Cork inflict first defeat on Donegal

Cork line up for national anthem before the All-Ireland Football Championship Group 3 Round 2 match v Donegal at Pairc Ui Rinn. (Pic: George Hatchell)

By Paddy Ryan

Cork 3-9 Donegal 0-16

Two goals within two minutes in the second half paved the way for Cork to overcome Donegal in the Group 3 round 2 game All-Ireland SFC tie at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday. This win ensures the Rebels a place in the quarter-finals.

The game attracted over 7,000 spectators, played in glorious sunshine. Paddy McBrearty with a free opened the scoring in the 4th minute. Ciaran Thompson was denied by Chris Kelly with Tommy Walsh on hand to clear from the rebound. Cork opened their account in the 9th minute through Brian Hurley (free). The Ulster side moved ahead soon after when Oisin Gallen placed McBrearty for a point. Good play by Daire O Baoill and Oisin Gallen led to another McBrearty punched point.

In the 15th minute Brian O'Driscoll placed Chris Og Jones who pointed. Cork had their first goal in the 21st minute when Sean Powter worked well for Mattie Taylor who cut through for a great goal as the Rebels moved 1-2 to 0-3 clear. Chris Og Jones and Ciaran Moore exchanged points, as Niall O'Donnell landed a point for the visitors. Brian Hurley was then denied by the post.

McBrearty levelled from a free. Cork hit the front again through Paul Walsh. Oisin Gallen levelled. Good play by Caolan McGonagle led to a fine McBrearty point. Mattie Taylor made a good interception from Ciaran Moore. Moore later landed a point that had Donegal ahead at the break, 0-9 to 1-4.


Early on the resumption, Cork scored their two goals. Colm O'Callaghan placed Sean Powter who netted and a minute later, Mark Cronin and Mattie Taylor worked well for Rory Maguire, who opened up a lead of 3-4 to 0-9.

There was no score for a seven minute period when Brian Hurley landed a free. Caolan McGonagle placed McBrearty for another point. There was an exchange of points with Cork ahead 3-6 to 0-12 after 45 minutes. Oisin Gallen landed a free in the 60th minute.

The last 10 minutes were very tense and Donegal got on terms at 3-7 to 0-16. Entering stoppage time, Stephen Sherlock edged Cork ahead. Donegal tried very hard for an equaliser. Deep in stoppage time Daniel O'Mahony and Conor Corbett combined for Colm O'Callaghan to kick the final score.

It marked the first defeat for Donegal in league or championship in 2024.

Cork: Christopher Kelly (Eire Og), Kevin Flahive (Douglas), Daniel O'Mahony (Knocknagree), Maurice Shanley (Clonakilty), Rory Maguire (Castlehaven – 1-0), Tommy Walsh (Kanturk), Mattie Taylor (Mallow – 1-0), Ian Maguire (St. Finbarr's), Colm O'Callaghan (Eire Og – 0-2), Paul Walsh (Kanturk – 0-1), Sean Powter (Douglas – 1-0), Brian O'Driscoll (Carrigaline), Chris Og Jones (Iveleary – 0-2), Mark Cronin (Nemo Rangers), Brian Hurley (Castlehaven –  0-3; 0-2f). Subs: Conor Corbett (Clyda Rovers) for Sean Powter (inj), Stephen Sherlock (St Finbarr's – 0-1) for Chris Og Jones, Tom Clancy (Clonakilty) for Tommy Walsh (inj), Ruairi Deane (Bantry Blues) for Mark Cronin, Eoghan McSweeney (Knocknagree) for Brian Hurley, Sean Meehan (Kiskeam) for Paul Walsh.

Referee was Brendan Griffin (Kerry).