Lack of bite as Dublin draw

 

IT was all very civilised stuff and it ended in a diplomatic draw when Dublin and Cork played exhibition football to mark the official opening of the newly developed Nowlan Park in Kilkenny yesterday.

Referee Brian White even got in on the act and he allowed the second half to run for 35 minutes until Paul McGrath tapped over the equaliser for Cork, the 10th occasion the sides were level.

The opening half was a tame affair. There was never more than a point in it and at half-time a Pat Hegarty score divided the sides as Cork led by 0-4 to 0-3.

The nearest the small crowd, estimated to be less than 300 at the start, got to seeing a goal was in the 24th minute when Cork goalkeeper Kevin O'Dwyer brought off a great save from Dessie Farrell.

Dublin levelled in the 32nd minute through a Charlie Redmond point. Towards the end of the quarter Cork opened up a 0-10 to 0-6 lead with fine scores from Joe Kavanagh, Stephen Dineen, Austin Aherne and Paul McGrath.

Dublin then stepped up a gear and, with Jason Sherlock always willing to offer himself and create space, they began to look more threatening in attack. They dragged themselves back into the game with Niall Guiden and Dessie Farrell (three) shooting the scores that levelled the match yet again.

It was nip and tuck for another while afterwards and then Dublin looked like sneaking victory when Paul Bealin kicked a point in the 59th minute. But five minutes into additional time, McGrath got the equaliser and everyone appeared happy afterwards.