Denis Hurley reports from Páirc Uí Rinn
CORK’S RUN OF wins since the start of the year continued as they were nine-point winners over Mayo in the opening round of the Allianz Football League Division 1 at Páirc Uí Rinn on Sunday.
Having been victorious against Limerick, Waterford and Clare in the McGrath Cup, this league opener against last year’s All-Ireland semi-finalists was seen as a step up in terms of a test for new boss Peadar Healy and his side.
However, in front of 4,849 fans – many of them from Mayo – they were always in command once they built up a three-point lead, 0-5 to 0-2, by the 20th minute of the first half.
Had Mayo’s Jason Doherty goaled when picked out by a nice Evan Regan pass immediately after that, the visitors might have been inspired. Instead, Cork had a 0-12 to 0-4 lead by half-time, with new captain Paul Kerrigan impressing in the half-forward line while Brian Hurley and Daniel Goulding found their shooting range.
A strong response would have been expected from Mayo at the outset of the second half, but instead new manager Stephen Rochford’s side conceded the first five points after the restart. Ian Maguire, Hurley, Kerrigan, Luke Connolly with a super free and Brian O’Driscoll were all on target as Cork moved 13 point ahead, and the lead would have been greater but for a Robert Hennelly save from a Goulding penalty after the goalkeeper had fouled Kerrigan.
Mayo mounted a brief response with points from Conor O’Shea, Regan and sub Mickey Sweeney, but Cork ensured that a fightback never materialised. Kerrigan got a good individual point and then, when Michael Hall fouled Mark Collins as he went for goal, Cork were awarded a second penalty, Hurley netting on this occasion.
It proved to be Cork’s last score as Mayo got the game’s last five points, Tom Parsons with two. The host also finished with 13 men as Brian O’Driscoll was black-carded and Andrew O’Sullivan received a second booking in quick succession, but it mattered little to the final outcome.
Scorers for Cork: Brian Hurley 1-4 (1-0 pen, 0-3 frees), Daniel Goulding 0-5 (0-2 frees), Paul Kerrigan 0-3, Brian O’Driscoll, Luke Connolly (0-2 frees) 0-2 each, Tomás Clancy, Ian Maguire 0-1 each.
Scorers for Mayo: Conor O’Shea 0-3, Tom Parsons, Jason Doherty (0-1 free), Mickey Sweeney (0-1 free), Evan Regan (0-2 frees) 0-2 each, Lee Keegan 0-1 each.
1. Ken O’Halloran (Bishopstown)
17. Kieran Histon (Cobh)
3. Eoin Cadogan (Douglas)
4. Jamie O’Sullivan (Bishopstown)
2. Colm O’Driscoll (Tadhg Mac Cárthaigh)
6. Brian O’Driscoll (Tadhg Mac Cárthaigh)
5. Tomás Clancy (Fermoy)
8. Ian Maguire (St Finbarr’s)
10. Andrew O’Sullivan (Castletownbere)
11. Paul Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers)
12. Luke Connolly (Nemo Rangers)
9. Mark Collins (Castlehaven)
13. Daniel Goulding (Éire Óg)
14. Peter Kelleher (Kilmichael)
15. Brian Hurley (Castlehaven)
19. Bart Daly (Newmarket) for Cadogan (51, injured)
23. Donal Óg Hodnett (O’Donovan Rossa) for Kerrigan (57)
22. Ruairí Deane (Bantry Blues) for Maguire (58)
24. Séamus Hickey (Rockchapel) for Connolly (63)
25. Dan Mac Eoin (Ilen Rovers) for Kelleher (63)
18. Mark Collins (O’Donovan Rossa) for Histon (66)
1. Robert Hennelly (Breaffy)
5. Lee Keegan (Westport)
3. Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites)
2. Brendan Harrison (Aghamore)
7. Shane Nally (Garrymore)
14. Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe)
17. Colm Boyle (Davitts)
8. Tom Parsons (Charlestown)
9. Jason Gibbons (Ballintubber)
12. Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber)
10. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore)
6. Caolán Crowe (Garrymore)
13. Evan Regan (Ballina Stephenites)
22. Conor O’Shea (Breaffy)
15. Jason Doherty (Burrishoole)
11. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy) for McLoughlin (30)
24. Mickey Sweeney (Kiltane) for Crowe (44)
21. David Drake (Ballaghaderreen) for Vaughan (44)
20. Michael Hall (Breaffy) for Nally (59)
26. Cathal Carolan (Crossmolina) for O’Connor (59)
19. Pádraig O’Hora (Ballina Stephenites) for Keegan (62)
Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois)