All-Ireland SFC: Dublin finish strongly to see off Cork
All-Ireland SFC Phase 1 Quarter-Final
DUBLIN 5-18 CORK 1-17
By Paul Keane at Croke Park
A late barrage of goals eased Dublin to another huge win at Croke Park, getting their All-Ireland quarter-final group stage campaign off to a flying start.
Yet the 13-point winning margin flattered the four-in-a-row All-Ireland champions somewhat with beaten Munster finalists Cork losing little face in a highly competitive encounter.
Just three points separated the teams approaching the hour mark but Dublin opened up with some thrilling football in the closing minutes, drilling three more goals to put the game beyond doubt.
Man of the Match Jack McCaffrey and Michael Darragh Macauley grabbed Dublin's two first-half goals.
Niall Scully, Ciaran Kilkenny and Brian Fenton added the late trio of majors as Jim Gavin's Dublin took another step closer to the fabled five-in-a-row.
Yet it all started so well for Cork who flew into a four-point lead in front of 30,214 and married the quality of their early attacking play with ultra efficiency.
Kevin O'Driscoll, who lined out at midfield in a restructured Cork team due to Paul Kerrigan's inclusion, hit their opening point.
Sean White, Kerrigan again and Ruairi Deane added three more and with just six minutes on the clock the Rebels led 0-4 to 0-0.
Everything was going right for Cork in this period and Kerrigan's second score came moments after a penalty that was initially awarded to Dublin for a foul on the excellent Con O'Callaghan was overturned.
The Deane score similarly originated from a turnover in the Dublin defence.
But Dublin couldn't be kept quiet for long and soon found their range. O'Callaghan was hungry and incisive from the start and hit their first score in the eighth minute.
Dublin's next score was a McCaffrey goal in the 11th minute and suddenly, for all of Cork's good work, there was just a point in it at 0-5 to 1-1.
Cork will kick themselves for the concession as McCaffrey, after being fed by Paul Mannion, slipped away from Sean White and Thomas Clancy, before pirouetting and firing a shot across the goal from right to left.
Dublin drew level in the 16th minute and a Fenton point two minutes later put them ahead for the first time. It was a lead they wouldn't relinquish even if a 2-9 to 0-9 half-time advantage flattered the hosts.
Dublin led by just 1-9 to 0-9 deep into first-half stoppage time when O'Callaghan won a ball in the air with his back to goal and laid it off to Costello.
Free-taker Costello burst clear down the left and passed to the back post for Macauley to palm in Dublin's second goal.
Cork were terrific throughout the third quarter and until those late goals flew in for Dublin.
They got the margin back down to just two points on a couple of occasions with Luke Connolly firing in a 46th minute penalty.
Ian Maguire was pulled down by Cian O'Sullivan for the spot kick and Connolly, after a short run up, found the left corner.
Cork continued to ask all sorts of intriguing questions of Dublin's defence but the introduction of Dean Rock was crucial.
The free-taker finished with five points for Dublin, four from placed balls, while those goals, which all came from the 63rd minute onwards, killed the contest.
Dublin scorers: Dean Rock 0-5 0-3f, 0-1 45, Con O'Callaghan 0-4, Jack McCaffrey 1-0, Michael Darragh Macauley 1-0, Niall Scully 1-0, Ciaran Kilkenny 1-2, Brian Fenton 1-1, Philly McMahon 0-2, Paul Mannion 0-2, John Small 0-1, Cormac Costello 0-1 0-1f.
Cork scorers: Luke Connolly 1-3 1-0 pen, 1 45, Paul Kerrigan 0-3, Brian Hurley 0-3 0-1f, Michael Hurley 0-2, Mark Collins 0-1 0-1f, Sean White 0-1, Ruairi Deane 0-1, Kevin O'Driscoll 0-1, Mattie Taylor 0-1, Liam O'Donovan 0-1.
DUBLIN: Stephen Cluxton; David Byrne, Michael Fitzsimons, Philly McMahon; Jack McCaffrey, Cian O'Sullivan, John Small; Brian Fenton, Michael Darragh Macauley; Niall Scully, Ciaran Kilkenny, Brian Howard; Con O'Callaghan, Paul Mannion, Cormac Costello. Subs: Dean Rock for Costello 45, Paddy Small for O'Callaghan 65, Jonny Cooper for O'Sullivan 67, Kevin McManamon for Mannion 67, Eoin Murchan for McCaffrey 69, James McCarthy for Fenton 72.
CORK: Mark White; Thomas Clancy, Kevin Flahive, James Loughrey; Liam O'Donovan 0-1, Tomas Clancy, Mattie Taylor; Ian Maguire, Kevin O'Driscoll; Ruairi Deane, Sean White, Luke Connolly; Paul Kerrigan, Brian Hurley, Mark Collins. Subs: Michael Hurley for Kerrigan 56, Kevin O'Donovan for Loughrey 56, Ronan O'Toole for White 63, Stephen Sherlock for Collins 65, Cian Kiely for O'Donovan 66, John O'Rourke for Maguire 69.
Referee: D Gough Meath.