Sunday 18 August 2019

Four-goal blitz fires Cork into Minor final

MFC semi-final: Cork 4-12 Mayo 1-13

Conor Corbett of Cork in action against Owen McHale of Mayo. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Conor Corbett of Cork in action against Owen McHale of Mayo. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Cork's second-half goal rush sent them storming into the All-Ireland Minor football final as they overwhelmed Mayo with an irresistible display of attacking football at Croke Park.

Two Conor Corbett strikes did the trick for the Rebels as they set up a possible repeat of the Munster final with champions Kerry, who face Galway today.

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Conor Corbett of Cork scores his side's fourth goal against Mayo. Photo: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
Conor Corbett of Cork scores his side's fourth goal against Mayo. Photo: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

Patrick Campbell, who scored their first goal, did a lot of the damage before he was forced off injured midway through the second half. In the seventh minute, he punished a poor kick-out by finding the net as the Munster side moved four points clear. But Mayo fought their way back with scores from Ethan Henry and Paddy Heneghan, with Ciaran Mylett cutting the gap to two.

Cork struck four on the spin, including a brilliant Michael O'Neill effort, to go six clear, but Heneghan led another western revival with two fine scores, and Henry's third converted free brought them to within three, Cork ahead by 1-7 to 0-7 at the break.

Mayo crafted goal chances early in the second half, but Paul Walsh and Frank Irwin failed to hit the target, and it was full-back Daniel Linehan who smashed home Cork's second in the 45th minute to put five between the sides.

Corbett displayed cool and class as he finished low to the net for a third six minutes later, and Bobbie O'Dwyer's side led by nine.

Cork players, including Jack Cahalane, second from right, and Luke Murphy of Cork, far right, celebrate their win. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Cork players, including Jack Cahalane, second from right, and Luke Murphy of Cork, far right, celebrate their win. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

A couple of Irwin scores gave the westerners faint hope and the game had slipped into stoppage time when substitute Niall Feeney rifled in a Mayo goal. But there was still time for skipper Corbett to net his second, scoring on the rebound after goalkeeper Jennings had kept out his initial effort.

So the Cork revival continues, with the U17s intent on building on last week's U20 triumph.

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