Cork's Brian O'Driscoll against Roscommon's Enda Smith and David Murfay. Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO
Scoring Hero

O'Donovan with late winner as Cork defeat Roscommon to reach All-Ireland last eight

14,294 were in attendance for the preliminary quarter-final clash.

Cork 1-14

Roscommon 0-16

A FRENETIC GAME was eventually settled by the scoring intervention of a defender sprung from the bench in the second half, Kevin O’Donovan the Cork hero as they reached the All-Ireland last eight next weekend.

A match the home side were in control of when Conor Corbett bundled home a 58th minute goal, started to slip from their grasp heading down the stretch.

Roscommon mounted a terrific fightback as they strung together five points on the bounce, Diarmuid Murtagh spearheading their charge with three scores in that time frame, and they drew level with 69 minutes on the clock.

The tension was ratcheted up in injury-time but there was only one further scoring contribution, Nemo Rangers player O’Donovan punching over the winning point after a surging Ian Maguire break.

Roscommon were floored by that intervention, unable to conjure up another attack to force extra-time and finished the game with 14 men when Enda Smith, outstanding for so long, was shown a red card for an off-the-ball offence.

micheal-martin-saves-diarmuid-murtaghs Micheal Martin saves from Diarmuid Murtagh. Lorraine O’Sullivan / INPHO Lorraine O’Sullivan / INPHO / INPHO

It marks Cork’s second win in six days over elite Connacht opposition and was significant for the manner in which they achieved it. They only amassed three points in the opening 33 minutes but exploded to life before half-time and maintained that form in the third quarter.

They were indebted to goalkeeper Mícheál Aodh Martin for bailing them out on two occasions, he stood up to beat away a blasted shot from Smith in the first half and more critically managed to divert a Diarmuid Murtagh close-range shot four minutes into the second half, when a Roscommon goal looked a certainty after a swift counter-attack. 

Roscommon were in the ascendancy at the break, narrowly by 0-7 to 0-6, but  that position concealed the tale of a half where they bossed the exchanges. Smith was imperious in orchestrating the exchanges, while the Murtagh brothers, Ciaráin and Diarmuid, picked off five points between them. They were full value for their 0-6 to 0-3 advantage after 19 minutes but only added a single point thereafter until the break as Cork began to get greater joy in executing defensive turnovers.

steven-sherlock-and-brian-stack Roscommon's Brian Stack and Cork's Steven Sherlock. Lorraine O’Sullivan / INPHO Lorraine O’Sullivan / INPHO / INPHO

Roscommon were still four to the good by the 34th minute yet the initiative swung wildly in Cork’s direction before the break. They pressed up on Conor Carroll’s kickout to shift the tactical shape of the game and that yielded three points courtesy of a Steven Sherlock free, and efforts from play by Tommy Walsh and Matty Taylor.

Cork’s scoring charge continued thereafter as they outscored Roscommon 0-6 to 0-3 in the third quarter, defender Rory Maguire again impressing in a scoring sense as he popped over two points. A brilliantly-taken mark by Daire Cregg shaved the deficit to one, 0-12 to 0-11, after 53 minutes before Cork were incensed by a Sherlock point being ruled wide when it looked to have flighted inside the post.

Cork soon pounced for the game-breaking goal. Another Roscommon kickout was turned over and when Sean Powter passed inside, Corbett’s finish trickled to the bottom corner of the net as the defensive cover tried to scramble.

Chris Óg Jones, who impressed when pressed into action, hooked over a point soon after and Cork had sailed five clear. They were on the cusp of a comfortable success but a mix of Roscommon’s revival and Cork fatigue created a finale where the outcome was in doubt. 

The momentum lay with Roscommon before Cork’s spirit surfaced as they kept their opponents at bay and worked the opening for O’Donovan’s vital intervention.

Scorers for Cork: Steven Sherlock 0-5 (0-4f), Conor Corbett 1-0, Rory Maguire 0-2, Chris Óg Jones 0-2, Kevin O’Donovan 0-1, Luke Fahy 0-1, Tommy Walsh 0-1, Matty Taylor 0-1, Brian O’Driscoll 0-1.

Scorers for Roscommon: Diarmuid Murtagh 0-6 (0-3f), Ciaráin Murtagh 0-5 (0-3f), Daire Cregg 0-2 (0-1 mark), Enda Smith 0-2, Conor Carroll 0-1 (0-1 ’45).


1. Míchéal Aodh Martin (Nemo Rangers)

4. Tommy Walsh (Kanturk), 6. Daniel O’Mahony (Knocknagree), 2. Maurice Shanley (Clonakilty), 

5. Luke Fahy (Ballincollig), 3. Rory Maguire (Castlehaven), 7. Mattie Taylor (Mallow)

8. Colm O’Callaghan (Éire Óg), 9. Ian Maguire (St Finbarr’s)

12. Killian O’Hanlon (Kilshannig), 13. Sean Powter (Douglas), 10. Brian O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh)

11. Ruairi Deane (Bantry Blues), 25. Steven Sherlock (St Finbarr’s), 15. Eoghan McSweeney (Knocknagree)


  • 21. Chris Óg Jones (Iveleary) for McSweeney (34)
  • 22. Conor Corbett (Clyda Rovers) for Deane (temp) (44)
  • 19. Kevin O’Donovan (Nemo Rangers) for Shanley (48)
  • 18. Tom Clancy (Clonakilty) for Fahy (60)
  • 23. John O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers) for O’Hanlon (69)


1. Conor Carroll (Oranmore-Maree)

17. Conor Hussey (Michael Glaveys), 3. Brian Stack (St Brigid’s – captain), 4. David Murray (Padraig Pearses)

5. Niall Daly (Padraig Pearses), 6. Conor Daly (Padraig Pearses),  7. Eoin McCormack (St Dominic’s)

8. Eddie Nolan (St Brigid’s), 9. Dylan Ruane (Michael Glaveys)

10. Ciaráin Murtagh (St Faithleach’s), 11. Enda Smith (Boyle), 12. Cian McKeon (Boyle)

21. Donie Smith (Boyle), 14. Ben O’Carroll (St Brigid’s), 15. Diarmuid Murtagh (St Faithleach’s)


  • 22. Conor Cox (Éire Óg) for Donie Smith (inj) (34)
  • 24. Daire Cregg (Boyle) for Ruane (45)
  • 20. Keith Doyle (St Dominic’s) for Nolan (53)
  • 23. Cian Connolly (Roscommon Gaels) for Hussey (61)
  • 19. Richard Hughes (Roscommon Gaels) for Niall Daly (64)

Referee: Brendan Cawley (Kildare)

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