Seamus Harnedy books final place for Cork with dramatic last-gasp winner
Cork 1-27 Dublin 2-23
Published 19/04/2015 | 16:11
A Seamus Harnedy winner with the very last puck of the ball completed a spectacular comeback for Cork and booked an Allianz League semi-final place at Dublin's expense in Nowlan Park.
Dublin were 12 points clear at the peak of their supremacy in the first half, 10 points clear at one stage early in the second half and were still seven ahead with nine minutes left with no apparent threat from the Rebels.
But with Patrick Horgan keeping Cork in touch with his accuracy, 0-17 in all, the door was kept ajar and Paudie O'Sullivan's 64th minute goal shifted the impetus their way.
Horgan scored 14 points from placed balls, 12 frees and two 65s, missing just one from 15 shots in an impressive display of shooting.
Harnedy troubled Cork throughout with his ball-winning at centre-forward but Dublin looked comfortable until O'Sullivan's intervention.
It looked like they might just hold as the game pushed into injury-time but Conor Lehane levelled before setting up Harnedy for the winner.
Dublin deployed Mark Schutte at full-forward from the start and got almost instant return when he claimed Liam Rushe's clinical pass, rounded Damien Cahalane and fired past Anthony Nash with precision after only two minutes to give them an early platform.
With wind advantage Dublin didn't waste time establishing control. Conal Keaney was a dominant figure at half-back while Rushe also made his aerial skills count.
They had opened a 1-7 to 0-3 lead by the 12th minute as Cork, who had won the previous Division 1A game so convincingly in Croke Park last month, struggled to keep pace.
A second Dublin goal on 18 minutes from David O'Callaghan, who opened the Cork defence with a blistering run, pushed them 2-9 to 0-3 clear on 18 minutes.
Cork closed with three Patrick Horgan frees but Dublin were relentless and were still nine clear at the break, 2-15 to 0-12, with Peter Kelly's 32nd minute interception of a Patrick Horgan pass destined from Alan Cadogan a pivotal moment.
Kelly, Niall McMorrow, Schutte, Rushe and Keaney impressed for Dublin but losing such a lead after so much control will challenge them in the weeks ahead.
Scorers - Cork: P Horgan 0-17 (12fs, 2 65s), C Lehane 0-4, S Harnedy 0-3, P O'Sullivan 1-0, A Cadogan, L O'Farrell, A Walsh all 0-1 each.
Dublin: P Ryan 0-7 (4fs), D O'Callaghan, M Schutte 1-3 each, L Rushe 0-3, C Keaney, D Treacy, J McCaffrey all 0-2 each, B Quinn 0-1.
Dublin: G Maguire; C O'Callaghan, P Kelly, P Schutte; S Durkin, C Crummey, C Keaney; J McCaffrey, N McMorrow; R O'Dwyer, L Rushe, P Ryan; D O'Callaghan, M Schutte, D Treacy. Subs: B Quinn for McCaffrey (53), C Cronin for O'Dwyer (62), O O'Rorke for Treacy (67).
Cork: A Nash; S O'Neill, D Cahalane, W Kearney; L McLoughlin, A Walsh, S McDonnell; D Kearney, R O'Shea; C Lehane, S Harnedy, B Cooper; A Cadogan, L O'Farrell, P Horgan. Subs: P O'Sullivan for Cadogan (50), A Spillane for O'Farrell (63), B Lawton for Kearney (66).
Referee: James Owens (Wexford)