Allianz FL D2: Cork claim vital win over Down
Allianz Football League Division Two
CORK 1-16 DOWN 1-12
By John O’Shea at Páirc Uí Chaoimh
This crunch clash in the battle for survival in Allianz Football League Division Two at Páirc Uí Chaoimh saw Cork ease their relegation fears for at least one more week with victory over Down.
This result also means that Down’s struggles were confirmed as they face relegation straight in the face.
It was Cork that pointed for the opening score of the game when Cathal O’Mahony, who was lively in the early stages, slotted a cool effort over the crossbar on 6 minutes. Down responded in kind with a score through Darren O’Hagan before Stephen Sherlock converted a free for the home side.
An Andrew Gilmore free for Down brought the teams level on 0-2 apiece after ten minutes of play.
Cork goalkeeper Micheál Martin was forced into a great save to deny a Down goal chance from Anthony Doherty on 15 minutes, while Daniel Dineen blasted just wide while shooting for goal at the other end moments later.
A point from John O’Rourke edged Cork back in front 0-4 to 0-3 in the 20th minute, before Down responded in kind once more through a well taken Pat Havern effort.
Stephen Sherlock showed his predatory instincts in front of goal to finish to the back of the net for Cork in the 27th minute, after getting onto the end of a good pass into his path by John O’Rourke.
Havern split the posts with a fine long range effort to reduce the deficit for Down back down to three points, as it was Cork that held the advantage at the half time break at 1-5 to 0-5.
A close range free by Sherlock got Cork up and running in the second half, before Darren O’Hagan pointed for the visitors.
A fine point from play by Colm O’Callaghan put Cork 1-8 to 0-6 ahead with 40 minutes on the clock. That was before scores by Havern and Ceilum Doherty reduced the gap back to three points.
Through what was a well worked move, Down found the top corner of the net through a beauty of a finish by Tiernan Rushe with the score now Cork 1-9 to the 1-8 of Down after 48 minutes.
Sherlock got another much needed Cork score before a well taken Daniel Dineen score from play saw the Rebels extend the advantage back to three points.
A pair of Down frees by Gilmore ensured this contest was very much up for grabs heading into the final ten minutes with Cork leading now 1-12 to 1-10.
O’Hagan missed a great goal chance for Down on 65 minutes, before Ryan O’Higgins scored to leave just a point between the sides.
Cork kept in front through Mark Cronin and Mattie Taylor scores, with Ryan McEvoy scoring to reduce the gap down to two in second half stoppage time.
But late points from O’Callaghan and Sherlock secured Cork the victory.
Scorers for Cork: Stephen Sherlock (1-7, 0-5 frees), Cathal O’Mahony 0-3, Colm O’Callaghan 0-2, Daniel Dineen, John O’Rourke, Mark Cronin, Mattie Taylor 0-1 each.
Scorers for Down: Tiernan Rushe 1-0, Andrew Gilmore , Pat Havern 0-3 each, Darren O’Hagan 0-2, Ryan McEvoy Ceilum Doherty , Ryan O’Higgins , Cory Quinn 0-1 each.
CORK: Micheál Aodh Martin; Kevin O’Donovan, Kevin Flahive, Kieran Histon; John Cooper, Rory Maguire, Mattie Taylor; Ian Maguire, Colm O’Callaghan; Daniel Dineen, Eoghan McSweeney, John O’Rourke; Stephen Sherlock, Cathal O’Mahony, Brian Hurley. Subs: Tommy Walsh for Histon (5, inj), Blake Murphy for Sherlock (35+4, temp), Sherlock for Murphy (36), Fionn Herlihy for Dineen (53), Mark Cronin for Hurley (58), Cian Kiely for McSweeney (64), Joe Grimes for O’Rourke (69).
DOWN: Rory Burns; Peter Fegan, Finn McElroy, Gerard Collins; Darren O’Hagan, Conor Poland, Ceilum Doherty; Anthony Doherty, Niall McParland; Anthony Morgan, Liam Kerr, Ryan McEvoy; Andrew Gilmore, Pat Havern, Cory Quinn. Subs: Kevin McKernan for McParland (23), Tiernan Rushe for Quinn (34), Gary McMahon for Burns (35,), Ryan O’Higgins for Morgan (57).
Referee: Brendan Griffin (Kerry)