Cork fend off Derry’s late surge to keep up perfect record

Kerry get off the mark as James O’Donoghue bags hat-trick

James Loughrey, Michael Shields and Ken O’Halloran of Cork deny Enda Lynn of Derry a goal chance during the Allianz Football League Division One clash at Páirc Uí Rinn. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

James Loughrey, Michael Shields and Ken O’Halloran of Cork deny Enda Lynn of Derry a goal chance during the Allianz Football League Division One clash at Páirc Uí Rinn. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Sun, Mar 9, 2014, 16:57

Allianz Football League round-up: Cork were forced to fend off a late surge from Derry to retain their 100 per cent record in Division One, eventually getting home by the narrowest of margins – 2-18 to 3-14 – to remain on top of the table after four consecutive wins.

Having forged into a big lead, with John O’Rourke and Tomás Clancy grabbing early goals, Cork – who led by nine points at one juncture – were rocked by two Derry goals just before half-time: Enda Lynn and Emmet McGuckin fired home in 35th minute and three minutes into injury time to make a real match of it.

John O’Rourke opened the goal-scoring with a 13th minute goal when he flicked a Paul Kerrigan delivery into the net beyond the reach of Thomas Mallon and Clancy also benefited from good work from Kerrigan to claim Cork’s second goal.

Cork led 2-9 to 2-4 at the break but Derry’s resistance continued in the second half and, with Fergal Doherty pulling the strings around centrefield, the visitors to Páirc Uí Rinn were further boosted by another Lynn goal which closed the gap to just two points. Derry had a number of chances to find an equaliser but ultimately fell short.

Kerry claimed a first win of the league campaign with a hugely impressive second-half performance in winning 3-15 to 0-9 against Tyrone in Killarney. James O’Donoghue was the star turn for the Kingdom with three superbly finished goals that blew Tyrone away.

The sides were locked together 0-8 each at the break, but Tyrone managed just a solitary point in the second-half and went 34 minutes without a score as Kerry – with Bryan Sheehan hugely impressive on his return from injury and David Moran dominating the midfield sector – turned on the style.

Time and time again, O’Donoghue tormented the Tyrone defence and the second-half hat-trick from the current All Star provided evidence that Kerry have unearthed another attacking wizard.

O’Donoghue started his goal rush with a superbly placed left-footed effort in the 47th minute, claimed a second with a deflected shot in the 62nd minute and then finished off his impressive display with a wonderfully taken right-footed goal in the 69th minute.

Mayo were forced to show their character in overcoming Westmeath at Mullingar. Mayo had a dream start with goals from Lee Keegan and Mikey Sweeney as they surged into a nine points lead before being rocked by comeback goals from Ciarán Martin and James Dolan that inspired the midlanders who moved into a two points lead early in the second-half.

However, Mayo responded with nine unanswered points in claiming a 2-17 to 3-9 win.

Results
Division One

Cork 2-18 Derry 3-14
Kerry 3-15 Tyrone 0-9
Mayo 2-17 Westmeath 3-9
Division Two
Monaghan 2-14 Louth 0-12
Donegal 1-12 Meath 1-12
Galway 1-12 Down 0-8

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