Thursday 23 November 2017

Mannion goal sparks rout as Dubs roll over Rebels

CORK 1-3

Dublin 1-11, Cork 1-3, Declan Rooney

A bad Bank Holiday weekend for Cork football took another sharp nosedive in Portlaoise yesterday when their minors failed to score in the entire first half.

Wind was not a factor as Dublin raced into a 1-8 to 0-0 interval lead in a bizarre game where Cork did not manage a single point from play.

Only one Cork player, Dan MacEoin, managed to score throughout the contest at O'Moore Park. In fairness, Dublin were devastating and Dessie Farrell's men could be poised for a first All-Ireland minor title since 1984. The omens are good, too, for back then Tipperary and Roscommon contested the other semi-final, with the Dubs ending the Premier County's dream that day 27 years ago.

Yesterday's victory sets up a semi-final with Galway in Croke Park, where Farrell's side will be hard to stop.

A goal from Paul Mannion after barely 20 seconds set the tone.

Dublin only managed three points after the restart, as a 36th-minute MacEoin goal gave the Leesiders a whiff of a comeback, a stat which angered Farrell. "It was a good effort in the first half and we went in with a bit of cushion, but it does tend to happen when you go in with a bit of a lead, you can get a bit complacent in the second half," said Farrell.

"But, nevertheless, a lot of bad decisions were taken by our players. We were well in control in the first half, but the second half was very disappointing. If one or two of those high balls broke for Cork, it could have been a different story.

"We did enough to sustain it throughout and we are happy enough to look forward to the next day."

Cork manager Brian Cuthbert said that while Dublin were superb, the defeat was hard to stomach.

"We are at this nine or 10 months and it is one thing to get beaten but to be annihilated as we were today is hard to take," said Cuthbert. "I certainly have to say that Dublin were the far better team and got the start they wanted.

"I think Dublin have a physicality that most minor sides don't have. We never looked like scoring in the first half so you have to say Dublin were better than us, simple as."

After Mannion's outstanding early goal, Farrell's side didn't let up.

Ciaran Kilkenny landed four points before the break, but Gavin Ivory also caught the eye with two scores. With another two after the restart, top scorer Kilkenny killed off any hopes of a Cork revival.

Scorers -- Dublin: C Kilkenny 0-6 (1f); P Mannion 1-1 (0-1f); G Ivory 0-2; D Campbell; E Ó Conghaile 0-1 each. Cork: D MacEoin 1-3 (0-3f)

Dublin -- R O'Hanlon; G Hannigan, R McDaid, R Real; E Lowndes, J Small, J McCaffrey; P O'Higgins, E Ó Conghaile; P Mannion, G Ivory, C Costello; S Fulham, D Campbell, C Kilkenny. Subs: E Archbold for Fulham (48); N Scully for Campbell (56); S Carthy for Costello (59); C Meaney for Ivory (60).

Cork -- J McDonnell; J Davis, C Dorman, S Cronin; K O'Hanlon, B O'Driscoll, K McIntyre; K Kavanagh, M Sugrue; C O'Sullivan, A Cadogan, C Vaughan; D MacEoin, S O'Mahony, D Harrington. Subs: K Fulignati for O'Hanlon (25); D Murphy for O'Sullivan (25); P Fitzgerald for Kavanagh (28); J Corkery for Vaughan (36); TJ Brosnan for Sugrue (57).

Ref -- C Branagan (Down).

Irish Independent

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