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Allianz Football League Division 1 Final – Cork 0-21 Dublin 2-14
Cork came from 7 points down midway through the second half to defeat Dublin by 0-21 to 2-14 in the Allianz Football League Division 1 Final on Sunday at Croke Park.
Cork show true grit to overhaul Dublin
From the Irish Independent newspaper
Rebels resurgent as second-half blitz prolongs capital’s title famine
Cork 0-21 Dublin 2-14
ALLIANZ NFL DIVISION 1 FINAL
THIS Cork squad is taking shape as one seriously powerful force. One All-Ireland and two Allianz League (Division 1) titles in the space of 12 months has taken them into territory not visited for 74 years as they emulated Mayo by winning successive spring competitions, separated by the major September prize. It tees them up perfectly for a shot at the double-double later this year and, on the evidence of their success over Dublin at Croke Park yesterday, they are primed to perfection for the big challenge. Beating a team that had been the most consistent in the divisional games was always going to demand a better performance than anything Cork had given so far. But it actually took a whole lot more than that after they were pushed into the deepest of holes by Dublin’s energy and industry.
The world must have looked a dark, lonely place for Cork when Diarmuid Connolly confidently looped over a point in the 40th minute to take Dublin eight points clear and seemingly on their way to a first National League title since 1993. They had finished the first half with four unanswered points and then added 1-2 in the opening five minutes of the second period in an enterprising burst that was reminiscent of the many fine periods they had put together in their previous seven games. Cork, who started without Nicholas Murphy, had lost Fintan Goold and John Miskella to injury in the first half and with Aidan Walsh and Eoin Cadogan also absent, it put a sizeable strain on their resources. Ominously, the response was one of relentless defiance which created a whole new momentum.
They outscored Dublin 0-11 to 0-2 in the final half hour, with the winning point coming from the enterprising Ciaran Sheehan in the 67th minute. Dublin’s only scores in that period came from their two best forwards, Kevin McManamon (56th minute) and Bernard Brogan (48th-minute free). Brogan was forced out with a hamstring pull in the 50th minute, a loss which was to prove crucial for Dublin. McManamon, who scored five points from open play in what was probably his best performance on the inter-county scene, plugged on but support levels were erratic as the Cork defence asserted itself. Nonetheless, Dublin had a few glorious chances to notch priceless points in the closing minutes but ‘Mossy’ Quinn miscued two scoreable frees (one was a real howler) while Barry Cahill also missed the target.
In contrast, Cork were neat and methodical as they chiselled into Dublin’s lead. They didn’t test Stephen Cluxton once with a goal-bound effort, remaining content to pick off points after skilfully crafted moves. The intelligent probing of the outstanding Patrick Kelly, the powerful running of Pearse O’Neill, the confident shooting of Sheehan and the growing influence of Donncha O’Connor all combined to worry the Dublin defence into repeating some of the mistakes which undermined them against Cork in last year’s All-Ireland semi-final. Noel O’Leary, Michael Shields, freed of the demanding Brogan-watch role, Jamie O’Sullivan and sub Denis O’Sullivan also contributed handsomely to Cork’s ultra-effective rally.
So too did another substitute, Murphy, who came on five minutes from the end and marked his arrival by making an excellent catch. Such calmness under pressure was one of the essential differences between the teams. Cork, who have survived close calls before, trusted themselves to do the right thing. On the other hand, once the flow went against Dublin they became edgy and insecure. Passes went astray, players weren’t showing for the ball to the same degree as earlier, while their decision-making carried a high error rate. Just as they had done against Dublin and Down in last year’s All-Ireland semi-final and final, Cork exploited their opponents’ unease and were rewarded with a string of points which eventually took them over the winning line. Cork will regard it as a victory for confidence and experience, whereas Dublin were left facing the ghosts of past failures which were caused by poor finishes. Losing the final 30 minutes of a game 0-11 to 0-2 is a serious issue, bringing into question the defensive alignment.
The attack maintained their two-goals-per-game return and decorated it with 14 points which would usually be enough to win a game. Indeed, Dublin came mighty close to scoring a third goal in the ninth minute but Quinn’s shot was expertly saved by Cork goalkeeper Ken O’Halloran. Quinn had enjoyed better luck two minutes earlier when he whipped in Dublin’s first goal after being put through by Brogan. Dublin led 1-4 to 0-3 after 15 minutes before Cork hit four points to draw level. Kelly put Cork a point clear in the 26th minute but Dublin dominated the closing stages of the half, kicking four points to lead by 1-10 to 0-10 at the interval.
And when they started the second half so decisively, it really did look as if their title famine was about to end but Cork never panicked and instead treated Dublin’s eight-point lead as a challenge which just had to be met. They took it on intelligently, forcing their opponents deeper into defence and while Dublin had their break-out chances, the composure which underpinned their efforts for the first 40 minutes was conspicuously absent. That has to be a worry for Pat Gilroy as he looks ahead to the championship. Granted, they won’t be meeting sides of Cork’s calibre every day but Dublin are thinking in All-Ireland terms nowadays so the lessons learned yesterday will have to be studied in minute detail. They continue to amass big returns but remain unconvincing in defence. Not that Conor Counihan will be satisfied with his defence either. They conceded 2-12 in the first 40 minutes — indeed it could have been more — and while they tightened up after Brogan’s departure, it’s an area which will come in for scrutiny in the coming weeks. For now, they are happy to sign off on the spring campaign with another title and, equally importantly, clear evidence that their resolve remains just as solid as at any time last year.
Man of the Match: Patrick Kelly (Cork)
Scorers — Cork: D Goulding (2f), C Sheehan 0-4 each, P O’Neill, P Kelly, D O’Connor (1f) 0-3 each, J O’Sullivan, F Goold, N O’Leary, F Lynch 0-1 each. Dublin: B Brogan 1-3 (0-1f), K McManamon 0-5, T Quinn 1-2, D Connolly 0-2, B Cahill, K Nolan 0-1 each.
Cork: K O’Halloran 8; J O’Sullivan 7, R Carey 6, M Shields 7; N O’Leary 8, J Miskella 6, P Kissane 7; A O’Connor 6, P O’Neill 8; C Sheehan 8, P Kelly 9, F Goold 7; D Goulding 7, D O’Connor 7, P Kerrigan 5. Subs: F Lynch 6 for Goold (26), D O’Sullivan 7 for Miskella (28), D Goold 6 for Kerrigan (35), N Murphy 7 for A O’Connor (65).
Dublin: S Cluxton 7; M Fitzsimons 6, B Brogan 7, P McMahon 6; B Cahill 7, G Brennan 6, K Nolan 7; D Bastick 6, MD Macauley 7; B Cullen 7, K McManamon 8, P Flynn 6; B Brogan 8, D Connolly 7, T Quinn 7. Subs: D Daly 5 for Cullen (47), P Burke 6 for B Brogan (50), D Kelly 5 for Connolly (54), P Andrews 7 for Daly (62), D Lally for Cahill (72)
Ref — J McQuillan (Cavan)
Never-say-die Rebels retain League crown
From the GAA.ie web site
Cork retained their Allianz Football League Division 1 crown with a 0-21 to 2-14 defeat of Dublin at Croke Park on Saturday. The Rebels trailed by 2-12 to 0-10 with half an hour remaining after Tomás Quinn and Bernard Brogan had goaled for the Dubs, but a brilliant comeback from the All-Ireland champions saw them storm back to win by a point in a thrilling finish. While Cork showed great resilience to battle back thanks to superb performances from Patrick Kelly (0-3) and Ciaran Sheehan (0-4), Dublin will be kicking themselves after buckling with the finish line in sight and failing to score in the final 13 minutes. They kicked a series of wides in the closing stages, while Cork held their nerve to hit the last six scores of the game, with Sheehan, fittingly, hitting the winner with three minutes left.
Cork Scorers: D Goulding 0-4 (0-2f), J O’Sullivan 0-1, N O’Leary 0-1, P O’Neill 0-3, P Kelly 0-3, F Goold 0-1, D O’Connor 0-3 (0-1f), C Sheehan 0-4, F Lynch 0-1.
Dublin Scorers: K McManamon 0-4, B Cahill 0-1, K Nolan 0-1, B Brogan 1-3 (0-1f), D Connolly 0-2, T Quinn 1-2.
Cork: K O’Halloran; R Carey, M Shields, J O’Sullivan; N O’Leary, J Miskella, P Kissane; A O’Connor, P O’Neill; P Kerrigan, P Kelly, F Gould; D Goulding, D O’Connor, C Sheehan. Subs: F Lynch for Goold ’26 (inj), D O’Sullivan for Miskella ’28 (inj), D Goold for Kerrigan ’37 (inj), N Murphy for O’Connor ’65.
Dublin: S Cluxton; M Fitzsimons, P Brogan, P McMahon; B Cahill, G Brennan, K Nolan; D Bastick, M D Macauley; P Flynn, K McManamon, B Cullen (capt.); T Quinn, D Connolly, B Brogan. D Daly for Cullen ’47 (inj), P Burke for Brogan ’51 (inj), D Kelly for Connolly ’55, P Andrews for Daly ’63, D Lally for Cahill 72’.
Referee: Joe McQuillan (An Cabhán)
Match Preview from GAA.ie
It has been remarked upon a number of times in recent years how the Allianz Football League has tended to start with a bang and end with a whimper, but today’s double-header at Croke Park should quickly dispel such talk. The meeting of the reigning All-Ireland champions and the game’s biggest crowd-pullers ensures that the 2011 competition enjoys a fitting finale. Dublin were just one of two unbeaten teams in this year’s group stages (Roscommon were the other) with their ability to plunder goals a major factor in that run. Betting against the holders of both major titles seems foolish, but the suspicion is that the Metropolitans may just edge it given their greater need for silverware.
As reigning All-Ireland and Allianz League Division 1 champions, Cork have well and truly ended their Croke Park hoodoo, while Dublin are at the stage in their development when a national title might just be the catalyst they need to achieve greater things this summer. Having met in a thrilling All-Ireland semi-final last August – which Cork won thanks to Donncha O’Connor’s cool finishing from placed balls late in the game – this has the potential to turn into one of the great modern day rivalries, with many experts predicting the pair could meet again in late summer/early autumn when the stakes might well be even higher.
They meet for the third time in the final (two were ‘home’ finals) with Cork having won all three in 1999, 1989 and 1952. Dublin are bidding for their ninth Allianz League crown while holders, Cork, are seeking their seventh title. The counties last met in the decider in 1999 when Cork won by 0-12 to 1-7 in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Nicholas Murphy, still a key figure for Cork, was at midfield that day alongside Michael O’Sullivan on a team managed by Larry Tompkins. Current Cork manager, Conor Counihan was at centre-back on the Cork team that beat Dublin (0-15 to 0-12) in the 1989 decider.
Cork and Dublin clashed in last year’s All-Ireland semi-final which the Leesiders won by a point (1-15 to 1-14) in an outstanding contest. Dublin gained some measure of revenge when beating Cork by 3-13 to 0-16 in their Division 1 game last February. Cork are the defending League champions while Dublin are chasing their first title since 1993 when a team captained by John O’Leary and managed by Dr. Pat O’Neill beat Donegal in the final. Then, as now, Dublin’s opponents were the reigning All-Ireland champions.
Cork: K O’Halloran; R Carey, M Shields, J O’Sullivan; N O’Leary, J Miskella, P Kissane; A O’Connor, N Murphy; P O’Neill, P Kelly, F Gould; D Goulding, D O’Connor, C Sheehan.
Dublin: S Cluxton; M Fitzsimons, P Brogan, P McMahon; B Cahill, G Brennan, K Nolan; D Bastick, M D Macauley; P Flynn, K McManamon, B Cullen (capt.); T Quinn, D Connolly, B Brogan
Cork’s paths to the final
Cork 0-17 Kerry 1-13
DUBLIN 3-13 CORK 0-16
Cork 1-15 Monaghan 1-12
Cork 3-17 Down 0-15
Cork 0-16 Galway 0-13
Mayo 1-13 Cork 0-14
Cork 2-15 Armagh 1-12
Played 7, Won 5, Lost 2
Average For: 1-16; Average Against: 0-16
Dublin’s path to the final
Dublin 2-12 Armagh 1-11
DUBLIN 3-13 CORK 0-16
Dublin 3-10 Kerry 1-15
Dublin 0-13 Monaghan 1-9
Dublin 4-15 Mayo 3-13
Dublin 2-10 Down 0-13
Dublin 2-9 Galway 0-15
Played 7, Won 6, Drew 1
Average For: 2-12; Average Against: 1-13
Previous Cork v Dublin League Finals
1999 – Cork 0-12 Dublin 1-7 (Pairc Ui Chaoimh)
1989 – Cork 0-15 Dublin 0-12 (Home final) (Pairc Ui Chaoimh)
1952 – Cork 2-3 Dublin 1-5 (Home final), Croke Park
GAA PRESS RELEASE
Aslan to join “Eggstravaganza” at Croke Park for fun-filled Easter Weekend in the Allianz Football League Finals
Croke Park is the place to be this Easter Weekend as there will be an action packed weekend of entertainment for all the family.
On Easter Saturday, there is a triple header at Croke Park as New York and Roscommon contest a Connacht Minor Football Championship encounter ahead of the Division III and IV Allianz Football League finals. In the Division III decider Louth take on Westmeath while in the Division IV final, current Connacht champions Roscommon pit their wits against Longford.
On Easter Sunday, upon arrival, the first 1,000 children to enter the stadium through the Cusack or Davin Stiles will receive a Cadbury’s Easter egg to enjoy during the day.
On the field of play, supporters can expect two entertaining games as some of the best players in the country will be on show when Laois take on Donegal in the Division II Allianz Football League decider and the “Boys” will be back in town, when Dublin take on Cork in the Division I final. Throw-in times are at 2.00pm and 4.00pm respectively.
Renowned Irish band Aslan will be on hand to entertain supporters at half-time of the Division I final. The band was formed in the mid 1980’s and they continue to tour the world and release platinum selling albums, even after almost 30 years.
As if this wasn’t incentive enough, patrons can avail of all of this entertainment for the very reasonable price of a ticket. Pricing details are as follows:
• Adults – €25
• Hill 16 – €15
• Juvenile (Under 16)/ Child – €5
Tickets can be purchased at www.gaa.ie.