Donegal defeat edges Cork closer to relegation

Cork 1-12 Donegal 1-19

Donegal’s promotion received a timely boost after a strong second-half showing kept Cork rooted to the bottom of Division 2 at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday.

Backed by the wind, the Ulster side outscored 12-man Cork by 1-13 to 0-4 on the resumption, hitting 1-4 without reply in the closing stages as the hosts lost captain Ian Maguire and Luke Connolly to injury and to a second yellow, having used all five substitutes.

Donegal held the initiative at 0-6 apiece approaching half-time, but Cork finished strongly, scoring a quick-fire 1-2.

The goal came in the 35th minute, when soloed through the defence only to be denied by keeper . Wing-back Mattie Taylor followed in, though, to give Cork a five-point advantage.

Collins increased it to six on the resumption, but it was all Donegal after that as Hugh McFadden bossed midfield and and Niall O’Donnell kicked a succession of points.

Cork were struggling to get the ball beyond half-way as the defence came under sustained pressure.

They still managed to be on level terms following a Connolly free after 62 minutes to tie matters at 1-12 to 0-15. The home side wouldn’t score again though as Donegal seized control once again.

O’Donnell fired over two and substitute Daire O Baoill another entering six minutes’ injury-time. Donegal made the game safe with their goal in the 75th minute.

O’Donnell disrupted an attempted short Cork kick-out to set-up Jamie Brennan for the clinching score.

Cork: MA Martin; S Ryan, T Clancy, C Dennehy; K Crowley, K Flahive, M Taylor (1-0); I Maguire, K O’Hanlon; E McSweeney (0-3), L Connolly (0-4, three frees), R Deane (0-1); M Hurley (0-2), M Collins (0-2), P Kerrigan. Subs: M White for Martin (42 mins), K O’Driscoll for Taylor (56 mins), R O’Toole for Kerrigan (57 mins), C Kiely for Dennehy (62 mins), S Powter for Crowley (66 mins).

Donegal: S Patton; R McHugh (0-2), S McMenamin, E Gallagher; P Brennan, E Doherty, C Ward (0-1); H McFadden (0-1), C McGonagle; C Thompson (0-1), N O’Donnell (0-3), L McLoone; J Brennan (1-2), M Murphy (0-6, four frees, one ‘45), O Gallen (0-1). Subs: D O Baoill (0-2) for P Brennan (23 mins), P McGrath for Ward (h-t), E McHugh for Gallen (70+3 mins), N McGee for Doherty (70+6 mins).

Referee: D Gough (Meath)