Monday 22 January 2018

Dublin seek ultimate redemption - Five things we learned from Dublin vs Cork

26 April 2015; Dublin's Jack McCaffrey celebrates following his side's victory. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; Dublin's Jack McCaffrey celebrates following his side's victory. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

Michael Verney

Dublin continued their dominance on the world of Gaelic Football with a commanding 11-point win over Cork in the National Football League Division 1 final at GAA headquarters.

Winning the league title for the third consecutive year is the perfect springboard for Jim Gavin's side and with that in mind, Independent.ie look at five things we learned from today's encounter.

26 April 2015; Cork's Barry O'Driscoll following his side's loss. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; Cork's Barry O'Driscoll following his side's loss. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; Dublin supporters on Hill 16 during the game. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; Cork's Eoin Cadogan following his side's loss. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; Dublin's Ciar?n Kilkenny and Cork's Tom?s Clancy shake hands at the final whistle. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; Cork's Barry O'Driscoll following his side's loss. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; Cork manager Brian Cuthbert, left, shakes hands with Dublin manager Jim Gavin after the match. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; Dublin's Alan Brogan watches on as his team-mates lift the trophy. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; Dublin's Dean Rock, left, and Bernard Borgan following their side's victory. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

Dublin seek ultimate redemption

Last year's shock defeat to Donegal in the All-Ireland semi-final has stung the Dubs and after an indifferent league campaign they still prevailed to claim top honours once again.

One senses the Dubs have a different mindset this year and will aim to play their best football in August and September rather than early in the season, as they did in 2014.

Yesterday was the first real evidence of them coming back on the boil this season and even though Cork severely misfired, Gavin's side were tearing through them at will and from an early stage it was always a case of how much.

26 April 2015; Daniel Goulding, Cork, is tackled by Jonny Cooper, left, and Ciar?n Kilkenny, Dublin. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; Daniel Goulding, Cork, is tackled by Jonny Cooper, left, and Ciar?n Kilkenny, Dublin. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; Daniel Goulding, Cork, is tackled by Jonny Cooper, Dublin. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; Bernard Brogan, Dublin, in action against James Loughrey, Cork. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; Cork's James Loughrey after the game. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; Dublin players Tom?s Brady and Dean Rock, left, in action against Cork's Colm O'Driscoll, 12, and Noel Gavin. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; James Loughrey, Cork, in action against Bernard Brogan, Dublin. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; Dublin's Rory O'Carroll, left, and Jack McCaffrey following their side's victory. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; Ciar?n Kilkenny, Dublin, is tackled by T?mas Clancy, Cork. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; Brian Fenton, Dublin, in action against Mark Collins, Cork. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

It has been talked about regularly before but the ability of Dublin to seamlessly introduce new faces into the starting XV, of similar standard to what they replaced, is incredible.

Rory O'Carroll was a rock for the first 26 minutes and had helped restrict Cork to just one point before going off injured. Mick Fitzsimons replaced him and little changed as they shut out Cork.

Similarly, Tomás Brady replaced the influential Paul Flynn before the throw in and performed admirably while Denis Bastick and Brian Fenton could keep former Footballer of the Year Michael Darragh MacAuley out of the team.

Cork no-show

Brian Cuthbert will be flabbergasted at his side's performance as despite coming into this game as the country's form team, they played second fiddle in all sectors of the field from start to finish.

They were second to the ball, tackled poorly, couldn't keep up with the pace and displayed none of the hunger and appetite needed to live with the game's standard bearers.

It's back to the drawing board for the young Rebels but they have plenty of time to get their house in order before their Munster semi-final meeting with Clare or Limerick.

26 April 2015; Kevin McManamon, Dublin, in action against Kevin O'Driscoll, Cork. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; Kevin McManamon, Dublin, in action against Kevin O'Driscoll, Cork. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; Kevin McManamon, Dublin, in action against Kevin O'Driscoll, Cork. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; Michael Shields, Cork, in acrtion against Tomas Brady, Dublin. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; The Cork starting 15 stand during a minute's silence before the game. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; Dublin manager Jim Gavin. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; The Dublin starting 15 stand during a minute's silence before the game. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; The Dublin starting 15 stand during a minute's silence before the game. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
26 April 2015; Jack McCaffrey, Dublin, in action against Michael Shields, Cork. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

Kilkenny pulling strings for Dublin

Dublin will certainly be 'Alive Alive O' at the thoughts of having the returning Kilkenny in full flow come championship time after he displayed skills akin to a puppet master at HQ.

The Castleknock attacker was a massive loss in 2014 after suffering the curse of the cruciate and emphasised this with a beautiful display of footballing creativity.

His array of kick paces to the inside line immediately puts defenders under pressure while his 2-3 points per game can prove crucial and he has a big role to play in the destination of Sam Maguire this year.

Read more here: Rampant Dublin demolish lethargic Cork to clinch first Allianz League treble 

Over-reliance on O'Neill

Given the fact that he has miraculously come back from three separate cruciate knee injuries, Colm O'Neill is indeed mercurial but the man cannot turn water into wine by himself.

Before today's game he had notched a staggering 5-33 but against serious opposition, who were able to double team him and limit his influence, he was never going to be able to exert the same type of command on the game,

His free-taking was spectacular and he showed well where possible but he needs assistance. Brian Hurley had 2-12 before today but like O'Neill he was limited to one point from play and it's no wonder Cork struggled. More forwards need to pick up the fall for their side.

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