Sunday, July 17, 2016

Junior A Football - Cork v Donegal

Cork 2-10 Donegal 1-14

Donegal and Cork battled out an entertaining junior football contest that went down to the wire.  Donegal first opened a sizeable lead and Cork came back in the middle part of the game.  With the teams all square it was Donegal with who seemed to have more in reserve to push on for the win over the final stretch, though Cork came within a hair of salvaging a draw.

Brian Kelly had a major impact at corner forward for Donegal.
It was Donegal with the slightest of leads heading into the half time break.  The northerners had the upper hand for most of the game and at one point held a 1-5 to 0-2 lead.  Donegal had most of the play and Brian Kelly at corner forward, along with Karl Archibald at wing forward were proving to be a handful for the Cork back line.  The Donegal goal came from a high ball to Kelly who engaged in a back and forth with Colm Byrne till Byrne poked the ball into the net.  Kelly and Archibald shared four of Donegal’s five first half points between them.
Cork worked their way into the game, and with Colm Caffrey playing well at center back, Padraig O’Shea, Mike Moynihan and Mike Maye pointed before a lovely ball from Darren O’Donovan found Niall O’Connor behind the Donegal defence, and O’Connor netted with only Jonathan Byrne to beat.  Cork had threatened on a couple of occasions up to that point to net a goal and did so just in the nick of time.  1-5 to 1-6 in Donegal’s favour at the half.

Peter Wallace battles to make something happen for Cork.
A penalty mid - way through the second half put Cork into a two point lead.  The rebels had wasted multiple scoring chances, while Donegal had made the most of the couple that came their way.  The teams swapped points through Kelly and a well taken Mark Dunphy point for Donegal, with Peter Wallace pointing twice for Cork.  Cork will have felt that their efforts were for naught until a great ball from Jack Lynch found O’Shea who was held in the penalty area.  O’Shea took the kick himself and put Cork into the lead as the ball nestled in the back of the net.

After Donegal had leveled matters through Archibald with a brace, it was up and down the field for the final 10 minutes with each side trying to vie for the advantage.  It was Donegal who looked like they had a tad more gas in the tank for the final run in.  Cork’s fatigue probably accounted for errors that the men from Tir Chonaill capitalized on.  Dean Kelly put three points over the bar, two from frees as Cork were forced to foul, and Donegal had a three point lead in injury time.  Late points from Colm Caffrey and Wallace brought Cork within a point, but time ran out on the rebels and Donegal leapfrog them in the standings.

Cork:  O. Murphy, B. Devlin, D. O’Donovan, C. Caffrey, S. Loftus, J. Lynch, N. O’Connor, L. Cunningham, M. Moynihan, M. Maye, P. Wallace, P. O’Shea.  Donegal:  J. Byrne, P. McNulty, D. McBride, D. Doherty, A. Cammon, M. Canny, D. Kelly, M. Dunphy, C. Byrne, R. Diver, K. Archibald, B. Kelly, K. McDevitt.

By Rory O'Donnell

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