The Rebels edge out the Dubs

November 8, 2018

CORK 1-15 DUBLIN 1-14

Dublin contributed to another modern day classic but unfortunately once again came out on the losing side in Sunday’s pulsating All-Ireland SFC semi-final at a packed (82,225) Croke Park.

The Dubs led from start to almost finish but crucially the Rebels hit the front in a final five minute surge which carried them into this year’s decider.

In 2005 and ‘06 the Dubs were involved in thrillers towards the conclusion of the championshp series but lost out – Sunday’s defeat to Cork can be added to the frustrating catalogue of ‘close but no cigars’.

Dublin made a great start when Bernard Brogan judged the flight of Niall Corkery’s long delivery to perfection before angling a low left-footed drive past Alan Quirke in the Cork goal – it was an advantage they held until Conor Counihan’s side drew level in the 69th minute.

It was this final powerplay that ultimately separated the sides as Daniel Goulding converted three frees between the 67th and 70th minute to edge in front for the first time in the game, 1-14 to 1-13.

During this spell Ross McConnell was sent off on a second yellow card offence. It was a conclusion to a game the St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh man will want to delete from the memory banks as he was deemed to have fouled Colm O’Neill in the 53rd minute that resulted in a penalty which O’Connor converted.

Despite the concession of the penalty goal the Dubs responded with point from the stellar Bernard Brogan and Bryan Cullen to lead 1-12 to 1-9 entering the concluding ten minutes.

But Cork’s experience and greater strength in depth told as the came at Dublin time and again in the final minutes and got the benefit of a few 50-50 decisions – particularly a free awarded against Mick Fitzsimons, to carry them to the winners enclosure.

Dublin led 1-8 to 0-7 at half-time with Bernard Brogan amassing 1-4 (1-3 from play) in the opening period and his older brother Alan contributed two points from play. Both sides, Cork especially, kicked some bad wides but wides from Cullen and a brace from Eoghan O’Gara were when the player was well inside the ‘scoring zone’.

Stephen Cluxton came to Dublin’s rescue in the 12th minute when he denied Pearse O’Neill from close range and by the interval Dublin were in a very promising position with the second half to come.

Both sides had chances in the second half but it appeared the magnitude of the occasion began to tell on both sides until Cork finally throw off the shakles in the final minutes to emerge victorious.

SCORERS – Cork: D O’Connor 1-5 (1-0 pen, 0-4f), D Goulding 0-4 (0-3f), P Kelly 0-2, A Walsh, P Kerrigan, C O’Neill, D Kavanagh 0-1 each. Dublin: B Brogan 1-7 (0-1f), A Brogan 0-2, P McMahon, MD Macauley, R McConnell, B Cullen, C Keaney (0-1f) 0-1 each.
CORK – A Quirke; G Canty, M Shields, R Carey; P Kissane, J Miskella, N O’Leary; A O’Connor, A Walsh; C Sheehan, P O’Neill, P Kelly; D Goulding, D O’Connor, P Kerrigan. Subs: E Cadogan for Canty (ht), N Murphy for A O’Connor (43), C O’Neill for Sheehan (52), D Kavanagh for Miskella (61), F Goold for O’Leary (71).
DUBLIN – S Cluxton; P McMahon, R O’Carroll, M Fitzsimons; C O’Sullivan, G Brennan, K Nolan; MD Macauley, R McConnell; N Corkery, A Brogan, B Cullen; B Brogan, E O’Gara, D Henry. Subs: B Cahill for O’Sullivan (33), P Flynn for Henry (46), E Fennell for Corkery (57), C Keaney for O’Gara (63), D Bastick for O’Carroll (inj 68).
REF – M Deegan (Laois).