Rebel snipers put Déise down to Division 1B
NHL Division 1A Relegation Play-Off
A depleted Waterford went down fighting at a perishing Páirc Uí Rinn
on Sunday. Four late points sealed Cork’s place in Division 1A for
Kevin Moran (illness) and Austin Gleeson (ankle injury) were marked
absent for the visitors. Noel Connors and Tadhg De Burca stifled the
inside threat but they shipped 0-12 further out. Minus those big
leaders, Cork controlled the middle third and hurt Waterford from long
range. Man of the match Bill Cooper hit four points and supplied three
assists. Partner Darragh Fitzgibbon and deep lying centre forward Dean
Brosnan scored three each. Brosnan’s replacement Daniel Kearney
confirmed their top flight status with two singles.
Maurice Shanahan received a straight red within a minute of his
introduction after an off the ball altercation with Tim O’Mahony. A
ninth dismissal in the last six meetings between these counties.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, the away side narrowed the gap to
two. Thomas Ryan, Stephen Bennett and Jake Dillon kept them in the
survival hunt before that late Cork flurry.
Conor Gleeson didn’t start either as he found himself snowed in on
Sunday morning. The Rebels, stung by four losses in a row, got a
five-point head start. Waterford didn’t score until 21st minute via a
Patrick Curran penalty.
Jamie Barron registered their first from play three minutes into injury
time and Michael Kearney followed it up (0-10 to 1-4). Waterford
finished the half with six wides. Curran had a goal disallowed and Colin
Dunford tested Anthony Nash.
In the third quarter, Tom Devine overcooked a pass across goal to
Stephen Bennett before he crashed a shot off the post. Nash tipped over
the first of three Bennett points.
Cooper’s fourth left John Meyler’s men 0-17 to 1-9 ahead entering the
last ten minutes. The leaders wobbled when Waterford struck three
without reply. Cork stayed cool and found the extra space. Two Kearney
white flags (the first from a pinpoint Nash pass), a wonder point by
Patrick Horgan near the sideline and a Colm Spillane shoulder and score
ended their league on a high.
It was the second time that the Déise suffered relegation to Division
1B under Derek McGrath’s watch. The beaten manager remained upbeat.
“I thought it was one of our best performances of the league. We had
grounds to feel that we could have been ahead at half time, created a
lot of goal scoring chances. We were a little more conventional in our
approach. We were having a look at that today ahead of June 17.”
Demotion to the second tier isn’t as damaging as 2014 in his view.
“In an overall sense, having two relegations on your CV doesn’t
bother me. It would bother me if the lads were hurt by it.
Psychologically, there’s no scars in our dressing room. There’s a
sense of pride that maybe we’re going in the right direction. We’ve
put three good performances back to back, two results and one going
against us. That’s the general feeling.”
Scorers for Cork: Patrick Horgan 0-5 (3fs), Bill Cooper 0-4, Darragh
Fitzgibbon, Dean Brosnan 0-3 each, Daniel Kearney 0-2, Michael Cahalane,
Alan Cadogan, Conor Lehane, Colm Spillane 0-1 each.
Scorers for Waterford: Pauric Mahony 0-4 (2fs), Patrick Curran 1-0 (1-0
pen), Stephen Bennett 0-3, Thomas Ryan 0-2, Tadhg De Burca, Jamie
Barron, Michael Kearney, Jake Dillon 0-1 each.
Cork: Anthony Nash; Sean O’Donoghue, Eoin Cadogan, Colm Spillane;
Christopher Joyce, Tim O’Mahony, Mark Coleman; Darragh Fitzgibbon,
Bill Cooper; Seamus Harnedy, Dean Brosnan, Conor Lehane; Alan Cadogan,
Patrick Horgan, Michael Cahalane.
Subs: Luke Meade for Cahalane, Darren Browne for O’Mahony, Daniel
Kearney for Brosnan, Robbie O’Flynn for Alan Cadogan.
Waterford: Stephen O’Keeffe; Shane Fives, Barry Coughlan, Noel
Connors; Kieran Bennett, Tadhg De Burca, Philip Mahony; Jamie Barron,
Colin Dunford; Stephen Bennett, Pauric Mahony, Michael Kearney; Patrick
Curran, Tom Devine, Thomas Ryan.
Subs: Conor Gleeson for Kieran Bennett, Maurice Shanahan for Kearney,
Brian O’Halloran for Dunford, Jake Dillon for Curran, Michael Walsh
Referee: John Keenan (Wicklow)