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Rebels see off wasteful Dublin

CORK advanced to the final of the Cadbury All-Ireland U-21 football championship for the first time since last winning the title in 2007, but they endured a nervy finish before finally seeing off wasteful Dublin in yesterday's semi-final.

The Rebels lost captain and top scorer Colm O'Neill to injury and centre-forward Shane McCarthy to a red card in the closing stages but still managed to hold on.

Dublin kicked a huge tally of 16 wides, 10 alone in the opening half, as Cork were let off the hook.

O'Neill goaled for Cork in the 24th minute to establish a five-point lead -- 1-4 to 0-2 -- but Dublin were in touch at half-time as they trailed by 1-4 to 0-4.

Barry O'Rourke's 38th minute goal levelled the scores at 1-6 apiece and Dublin then moved ahead when Paddy Andrews pointed with 20 minutes left.

But Cork hit back with a run of four unanswered scores to assume control again and seal the win.

Scorers -- Cork: C O'Neill 1-4 (2f), C Sheehan 0-3 (1f), D Goold 0-2, M Collins 0-1. Dublin: T Furman, D Rock (3f) 0-3 each, B O'Rourke 1-0, P O'Connor (1f), P Andrews, D Quinn 0-1 each

Cork: A Seymour; S McLoughlin, R Buckley, N Galvin; Connor O'Driscoll, A Walsh, B Daly; C O'Donovan, K O'Driscoll; C Sheehan, S McCarthy, Colm O'Driscoll; C O'Neill, D Goold, P Honahan. Subs: M Collins for Colm O'Driscoll (45), J Fitzpatrick for O'Neill (54)

Dublin: D McDonnell; C Moore, R O'Carroll, H Gill; J Cooper, C O'Sullivan, N Brogan; C Murphy, K Nolan; P O'Connor, L Sweetman, D Kelly; B O'Rourke, P Andrews, D Rock. Subs: T Furman for O'Connor (26), N Devereux for Brogan (38), J Sheanon for Kelly (48m), D Quinn for O'Rourke (51), N Coughlan for Rock (57)

Referee: M Higgins (Fermanagh)

Down 1-15

Mayo 2-9

Down's weary heroes dragged themselves through to an All-Ireland U-21 final meeting with Cork, just three days after defeating Armagh in the Ulster final.

Neil Douglas grabbed a Mayo goal on the stroke of half-time to revive their challenge, just when the Mourne men appeared to be taking control.

Down led by 0-11 to 1-6 at the break and stretched the advantage with a brilliant goal, the product of Joe Murphy's delivery from defence.

Devlin punched home at the far post for a 1-12 to 1-7 advantage but five minutes later Mayo hit their second. It was Tom Parsons who drove the ball into the danger area, for Douglas to turn provider, punching back across the goal where Michael Sweeney scored.

The Ulster men were reduced to 14 when centre-back John Fitzpatrick picked up a second yellow. But time ran out for Mayo as Paul McComiskey clipped over a free to clinch a place in the decider.

Scorers -- Down: P Devlin 1-3 (2f), P McComiskey 0-4 (1f), J O'Reilly 0-3, J Murphy, T Hanna, P Fitzpatrick, C Maginn, C Poland 0-1 each. Mayo: M Sweeney 1-1, N Douglas 1-0, A O'Shea 0-3, K McLoughlin 0-2 (2f), J Doherty (1f), C Carolan, R Hennelly (1 '45') 0-1 each

Down: G Joyce; N Higgins, C Murney, J Murray, M Digney, J Fitzpatrick, T Hanna; M Magee, P Fitzpatrick; C Maginn, C Magee, J O'Reilly; P Devlin, P McComiskey, C Poland. Subs: E Toner for Magee (40), D Turley for Higgins (47), B O'Reilly for Toner (54)

Mayo: R Hennelly; E O'Reilly, K Keane, J Broderick; D Vaughan, L Keegan, K McLoughlin; T Parsons, A O'Shea; C Carolan, F Burke, B Gallagher; M Sweeney, N Douglas, J Doherty.

Subs: S Prendergast for Broderick (25), N Prenty for Gallagher (36), A Freeman for Carolan (51)

Referee: D Fahy (Longford)

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