Cork qualified for the Allianz National Football League Division One Final,with an easy victory over Down at Croke Park on Sunday afternoon. The Rebels were the better side throughout and made their class tell with an impressive display.
Both sides played good football in the opening minutes and were level at 0-3 apiece early on. Aidan Walsh and Mark Poland then swapped scores to keep the teams deadlocked, before Colm O’Neill and Donncha O’Connor helped the Munster men build up a lead. Conor Laverty hit three points for the Mourne men in the opening period but had to be replaced before the end of the half. Paul Kerrigan had the final score of the first thirty five to leave Cork ahead 0-9 to 0-7 at the break.
Colm O’Neill scored a goal and a point just after the restart to give Cork a commanding lead. However, a converted penalty from Aidan Carr gave Down some momentum and they briefly looked like getting back into the contest. The crucial score was soon to follow however, as Alan O’Connor benefited from a defensive error to score Cork’s second goal of the game.
Cork scorers – C O’Neill 1-06 (0-2f), A O’Connor 1-00, P Kerrigan, P O’Neill 0-03 each, D O’Connor, A Walsh, N O’Leary, D Goulding, B O’Driscoll 0-01 each.
Down scorers – A Carr 1-02 (1-00 pen, 0-01f), C Laverty, B Coulter 0-03 each, A McConville (f), P Turley, M Poland, B McArdle 0-01 each.
Cork – A Quirke, R Carey, M Shields, E Cotter, N O’Leary, E Cadogan, P Kissane, A O’Connor, P O’Neill, F Goold, P Kelly, P Kerrigan, C O’Neill, A Walsh, D O’Connor.
Subs – J O’Sullivan for Cotter, B O’Drioscoll for Walsh, D O’Sullivan for Cadogan, M Collins for Goold, D Goulding for O’Connor
Down – B McVeigh, D McCartan, B McArdle, D Turley, K McKernan, N McParland, C Garvey A Rogers, K King, P Turley, M Poland, A Carr, A McConville, C Laverty, B Coulter.
Subs – C Maginn for Laverty, A Brannigan for D Turley, D O’Hare for McConville