Young Dubs hit the ground running


Dublin 1-18 Cork 2-9:Kevin Heffernan was commemorated in Croke Park this evening before a crowd of 28,693 and a great evening’s football ended fittingly for his memory. In the second match of the double bill Dublin got the first Allianz Football League match of Jim Gavin’s tenure off to a positive start with a comprehensive defeat of holders Cork.

In a lively and entertaining match, Dublin’s youthful selection moved impressively at pace and by the end they had simply over-run the visitors.

The younger brigade in defence was particularly impressive. Johnny Cooper, who has had some experience in the past two seasons, and the lightning fast Jack McCaffrey - who got up for two points - both carried well and on his debut last year’s under-21 captain Kevin O’Brien had a great tussle with Cork All Star Colm O’Neill.

The only significant setback was the nasty injury to one of last year’s minors, Paul Mannion, who had to be stretchered off just after 30 minutes having taken a heavy knock in a collision with one of his own players.

Both sides made changes before the throw-in with Cork springing a number of debutants in place of some of the more experienced players named in the original selection: Graham Canty, Alan O’Connor and Ciarán Sheehan all started on the bench with both Thomas Clancys, of Fermoy and Clonakilty, Andrew O’Sullivan and the impressive John O’Rourke, who ended with three points from play, lining out in addition.

Dublin brought in Emmet Ó Conghaile and Mannion in place of Declan O’Mahony and Kevin McManamon but by the end Gavin had run the rule over a number of debutants off the bench and had a look at defender Cian O’Sullivan, back after injury, at centrefield.

From the start Dublin hit the front and led by 0-4 to 0-1 after 12 minutes. Cork hit back when A long ball from O’Rourke was fielded by O’Neill and moved on with impressive dexterity to the incoming Aidan Walsh who hit the net with the equaliser.

Bernard Brogan, who was aggressively marked by Eoin Cadogan throughout, pointed a free followed by Michael Darragh Macauley’s rampage in on goal and a fisted point. Brogan set up the dangerous Paddy Andrews for another and Dublin had wiped out the goal.

There were six minutes injury time to make up for Mannion’s injury and a flurry of scores to end the half, including both of McCaffrey’s for an 0-11 to 1-4 half-time lead.

Fintan Goold and Walsh pointed in a lively opening to the second half by Cork but an exchange in the 43rd minute between Paul Flynn and replacement Philly Ryan saw the latter brought down by Paudie Kissane and Diarmuid Connolly expertly converted the penalty for a six-point lead, 1-12 to 1-6.

Although Dublin maintained that lead for a further 10 minutes the match was thrown back into contention when Sheehan, only on a couple of minutes, was tripped for a penalty by Darren Daly.

Donncha O’Connor’s expertise in such situations made the kick a formality and it was back to four, 2-7 to 1-14. Two frees from Brogan broke the back of the holders’ challenge and although O’Rourke finished well from one of the easily overlapping Cork attacks that will have given Gavin and his management some food for thought, the remaining 10 minutes was largely scoreless.

O’Neill did get behind O’Brien only for Cluxton to save at the expense of a 45, as he had done from O’Rourke in the first half. There were further points from Andrews, a whopper from 45 metres, and a scoring conclusion to a Cian O’Sullivan gallop that seemed to surprise even him before Donncha O’Connor rounded off the night.

Dublin:S Cluxton; J Cooper, R O'Carroll, K O'Brien; D Daly, G Brennan, J McCaffrey (0-2); M D Macauley (0-1), Emmet Ó Congaile; P Flynn, P Andrews (0-5), P Quinn; P Mannion, D Connolly (1-2, 1-0 pen), B Brogan (0-6, 0-3 frees). Subs:P Ryan (0-1) for Mannion, 29 mins; C O’Sullivan (0-1) for MD MacAuley, 45 mins; C Reddan for Quinn, 53 mins; D Nelson for D Daly, 63 mins; S Carthy for Ó Conghaile, 66 mins

Cork:K O'Halloran; E Cadogan, Thomas Clancy (Clonakilty), J O'Sullivan; P Kissane, Thomas Clancy (Fermoy), D Cahalane; A O’Sullivan, A Walsh (1-1); F Goold (0-1), P O'Neill, J O’Rourke (0-3); C O'Neill, D O'Connor (1-2, 1-0 pen, 0-2 frees), P Kerrigan (0-2). Subs:C Sheahan for O’Neill, 50 mins; G Canty for Cahalane, 50 mins; A O’Connor for Goold, 56 mins; B O’Driscoll for Walsh, 63 mins

Referee:E Kinsella (Laois)

•    Elsewhere in Division One, Tyrone hit the ground running as Mickey Harte’s side enjoyed a 1-11 to 1-8 win over Ulster rivals Down. And in Division Two, Laois looked to be in danger of throwing a commanding lead against Armagh but steadied the ship in the final quarter to run out 0-20 to 1-10 winners.

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