Sunday 25 February 2018

Derry fail to mind gap as Rebels blast out of traps

Cork 2-18 Derry 3-14

Benny Heron, Derry, in action against Andrew O'Sullivan, Cork
Benny Heron, Derry, in action against Andrew O'Sullivan, Cork
Derry manager Brian McIver during the game

Cork remain unbeaten after holding out at Pairc Ui Rinn.

It was a close-run thing for the hosts, whose first-half 11-point lead had almost disappeared by the end, but an equaliser remained elusive for Derry.

While knowing that it wasn't a perfect display, Cork manager Brian Cuthbert was pleased with the display before the break.

"The way we played in the first half is a template for how we want to play," he said. "I thought we played a lot of that good stuff last week, but not as much as we showed there today.

"I was really happy with that first 30 minutes, but gifting two goals knocks you back."


Cork came out of the traps like they meant business, with the first eight minutes yielding five unanswered points as Derry struggled.

In the 13th minute, John O'Rourke deftly flicked Paul Kerrigan's delivery to the net and though Derry improved slightly as defenders Mark Craig and Sean Leo McGoldrick scored points, Cork's second goal put them 10 points ahead.

Again Kerrigan was involved, forcing a turnover that allowed John Hayes space and when his pass found Tomas Clancy's run, the corner-back fired a brilliant shot into the top corner.

That made it 2-7 to 0-3, and though Enda Lynn was denied a goal by Ken O'Halloran at the other end immediately after, the outcome looked inevitable.

A hold-up while McGoldrick was being treated for a head injury disrupted Cork's momentum, however, and Derry took advantage in the closing minutes. First, Lynn was put through by Kevin Johnston for another chance, and though O'Halloran foiled him again, the ball rebounded off the wing-forward and over the line.

Then, in injury time, Emmett McGuckin won a Patsy Bradley ball in and rifled his shot to the net, meaning that Derry only trailed by 2-9 to 2-4 at half-time.

Derry kept the pressure up in the opening stages of the second half.

Ciaran McFaul and Mark Lynch impressed, but Cork were still keeping the scoreboard ticking over until Lynn's second goal, a shot which deflected past O'Halloran, before the excellent Fergal Doherty pointed to reduce the gap to one.

Despite getting chances, though, they just could not level, and Cork sub Colm O'Neill kicked three fine points, the last of which put the Rebels two up.

Chrissy McKaigue's boomer cut the gap again but Doherty's shot right at the end tailed wide and Cork prevailed.

For Derry manager Brian McIver, it was a case of ruing the respect shown to Cork in the first half.

"Maybe there was a bit of standing off Cork and admiring them for the first 20 minutes," he said.

"But once the game turned I thought we showed good composure and worked some great scores. I'm disappointed we didn't get something out of it."

Scorers – Cork: J O'Rourke 1-2, B Hurley, P Kerrigan, D Goulding (3fs), C O'Neill (2fs) 0-3 each, T Clancy 1-0, M Collins 0-2, F Goold, Barry O'Driscoll 0-1 each. Derry: E Lynn 2-1, M Lynch 0-5 (5fs), E McGuckin 1-0, C McFaul, F Doherty 0-2 each, M Craig, C McKaigue, SL McGoldrick, B Heron ('45') 0-1 each.

CORK – K O'Halloran 8; A Cronin 6, M Shields 7, T Clancy 7; J Loughrey 6, J McLoughlin 6, K O'Driscoll 6; F Goold 6, A O'Sullivan 6; M Collins 7, P Kerrigan 8, J O'Rourke 8; D Goulding 6, B Hurley 6, J Hayes 6. Subs: D O'Connor 6 for O'Rourke (41, BC), C O'Driscoll 6 for Goulding, C O'Neill for Hayes (both 46), B O'Driscoll 6 for Kerrigan (47), P Kelly 6 for McLoughlin (69), M O Laoire 6 for Hurley (70).

DERRY – T Mallon 6; D McBride 6, C McKaigue 7, M Craig 6; SL McGoldrick 7, A McAlynn 6, K Johnston 6; F Doherty 8, P Bradley 6; C McFaul 7, M Lynch 7, E Lynn 8; J Kielt 6, E McGuckin 6, C O'Boyle 6. Subs: O Duffy 6 for Craig (26), C McAtamney 6 for McGoldrick (h-t), B Heron 6 for Kielt (42), D Mullan 6 for McGuckin (64), A Kerrigan 6 for O'Boyle (70).

Ref – M Deegan (Laois).

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