By Michael Moynihan, Croke Park
Dublin 1-20 Cork 0-34
Cork ended Dublin’s bright start to the NHL with extreme prejudice tonight, shooting the lights out in Croke Park to record an emphatic victory.
The visitors hit three points in the opening three minutes, from Rob O’Shea, Lorcan McLoughlin and Luke O’Farrell, and maintained a high scoring rate from there to the break, managing 21 scores in 38 minutes.
Cork based their victory on traditional virtues, an imposing half-back line stopping Dublin from creating any sort of platform in the middle of the field. McLoughlin and Shane O’Neill on the right side of the Cork defence were particularly impressive, and the only shadow cast over proceedings for the men in red was the early departure of Christopher Joyce with a knee injury, though Stephen McDonnell’s arrival as a substitute didn’t weaken Cork.
Patrick Horgan, O’Shea and O’Farrell were particularly sharp as Cork stretched out to a 0-21 to 0-8 half-time lead.
Dublin were better after the break - they had to be - and substitute Paul Ryan led the charge, chipping in with half a dozen points three of them from frees.
At the three-quarter stage, with Dublin trailing by ten, Ryan went for goal from a close-in free, but Anthony Nash turned his shot away; Dublin needed a goal at that stage to have any hope, and their chances disappeared as Cork lifted the siege.
Ryan continued to hit the mark from placed balls, but Cork always had a cushion of nine to ten points.
Liam Rushe’s late goal came in the consolation category, and the men in red still ended the game eleven points ahead of the home side.
Scorers for Dublin: P. Ryan 0-9 (0-6 fs); D. Treacy 0-3 (0-1 f), L. Rushe 1-0; S. Durkin, D. Sutcliffe, N. McMorrow 0-2 each; D. O’Callaghan, C. Cronin 0-1 each.
Scorers for Cork: P. Horgan 0-14 (0-9 fs, 0-1 65) ; S. Harnedy 0-5; L. O’Farrell, R. O’Shea 0-4; M. Ellis, L. McLoughlin, C. Murphy, D. Kearney, C. Lehane, A. Cadogan and B. Lawton 0-1 each.
DUBLIN: A. Nolan, C. O’Callaghan, M. Carton, P Schutte, C. Crummey, P. Kelly, C. Keaney, S. Durkin, N. McMorrow, R. O’Dwyer, E. Dillon, D. Sutcliffe, D. Treacy, L. Rushe, M. Schutte.
Subs: P. Ryan for M. Schutte, 30; B. Quinn for Keaney, C. Cronin for O’Dwyer HT; D. O’Callaghan for Dillon, 57; C. Boland for McMorrow, 62.
CORK: A. Nash, S. O’Neill, C. Joyce, C. O’Sullivan, L. McLoughlin, M. Ellis, C. Murphy, D. Kearney, A. Walsh, C. Lehane, S. Harnedy, R. O’Shea A. Cadogan, L. O’Farrell, P. Horgan.
Subs: S. McDonnell for C. Joyce, 7, B. Lawton for Walsh, 52; S. Moylan for Cadogan, 55; A. Spillane for O’Farrell, 60; A. Walsh for O’Shea, 64.
Referee: A. Kelly (Galway).