Down had the chances but lacked the wherewithal to take them
Allianz Football League Division 3 Cork 0-16 Down 1-8
Down were perhaps somewhat flattered by the five-point margin; Cork had twice as many scorers and finished with two fewer players and while Down had the chances, they lacked the wherewithal to take them.
Cork’s eight two half-time lead, having played with the driving wind and rain on their backs, looked precarious but the Lee siders took the game to Down on the restart with captain Ian Maguire setting the tone with a rumbustious solo and score two minutes in and they equalled their first half tally of eight points despite everything seemingly against them.
Sixteen hundred and twenty-eight hardy souls braved Storm Ciara for this Division Three encounter and there was a big travelling support who were encouraged when Donal O’Hare opened the scoring but Down did not score again for thirty minutes and Cork showing composure throughout the field patiently worked themselves into the lead.
John O’Rourke levelled and a Cathail O’Mahoney free gave Cork a lead never surrendered. Damien Gore on his return from injury the first day out added another and by the end of the first quarter the home side were three one up. It could have been more had Ciaran Sheehan not screwed his low shot the wrong side of the post from a Cork perspective.
Brian Hartnett from the edge of the ‘D’ and Thomas Clancy from forty metres stretched Cork further ahead before a second Gore free and Sheehan from play made it seven points to one.
Thirty-two minutes in Owen McCabe added a second Down point but there was still time for Ruairi Deane to give Cork a six-point advantage going in at the break.
Down introduced Liam Kerr and Corey Quinn for the second half but before they could impact the proceedings Maguire roused his men with that brilliant individual score.
Who else but Darren O’Hagan tried to rally the Mourne men advancing for a point and when Paul Devlin tagged on another, hope rose in the visitors ranks but Cork replied in kind, points from Liam O’Donovan and Damien Gore restoring their seven point advantage.
In the forty-fifth minute Owen McCabe added his second score but Cork hit back with three on the bounce through O’Mahony, Maguire and Tadgh Corkery and Rory Burns was alert to deny them a goal.
With a quarter hour remaining Cory Quinn pointed and within a minute Sean White was sent off but it was Cork who stepped up to the mark with O’Mahony’s third point to open a nine- point gap.
Donal O’Hare pulled back a free and Darren O’Hagan added his second before Cory Quinn squeezed in the Down goal and with Cork reduced to 13 through injury and only four between the teams, it was set up for a Down smash and grab of the points but they missed half a dozen chances before Luke Connolly’s late free settled the home side and secured the win.
Cork: Micheál Martin (Nemo Rangers), Kevin Crowley (Millstreet), Thomas Clancy (Clonakilty) 0-1, Liam O’Donovan (Clonakilty) 0-1, Tadhg Corkery (Cill na Martra) 0-1, Seán Powter (Douglas), Mattie Taylor (Mallow), Ian Maguire (St Finbarr’s) 0-2, Brian Hartnett (Douglas) 0-1, Ruairí Deane (Bantry Blues) 0-1, Seán White (Clonakilty), John O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers) 0-1, Damien Gore (Kilmacabea) 0-3 (2f), Ciarán Sheehan (Éire Óg) 0-1, Cathail O’Mahony (Mitchelstown) 0-3 (1f).
Subs: Colm O’Callaghan (Eire Og), Paul Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers), Luke Connolly (Nemo Rangers) 0-1 (f), Killian O’Hanlon (Kilshannig), Cian Kiely (Ballincollig),
Down: Rory Burns Castlewellan, Ryan McAleenan CPN, Kevin McKernan Burren, Patrick Murdock Warrenpoint, Gerard Collins RGU, Darren O’Hagan Clonduff 0-2, Shane Annett Mayobridge, Conor Poland Longstone, Jonny Flynn Loughinisland, Jerome Johnston Kilcoo, Paul Devlin Kilcoo 0-1, Daniel Guinness Carryduff, Barry O’Hagan Clonduff, Donal O’Hare Burren 0-2 (1f), Owen McCabe Carryduff 0-2.
Subs: Cory Quinn Mayobridge 1-1, Liam Kerr Burren, Sean Dornan Castlewellan, James Guinness Carryduff, Liam Middleton Liatroim
The next Division Three match is home v Longford on Saturday 22nd February.
Elsewhere in Division Three
Derry 0-10 Tipperary 0-6
Derry scored a first league win of the year against a Tipperary side that found itself down to 12 men in the second half of a dour encounter in Celtic Park. The Oak Leafers were good value for the two points against an overly defensive Tipp side that failed to score from play and saw both Steven O’Brien and Daire Brennan red carded, with John Meagher and Alan Campbell black carded, all in a second half to forget for the Munster men. Derry headed into half-time with a single point advantage at 0-4 to 0-3 but Tipp emerged from the changing rooms to equalise within one minute of the restart through a Jack Kennedy free but thereafter Derry took over and with the avalanche of Tipp cards, Derry had a stranglehold they didn’t relinquish even if they were far from convincing with the extra men.
Longford 2-14 Liatroim 1-9
Goals from Michael Quinn and Rian Brady ensured Longford’s unbeaten start to their Division Three campaign continued at Pearse Brothers Glennon Park on Sunday but Leitrim probably kicked themselves out of it with some seriously poor shot selections. The home side were trailing when Liam Connerton had his shot parried by Diarmuid McKieran only for the experienced Connerton to direct the rebound into the path of the equally experienced Quinn who slotted home. At half time Longford led 1-7 to 1-5. It was 1-12 to 1-8 when Liatroim full back Fergal McTague was sent off and Liatroims hopes of a late comeback went with him with Rian Brady netting Longford’s second major in time added on.