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Dublin: 12°C Tuesday 18 May 2021

MDMA inspires brilliant Dublin comeback from 10 points down against Cork

Two early goals had propelled the Rebels into a commanding position, but Dublin responded with 2 – 13 in the second half.

Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

DUBLIN 2 – 20

CORK 2 – 13

A LATE DIARMUID CONNOLLY penalty cemented a sensational comeback from Dublin as they defeated Cork in today’s National Football League semi-final at Croke Park

The reigning All-Ireland champions trailed by as much as 10 points against Cork thanks primarily to two early goals courtesy of Colm O’Neill and a Nicky Devereux own goal.

Michael Dara Macauley’s goal on 41 minutes proved to be the turning point however, as Dublin produced a powerful run of scores that took them to 2 – 13 in the second half, a match of Cork’s full game tally.

O’Neill was a late addition to Cork’s starting line-up and he took little time to make his presence felt, blasting a fifth minute goal past Cluxton after Paddy Andrews and Brian Hurley had traded the early scores.

 O’Neill would follow up with a fisted point and Cork were about to pick up even more momentum as Cluxton failed to deal with a high ball and Collins was in the right place at the right time to watch the ball deflect off his shin and into the net.

2- 5 to 0 – 2 down after 13 minutes, Dublin found scraps of encouragement wherever they could and scores from Andrews and Paul Flynn managed to break the flow of Cork dominance and Daniel Goulding needed to be alert to prevent a 2oth minute goal.

Mark Collins and Stephen Cluxton Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Eoghan O’Gara was introduced by Jim Gavin late in the first half and the direct attacker made telling inroads into the red defence. However, with a cushion to play off, Cork looked confident in picking off scores with Brian Hurley keeping the scoreboard ticking over so that it read 2 – 9 to 0 – 7 at half-time.

Dublin entered the second period with renewed purpose, but it was Cork who took the early spoils of the second half with points from Jamie O’Sullivan and Daniel Goulding taking Cork’s lead into double figures.

On 41 minutes, the tide turned. Macauley blasting in Dublin’s first goal to signal the start of the one-way traffic. The frees started to come for Dublin and thanks to Bernard Brogan and Connolly they were within four points just over 10 minutes later with the score 2 – 13 to 1 – 12.

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O’Gara’s power paid dividends with a fine point from play, but it was the fee count that really hurt Cork before Macauley pointed from play to level the game on 61 minutes at 2 – 13 to 1 -16.

Source: TG4/YouTube

With all the momentum and the crowd behind them, there only could be one winner from that position and the Dubs duly drove home their advantage with Cork looking shaken as  both Bernard and Alan Brogan began raising white flags.

With five minutes to go, Bernard Brogan was fouled by James Loughrey and O’Sullivan stepped up to deliver a cool finish to ensure Cork would need two goals to create any late drama.

Scorers for Dublin: Diarmuid Connolly 1-2 (0-1f, 1-0 pen), Bernard Brogan 0-5 (0-3f), Michael Darragh Macauley 1-1, Paddy Andrews, Eoghan O’Gara 0-3 each, Jonny Cooper, Alan Brogan, Kevin McManamon, Davy Byrne, Ciaran Reddin, Paul Flynn 0-1 each.

Scorers for Cork: Brian Hurley 0-5, Colm O’Neill 1-1, Nicky Devereux 1-0 og, Daniel Goulding 0-2 (0-1f), Jamie O’Sullivan, Patrick Kelly, Fintan Goold, Mark Collins, Donncha O’Connor 0-1 each.

Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

DUBLIN: Stephen Cluxton; Jonny Cooper, Rory O’Carroll, Philip McMahon; James McCarthy, Kevin Nolan, Nicky Devereux; Michael Darragh Macauley, Declan O’Mahony; Paul Flynn, Diarmuid Connolly, Jason Whelan; Kevin McManamon, Paddy Andrews, Alan Brogan.

Subs: Eoghan O’Gara for Whelan (26), Davy Byrne for O’Mahony (ht), Bernard Brogan for McManamon (44), Darragh Nelson for Nolan (56), Ciaran Reddin for Andrews (66), Tomás Brady for O’Gara (71).

CORK: Ken O’Halloran; Michael Shields, Jamie O’Sullivan, Tom Clancy (Clonakilty); Damien Cahalane, Patrick Kelly, James Loughrey; Fintan Goold, Andrew O’Sullivan; Mark Collins, Donncha O’Connor, Paul Kerrigan; Daniel Goulding, Brian Hurley, Colm O’Neill.

Subs: John O’Rourke for O’Connor (44), Aidan Walsh for Goulding (48), John Hayes for O’Neill (56), Noel Galvin for Clancy (60), Tomas Clancy (Fermoy) for O’Sullivan (63), Kevin O’Driscoll for Cahalane (71).

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