26 April 2015; James McCarthy, Dublin, in action against Kevin O'Driscoll, Cork. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy/SPORTSFILE
By John Fogarty
Dublin 1-21 Cork 2-7
Dublin marched to their third consecutive Division 1 title, raking their boots all over Cork in a brutally one-sided affair.
Several of those not of a navy and blue persuasion among the 31,548 crowd had left long before full-time as Jim Gavin's side went 10 points ahead 10 minutes into the second half.
Leading 1-9 to 0-5 at half-time, Dublin scored six points without reply to kill off this affair where Cork were second best from early out.
Mark Collins' and Daniel Goulding's goals in the 48th and 69th minutes were nothing but brief aberrations in a game Cork will hope doesn't haunt them as much as last year's semi-final loss to the same opposition.
It wasn't until the 52nd minute that Cork eventually registered their first point from play, a far cry from their opening round win in Páirc Uí Rinn where they had looked so assertive.
That score by Colm O'Neill was actually their only point that come by way of a placed ball.
In the first half, Dublin had close to 20 scoring opportunities in the first half compared to Cork who kicked three wides on top of their five points, all of them coming from frees.
It took 15 minutes before O'Neill got his hands on the ball and he made it count, offloading the ball to Conor Dorman who drew a free which O'Neill converted.
Dorman started in midfield, swapping with Eoin Cadogan who took up marking duties on Diarmuid Connolly, but was whipped off in the 27th minute which was harsh on a young player who had impressed so much in this campaign from wing-back.
But Cork were clearly concerned about their presence around the middle and their kick-out was very much under pressure from the outset.
Diarmuid Connolly, Dublin, scores a penalty past Ken O'Halloran, Cork. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Final, Dublin v Cork. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy/SPORTSFILE
Pushing up on the Cork defence knowing Ken O'Halloran wouldn't kick long, Dublin's strategy worked a charm although they posted eight wides before the break.
Diarmuid Connolly's penalty goal just before half-time, after Michael Shields had felled Tomás Brady, gave a truer reflection of their dominance on the scoreboard.
To make matters worse for Cork, John O'Rourke had to retire shortly after half-time due to a shoulder injury while Jamie O'Sullivan could face a retrospective ban for two first-half incidents with Connolly and Philly McMahon.
Scorers for Dublin: D Rock (0-10, 7 frees); D Connolly (1-0, pen); C Kilkenny (0-3); B Brogan, P Andrews (0-2 each); K McManamon, P McMahon, J McCaffrey, T Brady (0-1 each).
Scorers for Cork: C O'Neill (0-6, 4 frees, 1 45); M Collins, D Goulding (1-0 each); B Hurley (0-1, free).
Subs for Dublin: M Fitzsimons for R O'Carroll (inj 26); P Andrews for T Brady (46); E Ó Conghaile for D Bastick (55); C Costello for D Connolly (58); J Small for P McMahon (62); D Daly for B Fenton (64).
Subs for Cork: P Kerrigan for F Goold (blood, 9-11); P Kerrigan for C Dorman (27); D Goulding for J O'Rourke (inj 38); B O'Driscoll for C O'Driscoll (50); D Hodnett for J O'Sullivan (52); J Hayes for M Collins (58); S Cronin for N Galvin (63).
DUBLIN: S Cluxton; J Cooper, R O'Carroll, P McMahon; J McCarthy, C O'Sullivan, J McCaffrey; D Bastick, B Fenton; T Brady, C Kilkenny, D Connolly; B Brogan, K McManamon, D Rock.
CORK: K O'Halloran; N Galvin, M Shields, J Loughrey; J O'Sullivan, E Cadogan, T Clancy; C Dorman, F Goold; K O'Driscoll, J O'Rourke, C O'Driscoll; M Collins, C O'Neill, B Hurley.
Referee: P Hughes (Armagh)