|Rebels wreck Rossies dream - Monday, August 02, 2010
|Cork moved up a gear in the closing 30 minutes to beat Roscommon by 1-16 to 0-10 at Croke Park.
The underdogs seemed to be making a decent fist of it when moving ahead by 0-8 to 0-7 some six minutes into the second half, but the Rebels awoke from their slumber to register 1-9 from the 40th minute onwards whilst conceding just twice.
Pearse O'Neill bagged the only goal of the game six minutes from time and Daniel Goulding weighed in with six points for the winners.
One telling feature of this game was the quality of player Conor Counihan was able to introduce from the bench, but the Rebel boss will be worried after both centre back Graham Canty and full forward Ciaran Sheehan sustained injuries that forced their withdrawals in the fourth quarter.
There was nothing between the teams in the first half and Cork went in at the interval with a narrow 0-6 to 0-5 advantage. Both sides were guilty of some poor shooting in that opening period but Roscommon were in no way overawed and clipped over a few particularly-impressive minors.
The sides started as named during the week and Cork went straight into the attack only for midfielder Aidan Walsh to give his colleagues no chance with a poor delivery. Walsh made amends when he burst through to win a free, which Goulding tapped over in the third minute. When Goulding's shot was deflected wide for a 45, the All Star No.13 made a sweet connection to double the differential on five minutes.
A minute later, Donie Shine opened Roscommon's account with a sensational point from an audacious angle out on the left wing. Goulding's third score came from play after Ciaran Sheehan's shot struck an upright. Rossies centre forward David O'Gara went into the book for a high late challenge on Rebel full back Michael Shields.
Ger Heneghan hit a disappointing Roscommon wide following a great Cathal Cregg pass and a foul on Cregg presented Shine with an opportunity from a free, which the big full forward drilled against a post. When another soft Cork free was moved forward for dissent, Goulding this time dragged his effort wide. Poor shooting at both ends and 0-3 to 0-1 in favour of the Munster representatives after 13 minutes.
Paddy Kelly and Derek Kavanagh recorded poor wides for the dominant Leesiders, who led by two at the end of the first quarter. Pearse O'Neill placed Goulding for a brief sight of goal but the Rebel marksman fired a powerful right-footed shot over the bar.
When Shine bought a very soft free from Shields, John Rogers skied his kick and Shine missed the target from the second-phase possession. Karol Mannion was also off target for the wasteful Connacht champions seconds later. Cregg made a truly inspirational block to thwart Walsh and Paul Kerrigan added to the Rebel County tally in the 23rd minute: 0-5 to 0-1.
Within seconds, 2006 All-Ireland MFC medallist O'Gara heartened the underdogs' faithful with a rousing score from play. Walsh quickly added Cork's fifth wide. The Rossies should have had a free when Heneghan was nudged in the back close to goal, but there was nothing doing and Sheehan added insult to injury with a Rebel point at the Hill 16 end.
Rogers kept the Division Four side in touch with their third point from play and the red-hot favourites responded with a wild wide from the industrious Paudie Kissane. Geoffrey Claffey made an excellent save to deny O'Neill, conceding a 45, which Goulding smashed off a post before Kerrigan made a mess of the rebound.
Roscommon were living on scraps but Shine showed brilliantly to swivel and drop over a fabulous 32nd-minute point. At 0-4 to 0-6, Fergal O'Donnell's men were very much in it as half time approached. Shine was off-target from an ambitious sideline kick after great hustling and harrying forced Cork to cough up possession.
Shine then went down under pressure from Shields in first-half stoppage time and the No.14 dusted himself down and drilled a low shot two feet over the bar to make it a one-point match at the break. It could have been level but Shine kicked a late left-foot shot wide.
Still, the game was very much alive as the teams went in for their Jaffa Cakes…
Conor Counihan moved ruthlessly during the interval, making a triple substitution by introducing Donncha O'Connor, Nicholas Murphy and John Miskella. The changes had an instant effect as O'Neill added to their tally within seconds of the restart.
Heneghan showed terrific strength and composure to spear through the Rebel defence and create a goal chance for himself, but Alan Quirke made a stunning save to tip the No.15's shot over for a point. Amazingly, Mannion and Michael Finneran followed up with two more points in a minute to make it 0-8 to 0-7 after 41 minutes. But Sheehan - afforded way too much time and space - replied instantly with an excellent point from distance off his radar-like left peg.
O'Connor pulled a 45 to the left and wide amid a crescendo of jeers, but Goulding was on hand to make it 0-8 to 0-7 after 45. Cork were awarded a soft free when Goulding went to ground easily under the slightest contact from Finneran, and the corner forward's quick free released O'Connor for their tenth score.
O'Connor squandered a simple chance from in front of the posts when he elected for a showboat shot off the outside of the boot but 40-yards-man O'Neill showed the way with his second point on 50 minutes: 0-11 to 0-8. Kerrigan supplied the winners' fifth successive point and the Rebels had survived the mini-scare to lead by 0-12 to 0-8 at the end of the third quarter.
Shine popped over a free to keep the game alive and Graham Canty elected to fist over after finding himself in oceans of space in front of the Roscommon goal. The Cork captain and current All Star had tweaked his hamstring making his surge forward, which was why he refused the goal chance. He was withdrawn immediately.
Goulding arrowed over a free from the ground on the hour and his six points were now the difference between the teams: 0-14 to 0-9. Cork were nearly in for a goal but Kissane's handpass failed to reach Kerrigan. Shine made them pay with a pointed free.
The floodgates finally opened in the 64th minute when Roscommon - now out on their feet - conceded a three-pointer. When sub Alan O'Connor won possession in midfield and picked out the outstanding Pearse O'Neill, the impressive No.11 had a man free to either side as he thumped a low shot to the net to make it a seven-point game.
The referee denied the Rebels a second goal when Goulding found the net only to be called back for a penalty. Where was the advantage? O'Connor opted not to rub salt in the Rossies' wounds and tapped the spotkick over the bar.
Sheehan limped off before the final whistle and O'Connor claimed his third point to give the rampant Rebels a nine-point victory.
Cork: A Quirke; R Carey, M Shields, J O'Sullivan; N O'Leary, G Canty (0-1), P Kissane; D Kavanagh, A Walsh; P Kerrigan (0-2), P O'Neill (1-2), P Kelly; D Goulding (0-6), C Sheehan (0-2), C O'Neill. Subs: D O'Connor (0-3), N Murphy, J Miskella, E Cotter, A O'Connor.
Roscommon: G Claffey; S McDermott, P Domican, S Ormsby; S Purcell, C Dineen, D Casey; M Finneran (0-1), K Mannion (0-1); D Keenan, D O'Gara (0-1), C Cregg; J Rogers (0-1), D Shine (0-5), G Heneghan (0-1). Subs: C Garvey, K Higgins, E Kenny, J Dunning, J Nolan.