept the scoreboard ticking over for Waterford until the finish, as he ended up with 0-13, to help ensure a winning start to Fanning’s reign in the Deise County.
Waterford - B Nolan; S McNulty, S Fives, N Connors; J Henley, M O’Brien, K Moran (0-2); J Barron (0-2), M Walsh (1-0); DJ Foran, M Kearney (0-4), B O’Halloran; T Ryan (0-2), Stephen Bennett (0-13, 10f), C Roche. Subs: C Prunty for M O’Brien, S Roche for M Walsh, A Gleeson for K Moran, J Prendergast (0-1) for C Roche, K Bennett for S McNulty.
Cork - P Collins; N O’Leary, D Griffin, D Lowney; C Joyce (0-1), T O’Mahony (0-1), R Downey; C Cahalane, W Kearney (0-1); C Murphy (0-3), M O’Halloran (0-2), A Walsh (1-0); J Coughlan, D Dalton (0-9, 7f), R O’Flynn (0-1). Subs: C Beausang for R O’Flynn, C O’Callaghan for D Lowney, E Murphy for A Walsh, S O’Leary Hayes for R Downey, P Leopold for J Coughlan.
Referee - J Murphy.