Donegal 0-12 Cork 1-8
By John Fogarty
Michael Murphy's second half red card didn't upset Donegal as they staved off Cork at the death to take the full complement of points in a dour affair in Ballyshannon.
Murphy was a fulcrum in the home side's tour de force in the second half when they hit Cork for five points without reply.
Indeed, Cork went almost 30 minutes without a score as Donegal made the most of the wind behind them. Paddy McBrearty was just as notable as Cork were made to pay for dispossessions and poor discipline.
But for Tomás Clancy's 58th minute goal, Cork would have been in bother but got within a solitary point of Donegal twice in the final 10 minutes. Donal Óg Hodnett had a chance of an equaliser with three minutes but it sailed wide.
Played in front of a 3,469 crowd, Donegal set themselves up to take advantage of a slightly makeshift Cork midfield. Although Cork had succeeded with a series of short kick-outs against Monaghan last day out, Ken O'Halloran was struggling to get his distances right with the strength of the wind in his favour.
Even against the breeze, Donegal had no trouble with kicking long into their midfield and it was their domination around the centre that paved the way for their early success. Colm O'Neill opened up the scoring with a free in the second minute but the next three points were Donegal's, Martin O'Reilly sticking over a couple of them.
A fine Kevin O'Driscoll score was matched by a Christy Toye effort and it wasn't until the 19th minute that Cork drew level with a Donncha O'Connor free.
Donegal were unlocking a relatively tight Cork defence with overlaps and overhead handpasses and O'Reilly added his third in the 21st minute before Mark Collins' shot flew over in the 25th to make it 0-5 apiece. It turned out to be the last score of the half as the teams found each other as much as the squally conditions difficult.
Scorers for Donegal: M O'Reilly (0-4); M Murphy (all frees), P McBrearty (1 free) (0-3 each); C Toye, O MacNiallais (free) (0-1 each).
Scorers for Cork: C O'Neill (0-4, frees); Tomás Clancy (1-0); K O'Driscoll, D O'Connor (free), M Collins, B Hurley (0-1 each).
Subs for Donegal: M McElhinney for H McFadden (h-t); C McFadden for C Toye (57); A Thompson for K Lacey (60); E McGee for E Doherty (65); J Gibbons for P McBrearty (70+2).
Sent off: M Murphy (second yellow, 51).
Subs for Cork: C Dorman for J O'Sullivan (43); P Kerigan for D O'Connor (47); P Kelly for C O'Driscoll (56); J Hayes for K O'Driscoll (65); D Óg Hodnett for J O'Rourke (66).
DONEGAL: P Durcan; P McGrath, E Doherty, N McGee; K Lacey, F McGlynn, R McHugh; N Gallagher, H McFadden; M McHugh, C Toye, O MacNiallais; P McBrearty, M Murphy, M O'Reilly.
CORK: K O'Halloran; T Clancy (Clonakilty), M Shields, J Loughrey; T Clancy (Fermoy), E Cadogan, J O'Sullivan; F Goold, M Collins; C O'Driscoll, J O'Rourke, K O'Driscoll; C O'Neill, D O'Connor, B Hurley.
Referee: J McQuillan (Cavan)