Cork man up to take final step
For the third championship match involving Cork this year, a sending off becomes the seminal moment
Dublin’s Paul Schutte, Peter Kelly, Niall Corcoran and Liam Rushe have Patrick Horgan of Cork surrounded. Photograph: Inpho.
Suddenly, with very little warning, the constant rebellion ignites once again.
Cork, average age 24, are heading back to hurling’s main event for the first time in seven long years having out-slogged and out-hurled Dublin, to a tune of 1-24 to 1-19, as the most fascinating hurling championships in modern times took yet another twist.
Another red card that may need rescinding. All that will do is leave Dublin with a familiarly bitter taste. For the third championship match involving Cork this year, a sending off became the seminal moment as Dublin centre forward Ryan O’Dwyer walked in the 49th minute.
“Let’s be honest, the sending off has to be the key factor,” admitted Cork’s legendary manager Jimmy Barry-Murphy.
“I’ve made a point that with fitness levels in the modern game the way they are, in Croke Park it’s very, very hard to sustain a challenge with 14 men because you just run out of options.
“We felt in the Munster final it was very hard on us.”
O’Dwyer, a Tipperary man by birth, made an impassioned plea with Wexford’s James Owen not to go to his pocket a second time.
A bloodied Lorcan McLoughlin had just been paved into the turf. Anthony Nash’s subsequent long range free – one of three points in another fine contribution from Cork’s latest goalkeeping icon – levelled matters up at 1-16 to 0-19.
Anthony Daly is not one for cribbing but the Dublin manager does always provide honest answers.
“The referee put himself under pressure with the first yellow,” said Daly of O’Dwyer’s caution in the second minute of play.
“The second one was a free and a yellow. I think Ryan would admit that straight away.
“But I was right beside the first one. I think it was Conor Lehane [it was Luke O’Farrell] and himself, shoulder on shoulder, how’s it a yellow card?
“I felt sorry for Ryan, I thought he had a tremendous match. He’s given us a great year. Do you get the yellow on reputation because you’ve been sent off before? There was nothing malicious in what he did for the first one.
“It’s hard on him. Big day and I assume his family are in the stand. Sure we saw it a couple of weeks ago with the greatest player we ever saw. That was rescinded. I hope the powers that be might have a look at that as well.”
Having seen Henry Shefflin dismissed last month, the large tranche of Cork people in the 62,092 crowd knew what would happen next.
Conor O’Sullivan became the free man in defence, covering, breaking, ruining Dublin’s direct attacking ploy.