TWO first-half goals from Chris Sallier proved pivotal as Dublin overcame Cork by 2-14 to 1-13 in their Electric Ireland All-Ireland MFC quarter-final in Semple Stadium yesterday afternoon.
The Dubs started brightly with full-forward Con O'Callaghan landing a fine score off his left foot inside 25 seconds before his opposite number Shane Kingston did likewise to restore parity in the second minute.
Cork assumed complete control in the middle third for the ensuing five minutes but some errant shooting and poor shot selection undermined their dominance in the middle third as they spurned numerous chances to take the lead.
In contrast, Dublin were highly economical and they regained their lead in the eighth minute as a wonderful run from corner-back Eoin Murchan culminated in Chris Sallier applying a classy finish beyond Anthony Kidney from eight metres.
The Leesiders responded impressively to that setback, and as Dublin struggled to clear their lines, Cork kicked four successive scores through Gary Murphy, Micheál Ó Deasúna, Séamus Roynane and Michael Hurley to lead by 0-5 to 1-1 after 12 minutes.
Dublin's ability to create panic in the Cork defence proved their salvation in the first-half and they regained their lead in the 14th minute with Sallier once again finding the net after excellent approach play by O'Callaghan and Aaron Byrne.
O'Callaghan added another superb point soon after but Dublin's struggles in the middle third were reflected in Cork replying through Seán O'Donoghue and and Roynane as the refreshingly open encounter flowed from one goal to the other.
Despite Kingston reducing Cork's arrears in the 29th minute, a brace of O'Callaghan points ensured Dublin enjoyed a slightly fortuitous 2-6 to 0-8 interval advantage.
The second-half resumed with Sallier and Maidhc Ó Duinnín trading scores before Dublin substitute Rian McBride almost made an instant impression but his close-range shot was blocked by Kidney.
With Shane Clayton and Jack Mullins impressing in central defensive positions, the Dubs were rarely threatened as Eoghan McHugh added two valuable points as the half progressed.
A Kingston goal in the 54th minute offered Cork some late hope but despite Basquel stiking the upright from a penalty, Dublin confirmed their last four berth through late scores by O'Callaghan and Basquel.
Scorers - Dublin: C O'Callaghan 0-8 (4f), C Sallier 2-1, C Basquel 0-3 (0-1pen) E McHugh 0-2 . Cork: S Kingston 1-2, G Murphy, S Roynane 0-2 each, S O'Donoghue, C Kiely, M Ó Duinnín, B Coakley, M Ó Deasúna, D Ó Duinnín, M Hurley 0-1 each.
DUBLIN: E Whelan; E Murchan, J Mullins, D Monahan; A Fee, S Clayton, G O'Reilly; A Foley, E McHugh; W Egan, C Basquel, J Burke; A Byrne, C O'Callaghan, C Sallier. Subs: C Kavanagh for Burke (18), A McGowan for Fee (23), R McBride for Egan (36), C Murphy for Foley (48), B Howard for Byrne (54).
CORK: A Kidney; J Mullins, K Flahive, S Powter; S O'Donoghue, C Kiely, M Ó Duinnín; B Coakely, M Ó Deasúna; G Murphy, D Ó Duinnín, D Lowney; S Roynane, S Kingston, M Hurley. Subs: S O'Donovan for Lowney (16), C O'Donovan for Hurley (26), D O'Neill for Ó Deasúna (38), D Buckley for O'Donovan (45), T Bushe for Coakley (52), E O'Sullivan for Roynane (58).
REF: Jerome Henry (Mayo).