Sunday 30 April 2017

Dublin canter home over contrived and frustrated Cork

Fionntán Mac Gib of Dublin in action against Cork players, from left, Killian Burke, Mark Ellis and Mark Coleman during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A Round 2 match between Cork and Dublin at Páirc Uí Rinn in Cork. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Fionntán Mac Gib of Dublin in action against Cork players, from left, Killian Burke, Mark Ellis and Mark Coleman during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A Round 2 match between Cork and Dublin at Páirc Uí Rinn in Cork. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Conor McKeon

Conor McKeon

WHATEVER about politics, a week is clearly a long time in hurling.

DUBLIN 2-19 CORK 1-14

Seven days ago, Cork looked world-beaters in taking Clare apart in Páirc Uí Rinn on the League’s opening night.

At the same time, they were beginning to fumigate Croke Park such were the toxicity levels of the performance produced by an albeit young Dublin team against Tipperary.

Tonight, all that youth brought to the squad by Ger Cunningham looks to have major potential.

Cork continue to confuse.

At 2-19 to 1-14, Dublin were worth every bit of their win in Páirc U Rinn and probably a bit more.

Even when Chris Crummey was sent off for the second time in Páirc Uí Rinn for a second yellow card, they looked a team much more wordly than their years.

Cork were contrived and frustrated. Dublin cantered home.

The outlook for both seems drastically different to this time a week ago.

The first half began on predicted lines but veered wildly thereafter.

Cork went 0-3 to no score up and all the good vibes from last week’s dismantling of Clare seemed to carry through the week.

Their much-celebrated new men started well, with both Luke Meade and Shane Kingston featuring on the scoreboard but against all expectations and at 0-4 to 0-1 down after 15 minutes, Dublin went on a run of 1-8 to no score.

Their half-back line ruled the skies around Cork’s danger men and two of their own younger players made immediate and pronounced impressions.

Rian McBride and Eoghan Conroy, both making their first senior starts, ran directly at Cork and scored four first half points between them.

Conroy caused Cork all sort of bother in the air and Ryan O’Dwyer had a similar effect on the edge of the square.

After 16 minutes, a long free from Chris Crummey deflected off the veteran’s hand past Anthony Nash and Dublin had their impetus.

Nash’s puck-outs – a source of great invention a week ago against Clare – leaked two points directly to Donal Burke.

Indeed Burke, who pulled an oddly high number of frees in Croke Park last week, had his sights calibrated early here.

Dublin swept into a 1-8 to 0-9 lead, though a well-worked goal from Kingston brought Cork back within swinging distance.

At four points up at half-time, Dublin weren’t exactly comfortable but they started positively and when Conroy converted another goal after Burke’s cross, they went eight up.

Cork couldn’t find their groove and with Eoghan O’Donnell and Liam Rushe utterly dominant down the central channel of the Dublin defence, they won pulling up.

SCORERS - Dublin: D Burke 0-8 (4f, 1 65), E Conroy 1-2, R O’Dwyer 1-1, R McBride 0-2 each, C Crummey, E Dillon, C Bennett, C Conway, C O’Sullivan, F Mac Gib 0-1 each. CORK: P Horgan 0-7 (5f, 1 65), S Kingston 1-2, L Meade 0-2, M Coleman (f), A Cadogan, C Lehane 0-1 each.

DUBLIN: C Dooley; J Madden, E Donnell, S Barrett; B Quinn, L Rushe, C Crummey; C Conway, N McMorrow; E Conroy, R McBride, E Dillon; F McGib, R O’Dwyer, D Burke. Subs: C Bennett for Quinn (49), C MacGabhann for Conway (59), C O’Sullivan for O’Dwyer (61), F Whitely (67), D Fox for Burke (73)

CORK: A Nash; K Burke, D Griffin, C Spillane; C Joyce, M Ellis, M Coleman; B Cooper, D Kearney; L Meade, S Kingston, D Fitzgibbon; A Cadogan, P Horgan, S Harnedy. Subs: D Cahalane for Spillane (25 inj), S McDonnell for Griffin (h-t), C Lehane for Fitzgibbon (45), P Haugney for Kearney (50)

REF: S Cleere (Kilkenny)

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