Cork survive ’five minutes of madness’

Cork 2-18 Derry 3-14

Cork survive ’five minutes of madness’

This shoot-out ended with a smoking gun, fittingly enough. Cork collected the points yesterday in their Allianz FL Division 1 clash with Derry in Páirc Uí Rinn, but needed Fergal Doherty to send his last-gasp shot wide to close out the win.

They were 11 points up at one stage, so how did it come to that for the home team? Two goals late in the first half is the quick answer.

“We mixed the very good with the very bad,” said Cork manager Brian Cuthbert.

“I thought the first 30 minutes were as good as we played this year. We controlled the game, but five minutes of madness before half-time almost cost us.”

We’ll come to that. As Cuthbert said, Cork dazzled in the first half-hour. Their attacking was a model of pace and fluency. They created 15 clear scoring chances and ended the half with 2-9, midfielders and half-backs streaming forward to offer an outlet off the shoulder at every opportunity.

The home side had five points in the opening 10 minutes. Daniel Goulding came outfield, and John Hayes and Brian Hurley benefited from the space, pulling Derry apart.

Further out the field, Cork dominated the middle and the visitors struggled to get playmaker Mark Lynch into the game. On 12 minutes John O’Rourke flicked home a John Hayes delivery to make it 1-5 to 0-0, though Mark Craig opened the Derry account, at least, within 60 seconds.

Cork goaled again on 20 minutes. Paul Kerrigan turned the ball over, John Hayes placed Tom Clancy and the corner-back found the top corner from 20m; 2-7 to 0-3.

By contrast, Derry looked laboured and lateral for much of that first half — before scoring goals once they bombed the ball in long.

With the clock heading to injury-time, Derry gained a lifeline. A good Ken O’Halloran save rebounded to the net from an in-rushing Enda Lynn. The last play of the half yielded another Derry goal when a long Patsy Bradley ball broke kindly for Emmett McGuckin, and he goaled from close range, making it 2-9 to 2-4 at the half.

The teams swapped identities in the second half, however. Cork struggled to get to grips with the breaks at midfield, with Fergal Doherty and Lynch coming into the play. Derry looked a lot more like the team which had suffocated Kerry in Killarney, but it looked a brave show rather than a bid for victory.

The Derry revival certainly didn’t seem particularly significant as the teams swapped points, with Cork pushing out to a five-point lead thanks to sweet strikes from subs Colm O’Neill and Barry O’Driscoll, but then Derry goaled again — Lynn scoring from close range, 3-10 to 2-15 at the three-quarter stage, and all the initiative was going Derry’s way.

Lynch and Herron got them within a point of Cork, who needed O’Neill’s accuracy from frees to give them a two-point lead, but Derry scented blood. Three poor wides didn’t help them, however, and with the game deep in injury-time Doherty went for glory from distance.

Cork keeper O’Halloran’s delight told spectators which side of the post his shot went. But Derry boss Brian McGiver saw his side’s sluggish start as fatal.

“We left ourselves 11 down at one stage, we had a mountain to climb. But the lads settled down maybe 10 minutes into the first half and probably played as good football as we’ve played all season, and we’d be disappointed we didn’t get anything out of it.

“I thought we had a good penalty claim, and Cork’s last free was very soft — the Cork player ran into our man — but we can’t blame anyone.

“We were all over the place for the first 20 minutes when Cork were coming through from all directions.”

Cuthbert wasn’t entirely happy with the win, but gave a crucial context to the victory: “We didn’t work hard enough on one or two of their chances, we didn’t work hard enough higher up the field.

“But overall, given what the panel is down to, coming out on top against a team which is second in the league... we’re very happy.”

Scorers for Cork: J O’Rourke 1-2, C O’Neill 0-4 (2f), T Clancy 1-0, B Hurley, D Goulding (1f) and P Kerrigan 0-3 each, M Collins, B O’Driscoll and F Goold 0-1 each.

Scorers for Derry: E Lynn 2-0, M Lynch 0-5 (5f), E McGuckin 1-0, C McFaul and F Doherty 0-2 each, M Craig, C McKaigue, B Herron (45), C O’Boyle, SL McGoldrick 0-1 each.

CORK: K O’Halloran; A Cronin, M Shields (c), T Clancy; J Loughrey, J McLoughlin, K O’Driscoll; F Goold, A O’Sullivan; M Collins, P Kerrigan, J O’Rourke; D Goulding, B Hurley, J Hayes.

Subs for Cork: D O’Connor for J O’Rourke (bc, 40), C O’Driscoll for Goulding (45), C O’Neill for Hayes (45), B O’Driscoll for Kerrigan (47), M O’Leary for O’Sullivan (blood 53-54), P Kelly for McLoughlin (68), M O’Leary for Hurley (71).

DERRY: T Mallon; M Craig, C McKaigue, D McBride; K Johnston, A McAlynn, SL McGoldrick; FDoherty, P Bradley; C McFaul, M Lynch (c), E Lynn; J Kielt, E McGuckin, C O’Boyle.

Subs for Derry: O Duffy for M Craig (26), C McAtamney for McGoldrick (blood, 28-33), C McAtamney for McGoldrick (ht), B Herron for J Kielt (41), D Mullan for E McGuckian (64), A Kerrigan for O’Boyle (71).

Referee: M Deegan (Laois).

More in this section

Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Sport Push Notifications

By clicking on 'Sign Up' you will be the first to know about our latest and best sporting content on this browser.

Sign Up

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Cookie Policy Privacy Policy FAQ Help Contact Us Terms and Conditions

© Irish Examiner Ltd