Waterford and Cork will have to do it all again after a 1-21 to 1-21 draw in Thurles in their Munster Senior Hurling Championship quarter-final. Patrick Horgan’s free in the last minute of injury time gives Jimmy Barry Murphy’s men another day after his men fought back from nine points down early in the second half. They were also thankful to a superb Shane O’Neill interception denying Seamus Prendergast a goal chance in injury-time.
It was a battle of the free takers with little to differentiate Mahony (11 points, 9 from play) and Horgan (12, 8 from play) but Waterford were wasteful in front of goal and will need to imrove to book a meeting in the Munster Senior Hurling Championship semi-final with Clare.
Mahony and Patrick Horgan traded frees inside the opening minute before Deise pulled clear. Mahony added another before Brian O’Sullivan got on the scoresheet from long range. Waterford who were written off continued their dominance with half-back Jamie Nagle and corner back Tadhg de Burca giving them a 0-5 to 0-1 lead on 12 minutes.
Cork were badly in needed of a score and it came from debutant Alan Cadogan and when Mahony split the posts with his third free but Séamus Harnedy brought Cork back to within three with his first point on 16 minutes. Waterford stretched their lead to five before the 20th minute with Jake Dillon and Mahony (free) seeing Derek McGrath’s side take control at 0-8 to 0-3.
With Cork struggling to get a foothold in the game Aidan Walsh sent a superb sideline cut over the bar on 24 minutes. Mahony finally got off the mark from play but Cadogan responded immediately 27 minutes in. Despite the fact that Waterford were wasteful in front of goal with nine wides in the first half, they kept the scoreboard ticking over with Nagle firing in a long range point as Waterford led by double scores; 0-10 to 0-5 on 28 minutes.
Horgan popped over his second free but Gleeson restored the five-point lead with a brilliantly taken sideline cut on his Championship debut. Mahony and Horgan traded frees before the excellent Gleeson finished the scoring with a superb point giving Waterford a 0-13 to 0-7 lead.
Horgan and Mahony traded scores from play at the start of the second-half. Conor Lehane and O’Sullivan traded scores but Cork upped the intensity and closed the margin to four with scores from Cadogan and a Horgan free on 41 minutes. Waterford bounced back with when the referee over-ruled his linesman giving Waterford a sideline cut. Moments later Gleeson was sent scampering away, leaving four defenders in his wake as he bore down on goal and fired to the roof of the Cork net. Waterford led 1-15 to 0-11 with 43 minutes gone.
Shane Walsh added a point from play and Mohony his sixth free as Waterford moved into what seemed like an insurmountable 1-17 to 0-11 lead after 46 minutes. Cork reponded with Pat Horgan firing low only for Stephen O’Keefe to dive brilliantly to his right to save, but in came substitute Bill Cooper to puck the ball home in a goalmouth scramble. Mahony stretched their lead to seven points with another free, but Cork fought back.
Cork by this stage were using a two-man full forward line in Harnedy and Cadogan with Horgan moving further out the field and Pa Cronin as a third midfielder. Walsh and Horgan (free) narrowed the margin to five before Mahony got his tenth score of the game; 1-19 to 1-13. But everything Mahony did, Horgan was his equal.
Three Horgan points in a row, two from frees closed the gap to three points in the space of just three minutes and Waterford looked dead on their feet. Cadogan made it a two-point game and Horgan made it a bare minimal with an hour played; 1-18 to 1-19. Mahony and Horgan traded frees before Cooper levelled the game for just the second time in the game with a minute remaining.
Seamus Prendergast edged Deise in front but Shane O’Neill was the hero as he intercepted an O’Sullivan pass bound for Prendergast which would have seen the attacker through on goal. As it was a late tackle by Gleeson on Anthony Nash gave Horgan the chance to level matters and so the sides will do battle once more in two weeks time.
Anthony Nash; Shane O’Neill, Damien Cahalane, Stephen McDonnell; Christopher Joyce, Mark Ellis, Lorcán McLoughlin; Daniel Kearney (Brian Lawton on 50), Aidan Walsh (0-1, 1 sideline cut); Conor Lehane (0-1), Cian McCarthy (Bill Cooper on 35 1-1), Patrick Cronin (Stephen Moylan) on 52); Alan Cadogan (0-4), Séamus Harnedy (0-1) (Jamie Coughlan on 64), Patrick Horgan (0-12, 8fs, 0-1 ’65).
Stephen O’Keeffe; Tadhg de Búrca (0-1), Liam Lawlor, Noel Connors; Jamie Nagle (0-2), Michael Walsh, Barry Coughlan; Kevin Moran, Eddie Barrett; Colin Dunford, Pauric Mahony (0-11, 9fs), Austin Gleeson (1-2, 1 sideline cut); Brian O’Sullivan (0-2), Shane Walsh (0-1) (Seamus Prendergast (0-1), Jake Dillon (0-1).