CORK were dealt another football masterclass by Dublin in Croke Park on Sunday.
After last year saw Dublin dish out a second-half football lesson in a league semi-final, today’s Allianz Football League Division 1 final was a lot more clearcut – a trap-to-line win (1-21 to 2-7) for a rampant Dubs, inspired by Dean Rock with 0-10 and man-of-the-match Jack McCaffrey, as they outclassed Cork all over the pitch.
It took Cork 48 minutes to score from play, a Mark Collins goal that reduced the lead to 1-15 to 1-5, and when sub Daniel Goulding scored a late consolation goal, the league cup was already being engraved with Dublin’s name on it for the third year in a row.
Cork trailed 1-9 to 0-5 at the break, having failed to score from play in the first 35 minutes – four Colm O’Neill frees and a Brian Hurley tap-over free was all the Rebels could muster, as they were second best in most areas of the field.
In contrast, Dean Rock (0-4f), Diarmuid Connolly (penalty), Ciaran Kilkenny (0-2), and Kevin McManamon, Philly McMahon and Bernard Brogan (0-1 each) were all on target for the Dubs, who also kicked eight first-half wides.
Dublin had five points on the board before an O’Neill free in the 14th minute opened Cork’s account, and while Rock (free) and McMahon had Dublin 0-7 to 0-1 clear after 24 minutes, three Cork points in a row saw the Munster men come within three, 0-7 to 0-4, after 30 minutes.
Then the wheels came off. Kilkenny scored his second point, Bernard Brogan sent over his first point, before Michael Shields fouled Tomas Brady for a Dublin penalty, which Connolly blasted low into the corner of the net. O’Neill added a free, but Cork were facing a mountain in the second half, trailing 1-9 to 0-5.
The second half was all one-way traffic as Dublin scored at will, with Collins’ low strike getting Cork off the mark, followed by two from Colm O’Neill, who scored 0-6, before Goulding’s tidy finish.
Dublin: Dean Rock 0-10 (7f), Diarmuid Connolly 1-0 pen, Ciaran Kilkenny 0-3, Bernard Brogan, Paddy Andrews 0-2 each, Kevin McManamon, Philly McMahon, Jack McCaffrey, Toms Brady 0-1 each.
Cork: Colm O’Neill 0-6 (5f), Mark Collins, Daniel Goulding 1-0 each, Brian Hurley 0-1f.