They, whoever ‘they’ are, say that pride comes before a fall. And during this game we fell so far we bounced twice. I won’t say we were expecting to mangle Cork but the fact that the stand was full about an hour before throw-in speaks volumes for the tremor that the trashing of Tipp had sent through Waterford’s collective spine. Great things were expected.
I had expressed the opinion prior to this game that if Fergal Hartley played well, so did Waterford. This game seemed to show it from the ‘Fergal-plays-badly’ perspective. Cork were clearly more industrious early on but an appalling piece of dithering by Hartley let Joe Deane in for a neat goal and the sky fell in on Waterford. Cork scored 1-6 to our no score in the second quarter and the game was over. The half back line of O’hAilpin, Corcoran and Landers were particularly dominant.
The second half was always going to be about pride. And to be fair they came out fighting. Unfortunately this ended up with Tom Feeney getting his marching orders. To this day I’ll never understand why. He was clattered by Michael O’Connell so he responed by hitting O’Connell’s hurley. So the ref sent him off! Lucky Feeney was wearing a face mask because it probably prevented his jaw from hitting the floor. This probably spurred the Déise on into a lather of righteous indignation and Flynn scored a corker of a goal. But it didn’t effect the result.
Waterford: Brendan Landers, Stephen Frampton (capt.), Sean Cullinane, Mark O’Sullivan, Tom Feeney, Fergal Hartley, Peter Queally (Miceál White) , Tony Browne, Gary Gater (Tony Carroll), Brian Greene, Ken McGrath (0-2), Ger Harris (0-1), Dan Shanahan (0-1), Billy O’Sullivan (0-1), Paul Flynn (1-0).
Cork: Ger Cunningham, Fergal Ryan, John Browne, Diarmuid O’Sullivan, Mark Landers, Brian Corcoran, Sean Óg O’hAilpin, Pat Ryan, Michael Daly, Brian O’Driscoll (0-3), Fergal McCormack (0-3), Michael O’Connell (0-1; Barry Egan), Sean McGrath, Alan Browne (Kevin Murray, 0-1), Joe Deane (1-3).
HT: Waterford 0-2 (0-2) Cork 1-9 (12)
Referee: Pat Horan (Offaly).
Post Scriptum – the performance of the ref was particularly suspect. Late in the second half he awarded a free to Cork for Brendan Landers picking the ball off the ground. The umpire had to ‘correct’ him. As Gerald McCarthy put it, he shouldn’t need the umpire. Events the following week between Cork and Wexford would suggest it was not just in this match that Pat Horan was incompetent.