Dublin throw it away

Dublin's Michael Dara Macauley claims a high ball ahead of Cork's Aidan Walsh at Croke Park during the 2010 All-Ireland SFC semi-final. - (Photograph: Ryan Byrne/INPHO)

Dublin's Michael Dara Macauley claims a high ball ahead of Cork's Aidan Walsh at Croke Park during the 2010 All-Ireland SFC semi-final. - (Photograph: Ryan Byrne/INPHO)

 

Cork 1-15 Dublin 1-14 :Dublin conceded a rash of frees and a penalty in the dying minutes of the first All-Ireland semi-final against Cork to lose a game they never looked likely to at Croke Park this afternoon. Pat Gilroy’s side gave away 1-03 in the closing stages and 1-07 in total to undo the outstanding work done by everyone in blue in the first half, Bernard Brogan, in particular.

With a lead of four points, which they had more or less held since halftime, Ross McConnell inexplicably bundled over Colum O’Neill in the box to allow Donncha O’Connor to expertly convert a penalty. The Dubs looked to have weathered the storm but then lost their cool again as McConnell was dismissed for a second yellow card after a ridiculously rash challenge in midfield.

O'Neill and O'Connor took full advantage of their indiscipline and the experience of the Rebels told in the end, after they were outplayed for three quarters of the game.

Dublin’s halftime lead belied what had gone on beforehand, for they were rampant for large swathes of the first half and Bernard Brogan gave a magnificent display from the moment he spun Ray Carey to fire into Alan Quirke’s net with just two minutes gone.

Niall Corkery’s ball over Carey’s head was inch perfect but the defender was caught out badly on the wrong side of Brogan. And it wasn’t the last time.

The Rebels were chasing shadows in defence, with Graham Canty yards off the pace being set by Eoghan O’Gara and the Brogans. They were far too laborious going forward, too, though they got on the scoresheet after Brogan’s goal through O’Connor.

Alan Brogan restored the three-point lead as the Dubs were first to every breaking ball.

A set-piece allowed Daniel Goulding keep Cork in touch but Philly McMahon pointed a beauty for Dublin too and Bernard Brogan had the Hill in full song moments later with his first point.

He and Goulding then traded frees before Alan Brogan and Aidan Walsh did the same. Stephen Cluxton and McMahon missed chances to extend the lead in a scoreless 10 minute period before Michael Dara McCauley fisted over to restore a five-point lead.

Brogan then sneaked another scored just inside the post but Dublin got a slice of luck late in the half when Paul Kerrigan’s ambitious effort on goal rattled the crossbar.

At the other end, O’Gara set up Brogan for his fourth score to bring his tally to 1-03 on the strike of halftime.

Unsurprisingly Eoin Cadogan replaced Canty at the start of the second half, while Nicholas Murphy was soon introduced in place of Alan O’Connor.

It did little for Cork initially, however, with bad misses from Ciaran Sheehan and Michael Shields before Goulding scored 12 minutes in.

None other than Bernard Brogan responded with a beautiful point after an indecisive O’Gara lost his way a little and offloaded it to the man of the moment.

Two Cork forays forward were stopped expertly by the Dublin defence before McConnell practically rugby tackled substitute O’Neill in the box and O’Connor slotted home the penalty after what seemed an interminable wait.

It was game on, but Dublin didn’t crack, yet. Bernard Brogan and Bryan Cullen pointed one each but, just when they appeared to be in control of their emotions, a few Dubs took leave of their senses in defence and O’Neill and O’Connor were ruthless in their punishment.