Donegal stay in the hunt for promotion from Division 2 after a strong turnaround at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday.
Donegal 1-19 Cork 1-12
By Denis Hurley at Páirc Ui Rinn
Trailing by five points at half-time, Declan Bonner’s side win by seven, weakening Cork’s hopes of survival. Jamie Brennan (pictured) had the lead for Donegal inside 17 seconds and twice more they pushed ahead only for Cork to equalise each time, Michael Hurley with two points for the hosts.
The visitors continued to have the better of the play and Eamonn Doherty nearly played Leo McLoone in but his pass was deemed to be a throw. Soon after that, Caolán McGonagle was denied an opportunity by a wonderful Kevin Crowley intervention for a 45 which came to nothing.
Cork pushed on after those let-offs and Luke Connolly assisted first Ruairí Deane and then Eoghan McSweeney as they took the lead for the first time before Connolly’s free made it 0-6 to 0-3 on 22 minutes.
However, Donegal responded as Michael Murphy converted a free and Ciarán Thompson and Caolán Ward both rounded off good moves to tie the game by the 33rd minute, but Cork found another gear before half-time.
The Rebels had a goal when wing-back Matthew Taylor was on hand to net the rebound after Ruairí Deane’s fine run gave him a chance, which Shaun Patton saved, while a pair of points from McSweeney left the 1-8 to 0-6 ahead at half-time.
That lead was stretched further as Mark Collins got his second on the resumption, but Donegal were more cohesive in the second period. They had scores from sub Daire Ó Baoill and a nice Murphy effort and though Connolly replied with a Cork free, the visitors reeled off four in a row, two from Murphy with Ryan McHugh and Jamie Brennan on target too, as the lead was cut to one,
Though Connolly’s third of the game edged Cork slightly ahead again, the momentum was with Donegal and Niall O’Donnell made it a one-point game again before Murphy levelled and Hugh McFadden had them in front on the hour mark.
Connolly tied the game again with a free which had been brought in but he and Mark Collins were off-target with chances to restore the Rebels’ advantage. Cork suffered further as captain Ian Maguire was lost to injury with all of their subs used and a pair of Niall O’Donnell points gave Donegal a cushion before Cork were reduced to 13 as Mark Collins received a second booking.
Ó Baoill extended Donegal’s lead before Jamie Brennan netted, having been set up by Caolán McGonagle, and Cork finished with 12 as Connolly was forced off injured. Ryan McHugh rounded things off as Donegal won by seven.
Scorers for Donegal: Michael Murphy 0-6 (0-4 frees, 0-1 45), Jamie Brennan 1-2, Niall O’Donnell 0-3, Ryan McHugh, Daire Ó Baoill 0-2 each, Hugh McFadden, Ciarán Thompson, Oisín Gallen, Caolán Ward 0-1 each.
Scorers for Cork: Luke Connolly 0-4 (0-3 frees), Eoghan McSweeney 0-3, Matthew Taylor 1-0, Mark Collins, Michael Hurley 0-2 each, Ruairí Deane 0-1.
DONEGAL: Shaun Patton; Eamonn Doherty, Stephen McMenamin, Caolán Ward; Paul Brennan, Leo McLoone, Eoghan Bán Gallagher; Hugh McFaden, Caolán McGonagle; Niall O’Donnell, Ciarán Thompson, Ryan McHugh; Jamie Brennan, Michael Murphy, Oisín Gallen. Subs: Daire Ó Baoill for Brennan (23), Paddy McGrath for Ward (half-time), Eoin McHugh for Gallen, Neil McGee for Doherty (both 70)
CORK: Micheál Martin; Sam Ryan, Thomas Clancy, Conor Dennehy; Kevin Crowley, Kevin Flahive, Matthew Taylor; Ian Maguire, Killian O’Hanlon; Paul Kerrigan, Eoghan McSweeney, Ruairí Deane; Mark Collins, Michael Hurley, Luke Connolly. Subs: Mark White for Martin (42), Ronan O’Toole for Kerrigan (57), Kevin O’Driscoll for Taylor (57), Seán Powter for Deane (61-64, blood), Cian Kiely for Dennehy (63), Powter for Crowley (67).
Referee: David Gough (Meath)