Dublin another step closer with win over Cork

Jack McCaffrey and Stephen Cluxton crucial in five-point quarter-final win over Rebels


Dublin 1-16 Cork 0-14: Dublin go through to an All Ireland semi-final against either Kerry or Cavan after a 1-16 to 0-14 win over Cork at Croke Park.

A second-half goal from man-of-the-match Jack McCaffrey was enough to give them breathing space over a Cork side that caused them plenty of nervous moments without being able to fatally wound them.

For a quarter-final, the game took a while build any sort of momentum. It was played at challenge match pace for much of the opening half, with both sides knocking over decent points under little enough pressure.

Stephen Cluxton’s dead ball prowess was responsible for four of Dublin’s first six points and Cork hung on through fine scores from Ciaran Sheehan, Brian Hurley and John O’Rourke, especially.

But after Daniel Goulding made it 0-6 to 0-6 in the 22nd minute, Dublin started exerting control and from there until the break they carried an ever-present goal threat.

Michael Darragh Macauley broke through with a typically forceful run only to see his shot deflect wide off Alan Quirke’s shoulder, and three minutes later, Bernard Brogan struck the foot of Quirke’s right-hand post.

Though Paul Flynn and Ciarán Kilkenny did put Dublin in front with a couple of well taken scores from distance, you always felt that as long as Cork didn’t concede a goal, they were still well in with a shout.

Brogan and Mark Collins swapped points to leave it 0-9 to 0-7 at the break.

Just three minutes into the second half, the goal Dublin needed arrived.

They’d already passed up a gilt-edged chance from Diarmuid Connolly by the time McCaffrey took it upon himself to put an end to the wastefulness.

Paul Mannion popped him a pass to run on to on the edge of the large square and his finish high into Alan Quirke’s top corner put his attacker teammates to shame.

It gave Dublin a 1-9 to 0-8 cushion and from there to the end of the match, the best Cork could do was cut it down to two points. Which is not to say Cork were out of the game – they weren’t by any means.

Indeed, they carried a pretty decent goal threat themselves, with the high ball into the Dublin full-back line causing particular problems.

Daniel Goulding, Hurley and Paudie Kissane all had good half-chances in front of the Dublin goal but they were never able to find Cluxton’s net.

Dublin introduced Dean Rock, who contributed his usual two points off the bench and Cluxton nailed two more 45s to bring his tally for the night six in all.

Denis Bastick then sent over the insurance point with a minute to go to send them through with five to spare.

Dublin: S Cluxton (0-6, 0-3 free, 0-3 45); J Cooper, R O’Carroll, K O’Brien; J McCarthy, G Brennan, J McCaffrey (1-0); MD Macauley (0-1), C O’Sullivan; P Flynn (0-2), C Kilkenny (0-2), D Connolly; P Mannion, B Cullen, B Brogan (0-1, free). Subs: D Rock (0-2) for Cullen, 41 mins; P McMahon for Cooper, 51 mins; K McManamon (0-1) for Mannion, 54 mins; D Bastick (0-1) for Macauley, 60 mins; E O’Gara for Kilkenny, 65 mins

Cork: A Quirke; E Cadogan, M Shields, Thomas Clancy; D Cahalane (0-1, 45), G Canty, J Loughrey (0-1); A O’Connor, P O’Neill; M Collins (0-2, 0-1 free), A Walsh, J O’Rourke (0-1); D Goulding (0-5, 0-2 free, 0-1 45), C Sheehan (0-1), B Hurley (0-3). Subs: P Kissane for Cadogan, half-time; P Kerrigan for O’Rourke, 43 mins; J O’Sullivan for Clancy, mins; D O’Connor for A O’Connor, 51 mins; Tomás Clancy for Canty, 54 mins

Referee: D Coldrick (Meath)

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