Cork make it three in a row

Updated: April 29, 2012
Conor Counihan

Cork made it three successive National football division one titles with a 2-10 to 0-11 win over Mayo at Croke Park.

Second half goals from Colm O’Neill and Aidan Walsh proved key to the success with the rebel county coming from 0-09 points to 0-05 down at half time to claim the league decider.

Mayo dominated the first half with Young Footballer of the Year Cillian O’Connor impressing with six points however it was Cork, playing into the wind, who made a good start with Pearse O’Neill and Fintan Gould cancelling out efforts from O’Connor.

O’Connor doubled his tally with two more efforts before Keith Higgins fired over a sensational point after Gould had grabbed his second point to put Mayo 0-07 to 0-03 ahead.

With 24 minutes gone O’Connor should have had the first goal of the afternoon but he saw his effort fly over for his fifth point before Donal Vaughan made it 0-07 to 0-03 with ten minutes left in the half.

Donnacha O’Connor and a long range effort from Graham Canty made it a two point game before Andy Moran and O’Connor again restored the four point advantage.

Cork came flying out of the blocks in the second half and points from Alan O’Connor, Paddy Kelly, Pearse O’Neill and Donnacha O’Connor had Conor Counihan’s side level by the 44th minute.

Three minutes later and Cork had their noses in front when O’Neill grabbed the first goal of the day.

Kevin McLaughlin steadied the ship for a shell shocked Mayo with a point to make it 1-09 to 0-10 with twenty minutes to go.

However just five minutes later the game was over as a contest as Walsh showed good reaction to score after Gould’s goal bound effort had come back off the post.

Tempers flared as the game entered the final stages when Mayo captain Moran stayed down after a challenge from Noel O’Leary prompting Michael Shields to throw the ball at him.

When play resumed Conor Mortimer scored the free before Daniel Goulding announced his return to action with the final point of the game.

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