Friday 24 February 2017

Game at a glance

Man of the match

Aidan Walsh (Cork)

High fielding, an increasingly scarce art, is always a joy to watch. That it was delivered in a final by a 20-year-old made it all the more memorable. Walsh did well in other facets, too, as Cork established a midfield power base that was central to their revival.

Turning point

Nicholas Murphy's introduction for the second half. He made a significant impact, as did Graham Canty.

Talking point

Cork's resilience when they found themselves five points down after 27 minutes. Given their bad experiences in recent finals, there was a danger they might implode, but they worked through the problems and ultimately claimed the big reward.

Ref watch

David Coldrick did well overall, but the question as to what happened to the clampdown on illegal passing remains unanswered. Transfers that would have been blown early in the championship went unpunished.

What they said

Conor Counihan (Cork manager):

"You get tied up in terms of ratings and performance. I said last year when I sat there, that it is a results business. That's as true today as it was the last day."

James McCartan (D own manager):

"We got beaten in an All-Ireland final, we're not happy with it, but the thing I would like is that we wouldn't be one-year wonders."

Match statistics:

Wides: Cork 9 (5); Down 7 (6).

Frees: Cork 26 (12); Down 22(11).

Yellow cards: Cork 1 (P Kerrigan 24); Down 3 (P Fitzpatrick 43, D Gordon 44, B Coulter 64).

Red cards: Cork 0; Down 0.

Attendance: 81,604.

What next?

Cork celebrate seventh All-Ireland success, while Down look ahead to 2011 with optimism.

Irish Independent

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