When Dublin last came to Cork, they came out the right side of a seven-goal classic by a single point at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Back at Páirc Uí Rinn two years down the line, it was the same result in another Leeside thriller; Cork denied by Dublin’s four-goal blast in the second quarter and after a spirited comeback, they were edged out by two late Carla Rowe frees.
Dublin, while dropping a few shots short, showed their characteristic killer instinct as they never shot a wide after their first effort of the match.
Who could have seen Dublin double scores ahead at half-time when Cork had flown into a five-point lead, 0-7 to 0-2, in the first 13 minutes?
In that period, Cork were slicing through the Dublin defence at will. Sarah Leahy and their half-forward line of Emma Cleary, Katie Quirke, and Rachel Leahy had the space and pace to put Dublin under all sorts of pressure, with Eimear Kiely clipping three points.
Quirke had three goal opportunities in the first half, two coming in the 12th minute. The first saw Leah Caffrey produce a remarkable recovery tackle, although she seemed to go through the back of Quirke after freeing the ball. The second chance, moments later, was fired just over the bar.
By the 26th minute when the third arrived, Cork were already in big trouble. Quirke magicked her way past three defenders but couldn’t sneak the ball pass Dublin keeper Abby Shiels.
Mick Bohan sacrificed two defenders inside 22 minutes and their replacements, Lauren Magee and Sinéad Wylde, made instant impacts.
Cork went on to concede four goals in the space of 14 minutes, three off their own kick-outs.
Ellen Gribben won possession for the first, finished by Carla Rowe, and Jennifer Dunne fielded the kick-out for the second, with Rowe turning provider for Caoimhe O’Connor. 2-5 to 0-8 now.
In between, a superb Méabh O’Sullivan save denied Kate Sullivan and when Quirke had her third chance, it still would’ve narrowed the gap to two.
But Dublin finished with another two goals in the space of a minute. A great Wylde pass sent Tyrrell in for the first. From that kick-out, Wylde gathered the ball, Eilish O’Dowd made the run through, and Sullivan applied the finish. 4-8 to 0-10 at the break.
Shane Ronayne opted for a triple sub and whatever half-time words he gave, it seemed to work.
An Erika O’Shea handpass across goal was fumbled into her own net by Magee. Then after Gribben was denied by O’Sullivan, Kiely buried another in the 37th minute, set up by sub Orlaith Cahalane. When Cahalane won a free for Quirke to convert, the gap was just three, 4-9 to 2-12.
Magee teed up Tyrrell for two points to settle Dublin but the full-forward limped off shortly after.
Libby Coppinger and Quirke points got Cork back within range either side of a Coppinger goal chance, saved by Shiels.
With 10 minutes to go, they were back level. Coppinger caught the opposition kick-out and played in Cahalane, who roofed it to the net.
Coppinger had another goal chance but her fisted effort at a point went directly to the net and was ruled out.
Quirke, set up by Bríd O’Sullivan, put Cork ahead for the first time in 39 minutes and Dublin, without their sharp-shooter, looked out of ideas.
But they showed composure and twice O’Connor drew fouls for Rowe to kick the leveller and 60th-minute winner.
E Kiely (1-4, 0-1 free); K Quirke (0-5, 2 frees); L Magee (own goal), O Cahalane (1-0 each); L Coppinger (0-3); R Leahy, A Healy, H Looney (0-1 each).
H Tyrrell (1-6, 0-1 free); C Rowe (1-3, 0-2 frees); K Sullivan (1-2); C O’Connor (1-0); J Dunne, E Gribben (0-1 each).
M O’Sullivan; S Kelly, M O’Callaghan (capt), D Kiniry; A Healy, M Duggan, H Looney; S Leahy, E O’Shea; E Cleary, K Quirke, R Leahy; L Coppinger, E Kiely, D Kiely.
L O’Mahony for O’Callaghan (h-t), A Ryan for Kiniry (h-t), O Cahalane for D Kiely (h-t), B O’Sullivan for O’Shea (45), K Redmond for R Leahy (46), R Phelan for Duggan (58), A Ring for E Kiely (58).
A Shiels; R Brennan, M Byrne, J Tobin; L Caffrey, D Lawless, E Deeley; J Dunne, E O’Dowd; O Nolan, C Rowe (capt), E Gribben; C O’Connor, H Tyrrell, K Sullivan.
L Magee for Brennan (15), S Wylde for Deeley (22), K Owens for Sullivan (46), N Hetherton for Tyrrell (48 inj).
G McMahon (Mayo).