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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 22 February, 2019


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So the Pro Kaddabi makes way on Sky Sports for Cork v Donegal, which throws in at 4pm.

GAA editor Fintan O’Toole is in Croke Park for us and will have a report and plenty of reaction to today’s intriguing qualifier clash.

I’m confined to barracks as we go minute-by-minute meanwhile in what should be a really interesting clash.

How do you see this one going?

Peter Canavan expects the Rebels to have ‘a real lash at it’ while Donegal will be excellent in defence as always.

The talk of an upset here and four Munster teams making the last eight has built all week it seems.

James Horan thinks Cork football needs a huge game and expects to see it at HQ.

Earlier, the sides met in a minor semi-final. And it was first blood Donegal.

The Ulster side ran out 2-13 to 0-13 winners with Cork ending the game a man down.

Read the match report here.

Rory Gallagher on whether the Rebels will give Donegal a bit more space to play than that in the Ulster final defeat: “Every game is different. Cork have a number of gameplans as they’ve shown. Whatever they throw at us, it’s up to us to adapt.”

Here are your teams:



That’s three changes for the Leesiders: Tom Clancy (Clonakilty), Sean Powter and Donncha O’Connor in for Brian O’Driscoll, Patrick Kelly and Colm O’Neill.

It’s Powter’s senior championship debut.

Peadar Healy: “We’ve put a lot of work into our defence and I just hope that work pays off today.”

And we’re up and running with Alan O’Connor winning the first battle for possession.

Cork start well with the ball going though the hands a lot. Paul Kerrigan takes the shot on from an acute angle but it’s a wide from the skipper.

Cork 0-1 Donegal 0-0 The Rebels hit the first score of the game through Tom Clancy. Donncha O’Connor played a nice ball inside.

Cork 0-2 Donegal 0-0 This is a bright start from Cork with Kevin O’Driscoll notching a great score after coming from deep.

Cork 0-2 Donegal 0-1 Paddy McBrearty knocks one over and Donegal are off the mark. A goal was on.

Cork 0-2 Donegal 0-2 We’re level after five minutes. Paddy McBrearty was on the end of a move, in front of the goal, and he lofts over easily.

Neither defence looks particularly stable at the moment.

Cork 0-3 Donegal 0-2 Sean Powter charged through and hit a good point to put Cork in front again but he took a heavy knock.

Cork 0-4 Donegal 0-2 The Rebels win the kick-out again and ultimately the ball ends up in Donncha O’Connor’s hands; like so many times through the years, the ball goes over the bar.

Cork 0-4 Donegal 0-3 Soft enough free perhaps but Paddy McBrearty makes no mistake from the subsequent kick.

Cork 0-5 Donegal 0-4 Paul Kerrigan points after a good run from Cadogan who was in nosebleed territory and then McBrearty with another free. 15 minutes gone.

Cork 0-6 Donegal 0-4 The eldest of the O’Driscolls, Colm, finds plenty of space and points well.

What a quality score. The Nemo man cut inside and buried the ball into the top corner with his right foot. A captain’s goal.


Moment’s earlier Donegal failed to take advantage of a goal opportunity of their own.

The talk was that Donegal would be battle hardened for this clash but they look very tired on that big Croke Park pitch. Rory Gallagher has a big job to turn this around.

Cork 1-6 Donegal 0-5 Important and well-executed score from Eoin McHugh.

Cork 1-6 Donegal 0-6 McBrearty kicks his fifth of the day and his is probably the pick of the bunch, on the run away from goal.

The Ulster side are back to within a score of Cork.

Cork 1-7 Donegal 0-7 McBrearty is flying and he’s just hit his sixth of the afternoon. Eoin Cadogan can’t get near him. Kevin O’Driscoll responds for the Rebels.

Earlier, some great Cork work and defending results in a multi-phase Donegal move ending in a pressurised kick which drifts wide. 

Cork 1-7 Donegal 0-8 McBrearty again. They’ll have to do something about this.

Cork 1-7 Donegal 0-10 Michael Murphy guides the ball over with the outside of his foot. Lovely stuff.

This is a great game.

As I type, Ryan McHugh adds another. They’re motoring now.

Cork 1-7 Donegal 0-11 Karl Lacey puts the Ulster outfit in front for the first time. Cork seem to have dropped a few gears. A score or two before half-time is badly needed.

Cork 1-8 Donegal 0-11 Tomas Clancy drives forward again to score an important one. Couple of minutes to half time now.

The hurling done for the summer, Aidan Walsh is on for Alan O’Connor.

Save! Ian Maguire was played in with a goal likely but Mark Anthony McGinley makes a great save.

HALF-TIME: Cork 1-9 Donegal 0-11 Donncha O’Connor ensures the Rebels go in on top after a great half of football with a late point.

What did you make of that?

It’s a knee injury for Alan O’Connor we’re told, which sounds bad.

Here we go again then. It’s the last period of football of the year for one of these heavyweights.

McBrearty looks lively again but he drags an effort wide for the first time this afternoon.

Yellow card for Donncha O’Connor for a tug of the jersey, I think.

You wouldn’t think it’s such an important game for these counties, judging by the atmosphere at Croke Park, it has to be said.

Cork 1-10 Donegal 0-13 McGlynn scores a lovely point for Donegal before Mark Collins replies with an equally impressive effort. McBrearty then does it again and we’re level.

Cork 1-11 Donegal 0-13 Colm O’Driscoll scores another point after again charging forward into acres of space.

Meanwhile, Paddy Kelly is on for Peter Kelleher.

Cork 1-11 Donegal 0-14 Ryan McHugh draws Donegal level and Eamonn McGee is replaced by Ciaran Gillespie.

Cork 1-12 Donegal 0-14 Aidan Walsh kicks a really great point and Cork go ahead.

Leo McLoone is on for Rory Kavanagh as Donegal continue to change things up.

Cork 1-12 Donegal 0-15 McNeilish with a point to continue this tit-for-tat pattern.

Colm O’Neill is on for Donncha O’Connor with 46 minutes on the clock. Brian O’Driscoll comes on for Tom Clancy moments later.

Cork 1-13 Donegal 0-15 Good team score finished by Fermoy’s Tomas Clancy.

Cork 1-14 Donegal 0-15 Colm O’Neill makes no mistake from a free to put the Rebels two points ahead, significantly. 19 minutes or so to go.

Cork 1-14 Donegal 0-16 Eoin Cadogan gives away a cheap free and McBrearty puts it over.

Cork 1-14 Donegal 0-17 We’re level again! Eoin McHugh puts it over. 15 mins or so left.

Christy Toye on for Thompson. What a warrior.

Both teams seem to be tensing up as the pressure cranks up with several snatched efforts on goal.

10 minutes to go.

Cork 1-14 Donegal 0-18 Patrick McBrearty hits his 10th point of the day with a free and Donegal hit the front.  Some going.

Mark McHugh is on.

Donegal 0-19 Cork 1-14 Michael Murphy with a free to put the  Ulster side two ahead with five minutes to go.

Let’s see what this Rebels side are made of now.

What a block! Huge Cork pressure should have resulted in at least a point. Ultimately Paddy Kelly took on the shot but Gillespie got down for an amazing intervention.

Donegal 0-20 Cork 1-14 Donegal go three ahead with a big Ryan McHugh point and we’re into garbage time.

An awful miss from Colm O’Neill from a free. He went for the point rather than try to work a goal and managed neither obviously.

It’ll be goals from now on, you’d imagine.

Donegal 0-21 Cork 1-15 Paddy McBrearty with another excellent strike to put this beyond doubt. Over the shoulder stuff and maybe the best all day.

Colm O’Neill adds one for Cork and McBrearty is black carded to huge applause.

Donegal get the job done to set up a showdown with Dublin and it’s the end of the road for Cork.

The Rebels seemed to run out of gas or forget where the posts were after an hour or so.

What did you make of that?

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