Sport Hurling

Sunday 17 December 2017

The game at a glance

Pat Horgan (Cork): An exhibition of silky ball-striking from the Glen Rovers man who tormented Offaly in the second half with his accuracy from both play and frees.

Turning point

Donal Og Cusack's reflex save from Daniel Currams with 10 minutes remaining when Offaly were down by five. A goal then might have quickened the pulse of a game that, at the times, was stuck in idle.

Talking point

Ref Johnny Ryan's decision to play just a single minute of added time. With seven substitutions made in the second half, Offaly might have expected more. Joe Dooley reckoned another 20 seconds could have secured an equaliser.

Ref watch

Arguments about time aside, Ryan did an excellent job and was correct to give Pa Cronin his marching orders for a reckless swing on 21 minutes

What they said

Denis Walsh (Cork manager):

"The sending-off maybe suited us, to be honest, because we shifted the ball fairly well and there was probably more space once we kept it away from the spare man. If it stayed 15 against 15, it might even have been closer."

Joe Dooley (Offaly manager):

"Our expectation was to win and, if we won today, our whole year would open up. Like who's there to stop you after that? After Tipp and Kilkenny, Cork are without a doubt the next best team in the championship."

Match statistics

Wides: Cork 12 (5), Offaly 16 (11)

Frees: Cork 13 (7), Offaly 11 (4)

Yellow cards: Cork 0, Offaly 2 (B Carroll 28, D Morkan 47)

Red cards: Cork 1 (P Cronin 21), Offaly 0

Attendance: 7,569

What next?

Cork head for phase two of the qualifiers; Offaly's season is over.

Irish Independent

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