THE DAM LOOKED on the verge of bursting all evening and eventually Dublin broke through for three late goals to put a gloss on their victory over Cork in their Super 8s opener.
Ciaran Kilkenny and Tomas Clancy battle for possession.
Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO
Cork gave a good account of themselves in front of 30,214 and were just three behind heading into the final 10 minutes, but late green flags from Niall Scully, Ciaran Kilkenny and Brian Fenton leaves the Rebels with a scoring difference of -13 in Group 2.
Cork showed enough to suggest they’ll pose Roscommon and Tyrone plenty of problems in their final two games in the group, although Ronan McCarthy has some defensive issues to sort out.
Dublin cut the Rebels for five goals and left another five or six behind them. No other team comes close to Dublin’s ability to move the ball in tight areas and work high percentage shooting chances, while their running game tore the Cork rearguard to shreds.
Ultimately, it was an old-fashioned shoot-out. Cork went toe-to-toe with the Leinster side. For 60-odd minutes they were right up there with them, despite going in six behind at the interval.
On the balance of play, the 13-point margin was harsh on the Rebels. They did so much right: their kick-out routine was solid, they won plenty of breaks around the midfield and popped over some quality scores with Paul Kerrigan on good form in the first 35 minutes.
Crucially, they looked a match for the All-Ireland champions athletically, even if Dublin did cut them open for numerous goal chances. They pressed right up on Stephen Cluxton’s kick-outs when they could, forcing him to deliver 50/50 ball into a midfield war zone.
Stephen Cluxton gets his hand to a long delivery.
Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO
Ciaran Kilkenny buzzed about in his playmaking role and Con O’Callaghan drove at the Cork rearguard, firing over four points. Dean Rock hit five from five after his second-half introduction and Jim Gavin was able to give James McCarthy a run-out in stoppage-time following his return from a knee injury.
Cork’s tactics involved leaving three forwards up when they defended. Their dangerous full-forward duo of Brian Hurley and Mark Collins stayed inside together with Kerrigan more withdrawn as the link man between the lines.
Centre-forward Sean White looked to drop back and help out his defence, as did wing-forwards Ruairi Deane and Luke Connolly on occasions.
It largely worked well for the opening period. The Rebels raced into a four-point lead after 10 minutes but their deep half-forward line was an open invitation for McCaffrey to attack, and attack he did.
Jack McCaffrey runs at the Cork defence.
Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO
On five occasions during the first-half, the Clontarf flyer ran at the Rebels. He rolled in 12th-minute goal after some loose defending from White and Thomas Clancy, before starting the move for scores from Kilkenny and Philly McMahon.
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McCaffrey almost slipped Costello in for a goal in the 26th minute but a timely interception from Clancy spared the visitors.
Dublin eventually rattled the net for a second time seconds before the break, with the former Footballer of the Year involved again. He delivered a long free into Con O’Callaghan. The Cuala man cushioned the ball before feeding the run of Costello, who put it across for a Michael Darragh Macauley slam dunk into the net.
Leading by six at the break, Dublin have won countless games by powering home in the third quarter yet Cork had other ideas. Mattie Taylor forced a save from Stephen Cluxton and then Ian Maguire was fouled in the area after a purposeful run from Kerrigan.
Niall Scully scores a goal.
Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO
Connolly dispatched the penalty to leave Cork trailing by 1-11 to 2-10. Wing-backs Liam O’Donovan and Taylor added a score apiece, while Hurley fired over his second to leave the Rebels just three behind after 60 minutes.
Dublin were clinical down the home straight where they fired 3-3, with McCaffrey involved once again for Fenton’s three-pointer.
Scorers for Dublin: Dean Rock 0-5 (0-3f, 0-1 45), Ciaran Kilkenny 1-2, Brian Fenton 1-1, Con O’Callaghan 0-4, Niall Scully, Jack McCaffrey and Michael Darragh Macauley 1-0 each, Philly McMahon and Paul Mannion 0-2 each, John Small and Cormac Costello 0-1 each.
Scorers for Cork: Luke Connolly 1-3 (1-0 pen, 0-1 45), Paul Kerrigan and Brian Hurley (0-1f) 0-3 each, Michael Hurley 0-2, Liam O’Donovan, Mattie Taylor, Kevin O’Driscoll, Sean White, Ruairi Deane, Mark Collins (0-1f) 0-1 each.
1. Stephen Cluxton (Parnells)
2. David Byrne (Naomh Olaf)
3. Michael Fitzsimons (Cuala)
4. Philly McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams)
7. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams)
6. Cian O’Sullivan (Kilmacud Crokes)
5. Jack McCaffrey (Clontarf)
8. Brian Fenton (Raheny)
9. Michael Darragh-MacAuley (Ballyboden St Endas)
10. Niall Scully (Templeogue Synge Street)
13. Ciarán Kilkenny (Castleknock)
12. Brian Howard (Raheny)
15. Con O’Callaghan (Cuala)
14. Paul Mannion (Kilmacud Crokes)
11. Cormac Costello (Whitehall Colmcille)
25. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams) for Costello (45)
26. Paddy Small (Ballymun Kickhams) for O’Callaghan (65)
18. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna) for O’Sullivan (67)
21. Kevin McManamon (St Jude’s) for Mannion (67)
22. Eoin Murchan (Na Fianna) for McCaffrey (69)
20. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams) for Fenton (71)
1. Mark White (Clonakilty)
2. James Loughrey (Mallow)
4. Kevin Flahive (Douglas)
3. Thomas Clancy (Clonakilty)
5. Liam O’ Donovan (Clonakilty)
6. Tomas Clancy (Fermoy)
7. Mattie Taylor (Mallow)
8. Ian Maguire (St Finbarrs) (Captain)
10. Kevin O’ Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh)
15. Luke Connolly (Nemo Rangers)
11. Sean White (Clonakilty)
12. Ruairi Deane (Bantry Blues)
24. Paul Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers)
14. Brian Hurley (Castlehaven)
13. Mark Collins (Castlehaven)
17. Kevin O’Donovan (Nemo Rangers) for Loughrey (56)
25. Michael Hurley (Castlehaven) for Kerrigan (56)
9. Ronan O’Toole (Eire Og) for White (63)
26. Stephen Sherlock (St Finbarr’s) for Connolly (65)
22. Cian Kiely (Ballincollig) for Liam O’Donovan (66)
23. John O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers) for Maguire (69)
Referee: David Gough (Meath)
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