Waterford IT 0-17 Cork IT 0-12

Waterford IT powered to their ninth Fitzgibbon Cup title and their first since 2008, when they powered to victory over CIT at The Dub, Belfast.

Inspired by the wizardry of Jake Dillon, Colm Bonnar’s side had to turn up the heat to get the better of a Cork side denied yet again, and still seeking a first triumph.

Dillon and Pauric Mahony nailed the decisisve scores that saw WIT over the line in a close contest that looked like going all the way to the wire, until Harry Kehoe and Dilllon conjured the crucial sicrews in the closing stages.

Waterford, fresh from their extra-time semi-final victory a day earlier, were quickly into their stride, and raced into a four points lead by the seventh minute. Pauric Mahony knocked over a couple of frees, and Jake Dillon and Eoin Murphy also hitting the target from play.

John O’Dwyer opened Cork’s account from a 12th-minute free, but Waterford, with Cathal Kenny making a major impact around midfield, maintained their early dominance…Kenny split the posts in style, but Pat Mulcahy’s men with a Conor Hammersley score, followed by an excellent Bill Cooper effort to narrow the gap to two.

Liam McGrath, with a point executed from an extremely tight angle, had just restored the four points gap with a point squeezed over from an acute angle, when Cork enjoyed their most productive spell of the game, O’Dwyer adding two more to his tally, and Cooper nailing his second to narrow the gap to ta single point.

But Colm Bonnar’s side finished the side strongly, Kenny powering over his third score of the afternoon, before Jake Dillon made it 0-10 to 0-7 at the break.

Cork produced another flourish early in the second half, with Hammersley and O’Dwyer trimming back the deficit to a single point. And it was Mark Ellis who pushed forward from the back to bring them level in the 38th minute.

Waterford needed some solid defending from Pauric Gahan and Jerome Maher to prevent further damage, and went back in front on the breakaway through Harry Kehoe. The value of a reliable free-taker was underlined when Mahony drilled over a huge effort.

But Cork displayed tenacity and doggedness to fight for every ball, and were rewarded with two John Cronin scores, and trailed by just a point going into the final quarter. The first goal chance of the game fell to Cork’s David Dooley, but from a difficult angle, he fired his shot into the side netting.

A relieved WIT side turned up the tempo once again, and two Harry Kehoe points in quick succession, along with another Dillon point, had them ahead by 0-17 to 0-12 going into the final five minutes.

CIT: S Nyhan, S Murphy, A Dennehy, T Lawrence, M Ellis (0-01), E Keane, P Butler, W Murphy, B Cooper (0-02), J O’Dwyer (0-05, 4f), J Cronin (0-02), C Hammersley (0-02), D Dooley, D Drake, J Coughlan.

Subs: K O’Connor for Coughlan (22), K Hallisey for Drake (37), D Corbett for W Murphy (44), A Kenny for O’Dwyer (52), D Lonegan for Corbett (55), S Murray for Cooper (57)

WIT: S O’Keefe, G Teehan, G Teehan, P Gahan, J Maher, T Hamill, J O’Dwyer, J Langton, S Roche, C Kenny (0-03), H Kehoe (0-03), P Mahony (0-04, 4f), E Murphy (0-01), L McGrath (0-01), J Dillon (0-04), G O’Brien.

Subs: J Hayes (0-01) for L McGrath (46)

Referee: J McGrath (Westmeath)