Rebels end Dublin's unbeaten run

NFL DIVISION 1:

NFL DIVISION 1:

Cork 2-13 Dublin 2-6, Pairc Ui Rinn

Dublin’s unbeaten Allianz NFL Division 1 run was ended by a powerful Cork unit at Pairc Ui Rinn tonight.

The Dubs scored just 1-1 in the second half as the Rebels cruised home with points from Daniel Goulding, Alan O'Connor and Paul Kerrigan.

Cork engineered a 2-8 to 1-5 half-time lead, with Goulding (12 minutes) and Kerrigan (27) netting and Kevin McManamon claiming Dublin’s goal.

Bernard Brogan netted to cut the gap to four points but Cork, seizing control again, kept their noses in front.

Most of the football was played in an entertaining and high quality first half which exhibited some of the best attacking play seen in this year's league.

Cork manager Conor Counihan made a late change as Paudie Kissane replaced the injured Ger Spillane and he was involved in the build-up for the hosts' opening score, a third minute free from Goulding.

McManamon, who dovetailed with Brogan in a two-man full-forward line, replied for the Dubs and a Fintan Goold score was quickly cancelled out by a barnstorming run and point from imposing Dublin midfielder Eamon Fennell.

Cork suffered an early setback when key centre-fielder Nicholas Murphy was forced off with a hamstring injury, although his replacement Ciaran Sheehan went on to have quite a game.

Sheehan passed for Paddy Kelly to move Cork 0-3 to 0-2 ahead and they sniped through for the opening goal, just a minute later, when hand-passes from Kerrigan and O'Connor left the Dubs defence flat-footed and allowed Goulding all the space and time he needed to slip a neat finish low past Dublin goalkeeper Michael Savage.

That took the Eire Og clubman's tally to 1-2 and Dublin were quick to respond with Alan Hubbard and Kerrigan trading points.

The Leinster champions were getting plenty of men behind the ball and they caught Cork on the hop in the 22nd minute when stand-in captain Ross McConnell delivered a high ball in towards the square, McManamon beat Ray Carey to it and he knocked the ball beyond goalkeeper Paddy O'Shea from close range.

McManamon's third goal of the league campaign should have spurred the Dubs on, but Cork rallied superbly by scoring 1-2 without reply.

Midfielder Derek Kavanagh split the posts in the 24th minute, Sheehan followed up with another and then Kelly rode two tackles before supplying Kerrigan with the ammunition to beat Savage from a tight angle on the left, with his rising shot billowing the net.

The sides shared out four points in the lead-up to half-time, with Brogan getting away from his marker, dual player Eoin Cadogan, to score from play and then convert a 30th minute free.

Kavanagh replied with his second of the night and Goulding added to his impressive haul with a late free. Cork net minder O'Shea was also up to the task when he caught a driven right-footed shot from McManamon that was destined for the far right corner of the goal.

Kelly opened the scoring in the second half for Cork, after an error from Cian O'Sullivan, but the second half was a slow-burning affair and the scores soon dried up.

The Cork rearguard was cut open though in the 47th minute. Fennell dangled the ball in to Brogan who beat Cadogan for pace and slotted a superb finish past O'Shea.

Conal Keaney was added to the Dublin attack as Pat Gilroy opted for a three-man full-forward line in a show of intent.

The move did not pay off, however, as Sheehan almost raided through for Cork's third goal - blazing over the bar from close range - and Savage also reacted well to deny the onrushing Kelly.

Points from Goulding and O'Connor moved Cork into a 2-12 to 2-5 lead coming up to the hour mark and Dublin, try as they might, could not get their bid back on track.

Beaten by Tyrone last time out, Cork maintained a higher work rate throughout and Kerrigan landed their 13th point of an eventful encounter to seal the result. Keaney's late point was all Dublin could muster in a disappointing finish.

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