Sunday 18 August 2019

Pat Spillane: 'Cork can take plenty of positives from Dubs hammering - and Jim Gavin can take plenty of negatives'

Dublin manager Jim Gavin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Dublin manager Jim Gavin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Pat Spillane

NOW I know this sounds crazy, but Dublin can take plenty of negatives out of a 13-point win and Cork will have lots to be happy about after a 13-point loss.

Dublin did enough things wrong last night at Croke Park to keep Jim Gavin cranky all week. Cork left four goals behind them, my God, Stephen Cluxton even made a few good saves. He might get an All Star this year.

The All-Ireland champions stood off Cork too often, especially in the first half, and there was a lethargy about their play at times. So Jim will be in his players’ ears and the sight of Dean Rock, Jonny Cooper and James McCarthy all coming on will keep those owning the starting jerseys on their toes. God help Roscommon next Saturday night.

For Cork, it was a case of damned if we do and damned if we don’t. They went toe-to-toe with the Dubs and paid the penalty physically and mentally in that swashbuckling finale. But that’s what Dublin do. They went for the jugular with pace and power when they sensed Cork finally wilting and they blew them away.

Somehow Cork have to pick themselves up now to play Tyrone on the Saturday double bill at Croker. They have to blot out the late goals and take the good bits from being a goal adrift with 12 minutes left. Do that and they can trouble Tyrone.

Elsewhere, it has to be said that if there was ever such a thing as a four-point hammering we witnessed it in Dr Hyde Park as Tyrone strolled to an easy win over Connacht champions Roscommon. Without ever looking particularly impressive, Mickey Harte’s side were still miles ahead of the home side, who were altogether too cagey. The fact that they scored just two points from play in the second half summed up how weak their challenge was. I was actually disappointed by Tyrone’s performance.

On this effort they don’t look like the team who will challenge Dublin’s bid for the five in a row. Roscommon will point to the fact that having lost by 18 points last year, they only went down by four on this occasion but the issue was that they never really threatened Tyrone, who never looked in the slightest dangerous of losing.

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