Cork defeated Waterford by 0-23 to 1-15 in the Munster Championship semi-final on Sunday to book a final meeting with Clare on July 9.
With the Corkonians proving the rebellion under Kieran Kingston is well and truly underway, we pick our standout performers on another memorable day for the underdogs.
5. Patrick Horgan
Another day of high-scoring and clinical finishing from the Glen Rovers man. Horgan capitalised on some ill-discipline from Waterford and came up with 0-10 of his county’s overall tally – with accurate free-taking, one 65 and two points from play.
At top level hurling, you have to capitalise on your opponent’s mistakes and Horgan certainly did that for Cork on Sunday.
4. Mark Ellis
A commanding defensive display from Ellis was instrumental in Cork’s victory today – catching many of the opposing puck-outs in a wonderful show of aerial ability. Although Pauric Mahony did enjoy the odd score, there is no denying that Ellis won the battle with his marker for the most part.
There was simply no getting past the Millstreet man today, and he complemented a fine individual performance with a superb score in what was arguably one of his best displays in a Rebels jersey.
3. Mark Coleman
At the age of 19, for Coleman to produce a performance of this calibre was incredibly impressive. His sideline cut, which split the posts in the first half, was one which Austin Gleeson would’ve been proud of, and the youngster backed up his previous fine performances again on Sunday with another display beyond his years.
Anthony Nash found Coleman time after time with his puck outs to kickstart the Rebels’ attacks, and the UCC student proved a thorn in Waterford’s side all afternoon.
2. Conor Lehane
Another four points for Lehane today, but the sight of the Midleton man limping off late on must be a worrying one for Cork supporters after another scintillating display. Although now a major doubt for the Clare clash, Lehane has been instrumental in Cork’s run to the final and Sunday proved to be no different.
His first-half score from the sideline showed just why many regard him as one of the finest hurlers in the country. Lehane worked tirelessly all day, creating and scoring chances – and he will be a big loss to the Rebels should his injury be a serious one.
1. Stephen O’Keeffe
An honourable mention goes to the Waterford goalkeeper in what was an otherwise disappointing day for the Déise. O’Keeffe’s first half save from Alan Cadogan at his near-post was wonderful, but he would upstage it moments later with an incredible stop to deny what looked a certain goal from Seamus Harnedy.
His shot-stopping ability and bravery cannot be questioned in what was another fine display from the Ballygunner goalkeeper.
Jordan Norris, Pundit Arena