The Waterford Under 20 hurlers lost to Cork by 1-17 to 1-13 on a wet Wednesday night at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
The visitors hit eight second half wides and twelve in total. They also missed two late goal chances. Patrick Fitzgerald struck eight points for Gary O'Keeffe's side. Midfielder Josh Fitzgerald also impressed with 1-1.
Waterford led by six points after 22 minutes. Patrick Fitzgerald looked sharp at corner forward and slotted six first half efforts. Josh Fitzgerald beat two Cork defenders and found the top corner on 19 minutes. The Rebels hit back as Colin Walsh soloed through the Déise defence and blasted to the roof of the net. Waterford netminder Cian Troy then denied Michael Mullins from close range. Ben Cunningham converted the subsequent 65, his sixth point, to narrow the gap to one at the break (1-10 to 1-9).
Referee Michael Kennedy spoke to managers Gary O'Keeffe and Ben O'Connor before the game restarted. In the pouring rain, the away team could only add three second half points. Substitute Francis Roche split the posts five minutes into the second period. Patrick Fitzgerald put over two more. Eight wides proved costly as late points from Adam O'Sullivan and Eoin O'Leary sealed victory for Cork.
Waterford will welcome Clare to Fraher Field on April 12 in a must-win game.