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Dublin: 6 °C Sunday 16 December, 2018
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Cork take big step towards securing Division 1 status as their win relegates Down

Five points between the teams at the final whistle at Páirc Uí Rinn.

Cork 0-12
Down 0-7

Fintan O’Toole reports from Páirc Uí Rinn

CORK CLAIMED A decisive victory at home this afternoon that consigned Down to relegation from Division 1 of the Allianz football league and also assisted the Rebels in their own fight against the drop.

Eoin Cadogan and Aidan Carr Cork's Eoin Cadogan reaches for the ball against Down's Aidan Carr. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Following up on their last win over Monaghan, this success leaves Cork in a strong position to ensure they will be plying their trade in the top tier in the spring of 2017.

For Down the defeat was their sixth of this spring’s league campaign and confirms they will be returning to Division 2, a season after securing promotion.

Cork’s win was achieved in wretched weather conditions and after what was a torrid game of football.

Peadar Healy’s side were in front 0-4 to 0-3 at the break and essentially this game was settled by the early second-half scoring drive inspired by the Nemo Rangers duo of Paul Kerrigan and Luke Connolly.

A view of conditions during the game Players braving the weather conditions Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

They hit a brace of points apiece from play inside the first seven minutes of the second-half. It was a burst of creativity and finishing that was at odds with much of what had ensued in the opening period.

But it did provide Cork with enough of a buffer on the scoreboard on a day when points were hard to come by.

Down were never able to retrieve that deficit. They desperately needed a goal to ignite their flagging challenge yet when their best chance fell to Donal O’Hare in the 54th minute, Cork goalkeeper Ryan Price produced a brilliant one-hand save to tip the ball away.

Mark Collins is tackled by Peter Turley Cork's Mark Collins is tackled by Down's Peter Turley Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

The ultimate loss was suffered by Down after they had started brightly and frustrated their opponents. Down were in front 0-3 to 0-0 after 20 minutes, and while all of their scores had come from placed balls courtesy of Donal O’Hare (2) and Michael Cunningham, they were entitled to be pleased.

But Cork hung in grimly and changed the complexion of the game before the break. Colm O’Neill (2) and Connolly were on target from dead balls while Mark Collins fisted over a 34th minute point.

That Collins effort represented the opening score of the game from play and came after a first-half where the Castlehaven man had been thwarted twice in search of a goal. His first shot saw him denied by the Down goalkeeper and then he drilled another shot wide after Cork had prised apart the Down rearguard.

Gerard McGovern Down's Gerard McGovern battles with Cork players for possession Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Cork upped the ante after the break and put the game to bed as Connolly and Kerrigan displayed their class up front. The scoring rates dropped off again during the second-half and Cork’s advantage stood at 0-10 to 0-5 by the 63rd minute when O’Neill swung over a fine free.

Down kept pouring forward but all they could muster was points from Darragh O’Hanlon and Mark Poland rather than the goal they craved. Cork kept their composure with Collins finding his range at an opportune stage as he flighted over two late points.

Peadar Healy and Eamon Ryan The Cork management duo of Peadar Healy and Eamon Ryan Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Scorers for Cork: Colm O’Neill 0-4 (0-3f, 0-1 ’45), Luke Connolly (0-1f), Mark Collins 0-3 each, Paul Kerrigan 0-2.

Scorers for Down: Donal O’Hare 0-3 (0-3f), Conaill McGovern, Michael Cunningham, Darragh O’Hanlon (0-1f), Mark Poland 0-1 each.

Cork

1. Ryan Price (O Donovan Rossa)

4. Kevin Crowley (Millstreet)
6. Jamie O Sullivan (Bishopstown)
3. Eoin Cadogan (Douglas)

8. Kevin O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh)
7. Brian O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh)
17. Daniel Hazel (O’Donovan Rossa)

9. Ian Maguire (St Finbarr’s)
10. Sean Kiely (Ballincollig)

12. Mark Collins (Castlehaven)
15. Luke Connolly (Nemo Rangers)
2. Colm O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh)

13. Colm O Neill (Ballyclough)
14. Peter Kelleher (Kilmichael)
11. Paul Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers)

Subs
23. Ruairi Deane (Bantry Blues) for Kiely (45)
26. Brian Hurley (Castlehaven) for Kelleher (45)
25. Dan McEoin (Ilen Rovers) for Connolly (61)
24. Daniel Goulding (Éire Óg) for O’Neill (63)
21. Andrew O’Sullivan (Castletownbere) for Maguire (inj) (67)

Down

1. Michael Cunningham (Castlewellan)

2. Gerard Collins (Downpatrick)
3. Gerard McGovern (Burren)
4. Darren O’Hagan (Clonduff)

5. Jonny Flynn (Loughinisland)
6. Aidan Carr (Clonduff)
7. Darragh O’Hanlon (Kilcoo)

8. Peter Turley (Downpatrick)
17. Henry Brown (Clonduff)

12. Joe Murphy (Ballyholland)
10. Conor Maginn (Burren)
13. Conaill McGovern (Burren)

15. Barry O’Hagan (Clonduff)
11. Kevin McKernan (Burren)
14. Donal O’Hare (Burren)

Subs
18. Ryan Mallon (St Peter’s) for Murphy (black card) (33)
23. David McKibin (Bryansford) for Flynn (half-time)
20. Mark Poland (Longstone) for Maginn (41)
22. Paul Devlin (Kilcoo) for O’Hagan (47)

Referee: Sean Hurson (Tyrone)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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