By John Fogarty
Cork shipped one of their heaviest Division 1 defeats in recent history when they went down by 10 points to Donegal in Ballyshannon.
Without a score for 40 minutes between the 23rd and 62nd minutes and trailing 1-9 to 1-3 at half-time, Cork’s performance couldn’t have been more removed from their slick showing against Mayo last weekend.
If anything, what they mustered against the wind in the opening half was better than what they offered thereafter.
Donegal, on the other hand, were just as if not more impressive than they were in Newry eight days ago, Odhrán Mac Niallais their stand-out performer with a tally of 1-4 from play and the home side’s second half goalscorer.
Leading 1-4 to no score after 16 minutes, Donegal threatened to steamroll Cork. Their goal was the result of some beautiful link-up play between Eoin McHugh and Martin O’Reilly who couldn’t have placed his shot better.
Cork, though, began to settle as Brian O’Driscoll exerted his influence on proceedings. Donal Óg Hodnett was threatening the Donegal defence for the majority of the time he was on the ball. His 18th minute goal came courtesy of being put through after Peter Kelleher and Brian Hurley combined to put him in for the strike.
A couple of Daniel Goulding frees followed and the margin became one in the 23rd minute. But the remainder of the half was all Donegal. They hit Cork for five points without reply, Mac Niallais sending over two excellent ones from distance.
Scorers for Donegal: O Mac Niallais (1-4); M O’Reilly (1-1); P McBrearty (0-4, 2 frees); A Thompson (0-2); M Murphy (free), C Thompson, F McGlynn (0-1 each).
Scorers for Cork: D Goulding (0-5, 3 frees); D Hodnett (1-0); M Collins, B O’Driscoll (0-1 each).
DONEGAL: P Boyle; E Doherty, E McGee, N McGee; P McGrath, A Thompson, R McHugh; M Murphy, O Mac Niallais; E McHugh, F McGlynn, C Thompson; H McFadden, P McBrearty, M O’Reilly.
Subs for Donegal: R Kavanagh for C Thompson (black, 37); M McElhinney for N McGee (57); E “Ban” Gallagher for E Doherty (58); N Gallagher for H McFadden (64); M Carroll for E McHugh (65).
CORK: B O’Connell; T Clancy, J O’Sullivan, K Crowley; C O’Driscoll, B O’Driscoll, M Collins; I Maguire, A O’Sullivan; R Deane, D Hodnett, P Kerrigan; D Goulding, P Kelleher, B Hurley.
Subs for Cork: B Daly for K Crowley (h-t); D O’Connor for R Deane (49); S Kiely for I Maguire (51); K O’Hanlon for D Hodnett (57); C O’Neill for B Hurley (64); D Mac Eoin for D Goulding (69).
Referee: J McQuillan (Cavan)