The Rebels held Donegal scoreless for the second half, as they turned around a three point half-time deficit to run out eight point winners . The win sets up a final date with Kildare next weekend.
Donegal had the benefit of a strong breeze in the opening period and took early control through senior inter-county star Paddy McBrearty. He hit two points from frees in the opening seven minutes before Cork hit back to draw level. McBrearty was the star man and tagged on another four points from frees, along with a superb point from play, as Donegal led 0-8 to 0-5 at the break.
With the wind picking up, the second half was mostly one-way traffic as Cork took control of the game. Midfielder Gary Farrell slotted over two early frees before points from Gearoid Finn and Daniel O’Connor put them in front.
As Donegal struggled to breach the Cork half-back line, the ball kept coming back at them quicker and quicker. The gap between the teams eventually crept up to four points as the final whistle approached, and wing-back Daniel Nyhan put the seal on the victory when he got on the end of a well-worked team move before rounding Donegal keeper Shaun McCafferty for the game’s only goal.
Scorers for Cork: D Nyhan 1-1, G Finn 0-4 (4f), G Farrell (2f), D O’Connor 0-2 each, K Crowley, M Quinn, G Barry, R Cahalane 0-1 each;
Scorers for Donegal: P McBrearty 0-7 (6f), O McHugh 0-1
CORK: D Casey; K Dennehy, J Lynch, D Canty; K Crowley, C Hyde, D Nyhan; M Murphy, G Farrell; G O’Shea, D O’Connor, S O’Sullivan; M Quinn, G Barry, G Finn.
Subs: R Cahalane for Barry (41 – inj), J Casey for O’Shea (57), M McNamara for Quinn (60)
DONEGAL: S McCaffery; O Porter, J Coyle, C Cunningham; D Mulgrew, J Doherty, K Herron; R McNamee, H McFadden; C McGettigan, P McBrearty, O McHugh; B McLaughlin, K McNern, W Gillespie.
Subs: J Fitzgerald for Gillespie (4 – inj), C Thompson for McGettigan (39), S Houghton for McLaughlin (48)
Referee: D Brazil (Offaly).