Allianz NFL Division 1 – Cork 2-13 Dublin 2-6

Cork defeated Dublin by 2-13 to 2-6 in Round 5 of the Allianz National Football League Division 1 on Saturday at Pairc Ui Rinn.

Rebels end Dublin’s unbeaten run

From the GAA.ie web site

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Dublin’s unbeaten run in the league came to an abrupt end on Leeside on Saturday night as Cork rumbled their defensive tactics to record a comfortable 2-13 to 2-6 victory. Dublin played with up to 13 men in their own half for much of the game, but Cork’s slick attack had little trouble picking through the thicket of Sky Blue defenders and they led 2-8 to 1-5 at the break after an entertaining first half. Daniel Goulding and Paul Kerrigan hit the back of the net for the Rebels in the first half with Kevin McManamon responding for the Dubs, but Pat Gilroy’s charges managed just 1-1 in a disappointing second half and Cork cruised to a seven-point win in the end.

Cork took the lead in the third minute after a sweeping move involving the rampaging Paudie Kissane, a late replacement for the injured Ger Spillane, and Alan O’Connor, who started at full-forward, allowing Nicholas Murphy to form a new midfield partnership with Derek Kavanagh. O’Connor was fouled after taking Kissane’s pass and Daniel Goulding tapped over the free. Dublin responded with a point from Kevin McManamon, who started in a two-man inside full-forward line with Bernard Brogan. Eamon Fennell grabbed his by now customary point two minutes later as the Dubs levelled the game after Fintan Goold had momentarily put the Rebels ahead. Cork’s plans were thrown into disarray in the ninth minute when Murphy was forced to leave the pitch after damaging the same hamstring that has curtailed his early season involvement. Ciaran Sheehan came in for the giant Carrigaline man, but it was an especially tough blow for Cork, who lost Pearse O’Neill to a finger injury in midweek. Sheehan made an immediate impact, offloading to Paddy Kelly, who fired Cork into the lead. However, there was even better to come from the Rebels’ slick forward unit a minute later as Kerrigan caught a high ball and found O’Connor, who fed Goulding and the Éire Óg man made no mistake, slipping a low shot to the back of the net.

Alan Hubbard pulled one back for the Dubs, but the Dublin full-forward line was starting to look increasingly isolated as Gilroy instructed his charges to put as many bodies as possible behind the ball. Kerrigan was still finding space in the half-forward line, and when he beat Paul Conlon for pace on the outside, the Nemo Rangers man drove over a fine point with the outside of his right boot. Dublin, though, hit back immediately. Ross McConnell delivered a long ball into the edge of the square and McManamon outmuscled Ray Carey, turned and slotted home his third goal of the league campaign to leave the Dubs just a point down. Just when Dublin looked to be back in the game, Cork caught fire, as Sheehan and Kavanagh found their range, before Kerrigan kicked Cork’s second goal in the 27th minute. Kelly was the architect, smuggling through two tackles and fisting inside to the burly Kerrigan, who drove home from a tight angle to leave Cork 2-6 to 1-3 ahead. Again, Dublin responded quickly, with Brogan kicking two points in as many minutes, the first of which was a glorious effort from the right hand touchline. The Dubs might have gone in at half time chasing down less of a deficit but for Paddy O’Shea’s superb save from McManamon after the Dublin attacker had once again beaten Carey for pace. Cork went into the break six points to the good thanks to Kavanagh’s second point from play and another Goulding free.

The home side made the better start to the second half as Dublin seemed content to leave their opponents attack them at will. Cian O’Sullivan was caught in possession three minutes after the restart and Kelly put Cork seven points clear. It was to prove the only score in the first ten minutes of the second as Dublin appeared content to choke up the midfield and play on the counter attack. The tactic paid dividends after 47 minutes, when Brogan took Fennell’s pass in his stride, beat Cadogan for pace on the outside and drove a low shot past O’Shea from a tight angle. The gap was now down to four and it prompted Gilroy to bring in Conal Keaney and switch to a three-man full-forward line. Their good work was nearly undone a minute later as Cork’s Sheehan, who passed up the opportunity of a career in the AFL to pursue his dream of playing with his county, beat two Dublin defenders to the ball and might have added his side’s second goal but blasted over the bar when he only had Savage to beat. Kelly was next to go close for the Rebels, but he was denied by a fine save from Savage. Twice, Cork found a way through the blanket of blue defenders in the fourth quarter, with Goulding taking his total to 1-4 for the night with a fine score from out the field, while Alan O’Connor’s effort after 57 minutes left his side 2-12 to 2-5 ahead. Kerrigan knocked over Cork’s third successive point before Keaney finally responded for the Dubs in the 67th minute, just their second score of the half as the game petered out in the closing minutes.

Goulding pounces to bring Cork back on track

By Liam Kelly for the Irish Independent newspaper

Monday March 22 2010

IN the words of the great Alex Ferguson, it’s ‘squeaky bum’ time at this stage of the league, and next weekend’s matches for both Cork and Dublin are tests of desire and character. Cork travel north to face Derry with morale boosted by this significant win over hitherto-unbeaten Dublin, while the Blues need to get back on the winning trail at home to Galway. But neither set of players will quickly forget the pounding they gave each other during a pulsating first half at Pairc Ui Rinn on Saturday. A crowd of 4,318 were enthralled by the unrelenting passion and ferocity of commitment displayed by both sides in an absorbing opening period.

Some fell by the wayside. Cork’s Nicholas Murphy, who has been battling hamstring problems, lasted only nine minutes before they reappeared, and he was replaced by Ciaran Sheehan. Dublin’s Ger Brennan, playing at left half-back, took an early walk to the sideline after only 30 minutes, but performance, not form, caused him to be called ashore. Kevin Nolan came on as a sub. The scoreline at that point read Cork 2-7 Dublin 1-5 and already Pat Gilroy was looking for ways to stem the flow of Cork pressure. Dublin weren’t doing too bad on the counter-attack, and their defensive depth in numbers was translated to attack often enough to cause the home side plenty of concern, particularly in the first half. Each side could have scored another goal or two in this game but the respective keepers — Paddy O’Shea of Cork and Dublin’s Michael Savage — made good blocks on goal-bound shots in each half. Neither man could do much about the goals they did concede, and for the Rebels, the goals they scored came at crucial times to sway the momentum in their favour.

The game started at a frantic speed, but when the dust settled, the fact was that Pat Gilroy’s men never held the lead over the course of the game. The best they did was to get on level terms twice — first at 0-1 each and then at 0-2 each, with six minutes played. Cork’s Daniel Goulding got both his side’s early scores – one from a free – and they were matched by one each from Kevin McManamon and Eamon Fennell. The 11th-minute point for the Leesiders by Paddy Kelly that put his side in front was the prequel to the first goal just a minute later. Cork peeled open the Dubs defence when a ball from Fintan Gould found Paul Kerrigan who then swiftly moved it to Alan O’Connor. O’Connor in turn passed to Goulding and the latter gleefully slotted the ball past Michael Savage in the Dubs goal.

The men from the captial shook off the momentary trauma of their defensive line being broken and came back strongly — so much so that the lively McManamon did brilliantly to win a high lofted ball sent in by Ross McConnell, beat the covering defender and fire in Dublin’s first goal. That 22nd-minute score managed to encourage Cork to up the ante once more, and the home side – inspired by the probing, harrying, and forward-pressing of the impressive Goulding, Kerrigan, O’Connor and Derek Kavanagh – breached the Sky Blues’ cover once more. This time it was Kerrigan putting the finishing touch to a clever jinking run by Paddy Kelly who dodged into clear space, giving Kerrigan the chance to score the home side’s second goal eight minutes before half-time.

Kerrigan was delighted with that score, and also with the next couple of points from Kavanagh and Goulding which pushed Cork into a 2-8 to 1-5 lead at half-time. “We knew it was going to be that kind of pace at the start,” said Kerrigan after the game. “It was a top-of-the-table game and luckily enough we got that intensity up in the first half, and we went in a few points ahead. “We felt if we could control the tempo and the possession in the second half we’d pick off the scores and that’s what happened. The intensity dropped a bit but that’s the way we wanted it.” Gilroy later said that his players did not work hard enough in that first half. “We let them come on to us far too much. You get punished by top teams like that and Cork are a very good team. We were very naive with some of the things we did, but we were still trying,” he said.

“In the second half our work rate was a lot better and we looked a lot more solid in the second half. I thought we recovered well enough in the second half to say we didn’t roll over in the game.” The tempo dropped considerably in the second half, and even the introduction of Darren Magee and Conal Keaney couldn’t inspire Dublin. The Munster champions added five points in the second half, but Dublin could only manage two scores. A solo run by Bernard Brogan culminated in a fine goal after 47 minutes, but the only other addition to the Dublin scoreline came from a Keaney point three minutes from full-time. Cork boss Conor Counihan felt his side could have done even better. “We’d have been a bit disappointed at some of the options we took in the second half, but we wanted a response from our lads after losing last week and we got that,” he said.

Scorers — Cork: D Goulding 1-4 (2f), P Kerrigan 1-2, D Kavanagh, P Kelly 0-2 each, P O’Flynn, C Sheehan, A O’Connor 0-1 each. Dublin: B Brogan 1-2 (1f), K McManamon 1-1, E Fennell, C Keaney (0-1f), A Hubbard 0-1 each.

Cork — P O’Shea; R Carey, M Shields, E Cotter; N O’Leary, P Kissane, E Cadogan; A O’Connor, D Kavanagh; F Gould, N Murphy, P Kelly; D Goulding, P Kerrigan, J Hayes. Subs: C Sheehan for Murphy (9), S Kiely for O’Leary (63), F Lynch for Gould (68), B O’Regan for E Cotter (68).

Dublin — M Savage; P Conlon, M Fitzsimons, P McMahon; H Gill, C O’Sullivan, G Brennan; E Fennell, R McConnell; A Hubbard, M McAuley, P Flynn; D Henry, B Brogan, K McManamon. Subs: K Nolan for Brennan (30), D Kelly for McAuley (h-t), D Magee for McConnell (43), C Keaney for Flynn (48), M McAuley for Fennell (63).

ref — P McEnaney (Monaghan).