by Tomás McCarthy
Katie Quirke scored a 66th minute free to rescue a draw for Cork against Waterford in a pulsating Lidl NFL Division 1 Munster derby in Piltown.
First half strikes from Annie Fitzgerald and Lauren McGregor sent the Déise seven points up but Cork rallied. Goals from Daire Kiely and Erika O’Shea either side of the break brought them level.
Emma Murray’s third point from play in the last minute snuck Waterford back in front but Quirke held her nerve from that last gasp free.
Pat Sullivan’s side led 2-4 to 1-3 at the interval. In the third minute, a cross-field ball from Caragh McCarthy found Fitzgerald who beat Meabh O’Sullivan from close range. Libby Coppinger replied with Cork’s opening point.
The visitors kicked three wides before McGregor split the posts at the other end. Eimear Kiely pointed for Cork and Emma Murray got a trademark solo score. A Quirke point left two between them.
On 23 minutes, a Kellyann Hogan free dropped short and McGregor booted the loose ball to the bottom corner. Hogan added two frees to leave the hosts 2-4 to 0-3 ahead. Cork hit back a minute before the break when Coppinger forced a turnover and Daire Kiely found the net.
After half-time, Waterford goalkeeper Evelyn O’Brien tipped over Emma Cleary’s shot. Another defence splitting run from Cleary yielded her second point. Hogan’s third free left Waterford five in front after 33 minutes.
Points from Quirke and Eimear Kiely got Cork back within a score. On 43 minutes, midfielder O’Shea scored the second goal to level up matters for the first time, 2-7 to 2-7.
Waterford regained the lead when McCarthy finished a patient move. Déise corner back Aoife Murray made a goal saving block from Aoife Healy before Quirke equalised again.
In the last minute, Hannah Power supplied Emma Murray who struck her third off her reliable right boot. Karen McGrath dropped a ball short and Áine O’Neill was sin-binned as the hosts tried to hold on.
Quirke had the last word though, six minutes into added time, when she scored the crucial leveller.
Scorers – Waterford: L McGregor 1-1, K Hogan 0-4 (0-4f), A Fitzgerald 1-0, E Murray 0-3, C McCarthy 0-1.
Cork: K Quirke 0-5 (0-3f), E O’Shea 1-0, D Kiely 1-0, E Kiely 0-2, E Cleary 0-1, L Coppinger 0-1.
Waterford: E O’Brien; C Murray, M Dunford, A Murray; H Power, K Hogan, E Power; K McGrath, E Murray; A O’Neill, L McGregor, A Waring; A Fitzgerald, B McMaugh, C McCarthy.
Subs: S McGuckian for Fitzgerald (50), C Hynes for McCarthy (56), M Comerford for Waring (61).
Cork: M O’Sullivan; S Kelly, E Meaney, D Kiniry; A Healy, H Looney, M Duggan; E O’Shea, L Coppinger; E Cleary, R Leahy, D Kiely; K Quirke, E Kiely, A Ring.
Subs: O Cahalane for Ring (ht), L O’Mahony for Coppinger (41), B O’Sullivan for D Kiely (41), E Jack for Cleary (63), S McGoldrick for Healy (63).
Referee: S Mulvihill (Kerry).Tweet