Given how these counties began their respective Allianz HL Division 1A campaigns last weekend, a victory in the region of eight points would have almost been expected.
After Cork impressed against Clare and Dublin were dismantled by Tipperary, all the signs were pointing to a home win, but the general expectation was turned upside-down at Páirc Uí Rinn last night.
Dublin manager Ger Cunningham, against his native county, saw Cork lead 0-4 to 0-1 early on, but from there Dublin took over. Ryan O’Dwyer’s goal – as he got his hand to a Chris Crummey ball in – put them ahead at 1-2 to 0-5 and formed part of an unanswered 1-8, in which Domhnall Burke scored the first of his eight points.
Two from him put them seven in front and he could have opened up a ten-point lead from a penalty on 26 minutes, only for Anthony Nash to save. Though Burke converted the 65 which resulted, Cork managed to gain a foothold once more as the half closed. Horgan ended the drought with a free and then they fashioned a goal with a lovely move, Meade and Cadogan setting up Shane Kingston for a smart finish.
Kingston added two more points, McBride and Conroy replying for Dublin to leave them 1-11 to 1-7 in front at half-time. A pointed free from behind his own 65 by wing-back Mark Coleman might have been the inspirational start to drive Cork on in the second half, but by and large the pattern of the game did not change too much.
In the 41st minute, Dublin restored their cushion as they scored a second goal. James Madden’s clearance wasn’t dealt with, allowing Burke to slalom through the Cork defence. While he was forced too far wide to shoot for goal himself, his low ball across found Conroy waiting at the back post, allowing him to net with ease.
Cadogan – who found the clutches of Shane Barrett difficult to escape for the most part – almost managed to fashion an immediate response only to fire across goal and wide, but at the other end Fiontán Mac Gib was only denied a third Dublin goal by a good Cahalane block.
O’Dwyer, sub Chris Bennett and Eamon Dillon put Dublin nine in front and it was emblematic of how the game was going against Cork when Horgan put an easy free wide on 54. Following that, sub Conor Lehane was wide with a goal effort but play was called back for an infringement by Crummey, who picked up a second yellow, having also been sent off in the championship meeting of the counties last July.
Horgan converted that free and, after Lehane’s point, sent a 65 over, having been denied a goal from a free. That left six in it but Burke pointed from a free once more and his eighth point left eight in it with eight minutes left. From there, they weren’t going to be denied.
Scorers – Dublin: D Burke (4f, 1 65) 0-8; E Conroy 1-2; R O’Dwyer 1-1; R McBride 0-2; C Crummey, E Dillon, C Bennett, C Conway, C O’Sullivan, F Mac Gib 0-1 each. Cork: P Horgan 0-7 (5f, 1 65); S Kingston 1-2; L Meade 0-2; M Coleman (f), A Cadogan, C Lehane 0-1 each.
Dublin: C Dooley; J Madden, E O’Donnell, S Barrett; B Quinn, L Rushe, C Crummey; C Conway, N McMorrow; E Conroy, R McBride, E Dillon; F Mac Gib, R O’Dwyer, D Burke. Subs: C Bennett for Quinn (49), C McGowan for Conway (59), C O’Sullivan for O’Dwyer (63), F Whitely for Dillon (67).
Cork: A Nash; K Burke, D Griffin, C Spillane; C Joyce, M Ellis, M Coleman; B Cooper, D Kearney; L Meade, S Kingston, D Fitzgibbon; A Cadogan, P Horgan, S Harnedy. Subs: D Cahalane for Spillane (25, injured), S McDonnell for Griffin (half-time), C Lehane for Fitzgibbon (45), P Haughney for Kearney (50).
Referee: S Cleere (Kilkenny).
Sunday Indo Sport