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Dublin: -1°C Monday 1 March 2021

Cork crash to 10-point defeat as impressive Donegal go top of Division 1

Goals from Odhrán MacNiallais and Martin O’Reilly spurred Donegal to victory.

Donegal's Paddy McGrath tries to battle past the Cork duo of Mark Collins and Brian O'Driscoll.
Donegal's Paddy McGrath tries to battle past the Cork duo of Mark Collins and Brian O'Driscoll.
Image: Presseye/Donna McBride/INPHO

Donegal 2-14
Cork 1-7

DONEGAL’S BLISTERING START to the Allianz football league continued today with Cork their latest victims as Rory Gallagher’s side stormed to the top of the Division 1 table.

After Donegal’s dismantling of Down last Saturday and Cork’s impressive success over Mayo, both sides were in confident mood entering the clash in Ballyshannon.

But it was Donegal who ruled at Fr Tierney Park to claim a ten-point win with the exceptional Odhrán MacNiallais and Martin O’Reilly both firing home goals.

Cork were very disappointing and had little answer to Donegal’s dominance. Daniel Goulding’s point in the 61st minute was their first from play on a day when they struggled for scores.

Donegal were in control early on as they stormed ahead 1-4 to 0-0 with O’Reilly raising the green flag. Cork steadied themselves thanks to a pair of Goulding frees and a fine goal from Donal Óg Hodnett.

They were very much in contention as they trailed 1-4 to 1-3 at one juncture in the opening-half before Donegal strung together five points without reply.

Donegal were in an imposing position as they enjoyed a 1-9 to 1-3 interval advantage and there was no let-up in their charge in the second-half as they hit 1-4 without reply, the second goal coming from the marvellous MacNiallais.

Goulding, Mark Collins and Brian O’Driscoll all struck late points to finally ensure Cork kept the scoreboard ticking over in the second-half.

Yet there was no disguising Donegal’s dominance and entitlement to victory. Mayo are next up for Donegal on 28 February, while Cork must pick themselves up at home to Roscommon on the same day.

Scorers for Donegal: Odhrán MacNiallais 1-4, Patrick McBrearty 0-4 (0-2f), Martin O’Reilly 1-1, Anthony Thompson 0-2, Michael Murphy (0-1f), Frank McGlynn, Ciaran Thompson 0-1 each.

Scorers for Cork: Daniel Goulding 0-5 (0-3f), Donal Óg Hodnett 1-0, Mark Collins, Brian O’Driscoll 0-1 each.


Peter Boyle

Eamonn Doherty
Neil McGee
Eamonn McGee

Paddy McGrath
Ryan McHugh
Anthony Thompson

Odhrán MacNiallais
Hugh McFadden

Eoin McHugh
Frank McGlynn
Ciaran Thompson

Paddy McBrearty
Michael Murphy
Marty O’Reilly

Rory Kavanagh for C Thompson, black card (37)
Leo McLoone for O’Reilly (53)
Martin McElhinney for McGee (55)
Eoin Ban Gallagher for Doherty (58)
Neil Gallagher for McFadden (63)
M Carroll for McHugh 64


1. Brendan O’Connell (Glanmire)

2. Colm O’ Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh)
3. Jamie O’Sullivan (Bishopstown)
4. Kevin Crowley (Milstreet)

5. Tomas Clancy (Fermoy)
6. Brian O’Driscoll (Tadhg Maccarthaigh)
7. Kevin O’ Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh)

8.  Ian Maguire (St Finbarrs)
9.  Mark Collins (Castlehaven)

10. Andrew O’Sullivan (Castletownbere)
11. Paul Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers)
12. Donal Og Hodnett (O’Donovan Rossa)

13. Daniel Goulding (Eire Og)
14. Peter Kelleher (Kilmichael)
15. Brian Hurley (Castlehaven)

Donncha O’Connor (Ballydesmond) for Deane (49)
Fintan Goold (Macroom) for Maguire (53)
Killian O’Hanlon (Kilshannig) for Hodnett (55)
Colm O’Neill (Ballyclough) for Hurley (63)
Dan MacEoin (Ilen Rovers) for Goulding (68)

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