Cunningham questions red card as Cork end Dublin’s summer

Dublin battled until the end at Páirc Uí Rinn after first-half red card for Chris Crummey

Cork 1-26 Dublin 1-23

Dublin manager Ger Cunningham questioned the decision by Carlow referee Paud O'Dwyer to send off wing back Chris Crummey in the first half of the season-ending defeat by Cork in the All-Ireland hurling qualifiers at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday evening.

Crummey, who was yellow carded after 16 minutes, saw red after a dangerous tackle on Cork debutant John Cronin 13 minutes later, forcing Dublin to play with 14 men for over half the tie.

“I have to say it was a harsh decision. The first yellow wasn’t a yellow because Chris just went for the ball and it happened right in front of us. You are allowed go and play the ball.

READ MORE

“The second was a shoulder challenge and I thought the referee put himself under pressure with the first yellow. From that point of view we feel very hard done.

“We see the effort these lads put in and referees have to get these calls right. They make the calls and they’ve got to live with it,” a frustrated Cunningham said.

Yet, Dublin emerged with huge credit after taking a nervous Cork the full distance in a cracking tie watched by a crowd of just over 10,000.

“It was very difficult for us at that stage, but the lads showed great character.

“It’s hard to put into words after a performance like that. I am very proud of the lads for their commitment and effort in the second half. I thought it was top class,” Cunningham added.

Despite using half-time substitute Conor O’Sullivan as the spare man at the back Cork struggled to get over the line, particularly when Dublin drew level at 1-22 apiece after 66 minutes following a four-point burst, including a couple from wing back Shane Barrett.

But, Cork held their nerve as Bill Cooper, Conor Lehane, Alan Cadogan and Patrick Horgan fired over the winning points, much to the relief of selector Pat Ryan.

“The pressure was definitely on us to perform and we’re just delighted to have won. Dublin are a big, strong physical side who play a fantastic brand of hurling and it was hard luck on them,” he said.

Ryan praised Cork's response to falling behind for the only time in the second half after Eamon Dillon pounced for Dublin's goal after 51 minutes to lead by 1-16 to 1-15.

“The next score in a situation like that is always crucial and we managed to get it, which was very important for us,” Ryan commented.

Substitute Daniel Kearney supplied the score and the deadly duo, Cadogan and Horgan, followed suit to cancel out Dillon’s goal. Yet, Cork were never comfortable as Dublin kept coming back, inspired by Chris Bennett’s four-point contribution and David Treacy’s accuracy from placed balls.

In the end Cork were grateful for the critical roles played by Cadogan and Horgan, who combined for 1-17 of Cork’s tally, with Cadogan’s first-half goal crucial in determining the outcome.

It came after 24 minutes, when Luke O'Farrell playing a terrific ball his way and Cadogan shrugged off the attentions of a couple of defenders before beating goalkeeper Gary Maguire with a low drive to help Cork lead 1-10 to 0-11 at the interval.

The second half was jammed packed with incident and excitement. Home goalkeeper Anthony Nash denied Mark Schutte and Bennett and in between Maguire brilliantly deflected a Lehane rocket over the crossbar.

Corkman Cunningham admitted it wasn’t easy taking on his own county. “It was emotional and difficult for me, but I didn’t hear a bad word said. I was proud to walk in with the Dublin lads and proud to walk out with them,” he said.

Cunningham has a year left of his three-year term. “I’ll have a chat with the board and see what happens from there.”

CORK: A Nash; M Ellis, D Cahalane, K Burke; A Walsh, C Joyce, C Murphy; W Egan (0-1), B Cooper (0-1); L O'Farrell (0-1), S Harnedy (capt), J Cronin; A Cadogan (1-5), P Horgan (0-12, eight frees), C Lehane (0-3).

Subs: C O'Sullivan for Murphy (half-time), D Kearney (0-2) for Cronin (45 mins), B Lawton (0-1) for Egan (48 mins), L McLoughlin for Burke (65 mins), S Kingston for Harnedy (67 mins).

DUBLIN: G Maguire; E O'Donnell, C O'Callaghan, J Madden; C Crummey (0-1), L Rushe (capt), S Barrett (0-2); N McMorrow (0-2), J McCaffrey (0-1); D Treacy (0-9, seven frees, one '65), R O'Dwyer, E Dillon (1-0); P Ryan (0-4, four frees), C Bennett (0-4), M Schutte.

Subs: N Corcoran for Madden (half-time), S Treacy for Ryan (43 mins), D O'Connell for McCaffrey (45 mins), D Plunkett for C Bennett (65 mins).

Referee: P O'Dwyer (Carlow).