Cork have beaten Waterford to reach their first Munster Hurling Championship final since 2014, after beating the Déise in Thurles on a scoreline of 0-23 to 1-15.
5. The Rebels Back It All Up
Cork were woefully inconsistent during the league, which ensured that things were kept grounded on Leeside the last few weeks since the Tipperary victory.
The question was whether this was a flash in the pan or was this young side the real deal?
They have now beaten two of the frontrunners for the All-Ireland title.
Conor Lehane, Alan Cadogan, Seamus Harnedy et al showed heart and maturity to close out the game from a winning position.
4. Austin Gleeson’s Score
We’re going to be talking about this one for a while…
What a score. The 2016 Hurler of the Year masterfully picked up from where he left off last year with, well, a masterful pick-up. What a point it was by the Mount Sion clubman.
One of the greatest scores ever seen in Thurles, and that’s saying something.
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) June 18, 2017
3. Cork Puck Outs
These Cork guys aren’t just a one-trick pony. The Rebels ran the Tipp halfback line ragged in the first round, with low puck outs into space for the forwards to run into.
Today, Nash varied things also to a great degree of success.
Mark Coleman played a key role in fielding short passes before sending the ball up to the forwards. The Blarney clubman was immense as he kept the ball moving, barely putting a foot out of place.
When the Déise put measures in place to counteract this platform, Nash went long.
The fielding of Harnedy provided a target when it was driven down the field in the second half.
2. Maurice Shanahan The Key Man
It isn’t the first time a Shanahan has caused Cork heartache in Thurles.
Maurice’s inclusion asked questions of the Cork backs right from the off, although Damien Cahalane was impressive early on, keeping the Lismore man quiet and forcing Derek McGrath to move him out the field.
In the second half, Shanahan stole in and rocketed past Nash.
After struggling for game time last summer, the 2015 All-Star is back as McGrath’s go-to forward.
1. Stephen O’Keeffe
The Ballygunner shot-stopper has been well regarded as one of the premier keepers in the country in recent years, but has never been awarded an All-Star award. If he keeps this level of form up, he’s a shoo-in this year, and Waterford will still have something to say later in the summer.
Two remarkable saves in the latter stages of the first half kept Cork at bay during a Waterford purple patch.