Rock powers clinical DCU into last eight

Despite a plucky Cork IT performance, favourites DCU had enough power to advance to the Sigerson Cupquarter-finals.

Mick Dillon’s Cork IT outfit delivered a gutsy display and had DCU in some bother, but they were only able to kick three second-half scores.

At the opposite end of the pitch Dean Rock’s clinical finishing ensured DCU, who were without Donegal’s Michael Murphy and Sligo’s David Kelly, set up a last eight tie with DIT.

Cork IT’s absentee list featured Aidan Walsh and Ciarán Sheahan too, but they still carried a threat during an opening period which ended level at 0-5 each, and it was similarly tight after the break.

When the issue was delicately poised late on Dillon reckoned that DCU’s brute force was significant. “The game could have went either way. There was a point in it with four or five minutes left. They are a very good side and we were half hoping to catch them on the hop. We have no qualms. I think the main difference in the end was that they were just physically stronger than us. The physicality they had defensively was crucial.

“They have a lot of inter-county players, we don’t have them at the moment. The way inter-county football is gone now it is all about physicality. We had three lads over 21 so from that point of view I thought that they were just stronger than us. When push came to shove they were stronger than us,” was Dillon’s crispassessment.

DCU led 0-8 to 0-7 with only 10minutes remaining when Dublin forward Eoghan O’Gara was sent off for a second bookable offence following a foul on the excellent Brian McGuire.

In the closing stages Paul Flynn, Rock, and Cooper all pointed for DCU, while all Cork IT could muster was a score from substitute Cian Fleming.

DCU manager Niall Moyna was thrilled with Rock’s classy contribution. “It was a typical Sigerson game, we knew at the start it would be. I was very impressed with Cork IT. Hopefully this will be the start of a run for us.

” It was a great performance from Dean, it was a great performance all round. Dean’s last point was probably the score of the day, he has the talent, he showed it when the chips were down.”

Scorers for DCU: D Rock (0-6, 3fs), K Gavin (0-1), J Cooper (0-1), F O’Shea (0-1), D Keenan (0-1), P Flynn (0-1).

Scorers for Cork IT: D Hodnett (0-3, 1f), J O’Connor (0-2, 1f), B O’Regan (0-1), H Curran (0-1), C Fleming (0-1).

DCU: M Boyle (Donegal); P McMahon (Dublin), K Gavin (Westmeath), E Culligan (Dublin); N Collins (Roscommon), J Cooper (Dublin), J McCarthy (Dublin); F O’Curraoin (Galway), C Begley (Laois); P Flynn (Dublin), D Rock (Dublin), F O’Shea (Cork); J Brady (Cavan), E O’Gara (Dublin), G Sweeney (Dublin).

Subs: A McFadden (Donegal) for O’Shea (31), D Keenan (Roscommon) for Sweeney (35).

CORK IT: B Kelly (Kerry); P Kilkenny (Kerry), M Griffin (Kerry), N Galvin (Cork); R O’Sullivan (Cork), D O’Sullivan (Kerry), B McGuire (Kerry); P Daly (Cork), S O’Donoghue (Cork); D Leahy (Tipperary), B O’Regan (Cork), J O’Connor (Cork); K Hallissey (Cork), H Curran (Cork), D Hodnett (Cork).

Subs: J Cronin (Cork) for Leahy (43), C Fleming (Cork) for O’Connor (46), B O’Sullivan (Kerry) for O’Donoghue (51).

Referee: P Hughes (Armagh).

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