Donegal blitz Cork in the second half to keep promotion in sight

Home side remain rooted to the bottom of Division 2 after defeat at Páirc Uí Rinn

Donegal’s Jamie Brennan kicked the clinching goal for Donegal in their win over Cork. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Donegal’s Jamie Brennan kicked the clinching goal for Donegal in their win over Cork. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

 

Cork 1-12 Donegal 1-19

Donegal’s promotion hopes received a timely boost after a strong second-half showing kept Cork rooted to the bottom of Division 2 at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday.

Backed by the wind, the Ulster side outscored 12-man Cork by 1-13 to 0-4 on the resumption, hitting 1-4 without reply in the closing stages as the hosts lost captain Ian Maguire and Luke Connolly to injury and Mark Collins to a second yellow, having used all five substitutes.

Donegal held the initiative at 0-6 apiece approaching half-time, but Cork finished strongly, scoring a quickfire 1-2.

The goal came in the 35th minute, when Ruairí Deane soloed through the defence only to be denied by keeper Shaun Patton. But wing-back Mattie Taylor followed in to give Cork a five-point advantage.

Collins increased it to six on the resumption, but it was all Donegal after that as Hugh McFadden bossed midfield and Michael Murphy and Niall O’Donnell kicked a succession of points.

Cork were struggling to get the ball beyond halfway as the defence came under sustained pressure.

They still managed to be on level terms following a Connolly free after 62 minutes to tie matters at 1-12 to 0-15. The home side wouldn’t score again though as Donegal seized control once again.

O’Donnell fired over two and substitute Daire O Baoill another entering six minutes’ injury-time. Donegal made the game safe with their goal in the 75th minute.

O’Donnell disrupted an attempted short Cork kick-out to set-up Jamie Brennan for the clinching score.

CORK: MA Martin; S Ryan, T Clancy, C Dennehy; K Crowley, K Flahive, M Taylor (1-0); I Maguire, captain, K O’Hanlon; E McSweeney (0-3), L Connolly (0-4, three frees), R Deane (0-1); M Hurley (0-2), M Collins (0-2), P Kerrigan.

Subs: M White for Martin injured 42 mins, K O’Driscoll for Taylor 56 mins, R O’Toole for Kerrigan 57 mins, C Kiely for Dennehy 62 mins, S Powter for Crowley 66 mins.

DONEGAL: S Patton; R McHugh (0-2), S McMenamin, E Gallagher; P Brennan, E Doherty, C Ward (0-1); H McFadden (0-1), C McGonagle; C Thompson (0-1), N O’Donnell (0-3), L McLoone; J Brennan (1-2), M Murphy (0-6, four frees, one ‘45), O Gallen (0-1).

Subs: D O Baoill (0-2) for P Brennan 23 mins, P McGrath for Ward half-time, E McHugh for Gallen 70+3 mins, N McGee for Doherty 70+6 mins.

Referee: D Gough (Meath).

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