Dublin 5-18 Cork 1-17: Late Dub blitz finishes off brave Rebels
Last Updated: 13/07/19 9:17pm
Dublin didn't have it all their own way for long periods, but eventually saw off Cork in the Super 8s, 5-18 to 1-17.
Ronan McCarthy will be left scratching his head after his side put in a huge shift but were eventually seen off by the Sky Blues' final flourish down the home straight.
For Dublin, it was another statement sent out to rest of the country, as they flexed their muscles in what was their most impressive performance of the season to date.
Cork knew that if they were to have any chance, they would need a bright start, and that's exactly what they found.
Points from Kevin O'Driscoll, Seán White, Paul Kerrigan and Ruairi Deane sent them into a 0-4 to 0-0 lead, and a silence descended upon Hill 16.
However, the Dubs stayed composed. An 11th-minute goal from Jack McCaffrey helped to reel in the Rebels, and the Sky Blues were soon in the lead.
The sides went point-for-point as the half ticked on, and there was a growing sense around Croke Park that there was a real contest being played out.
But as Cork moved towards half-time trailing by the single goal, Dublin turned the screw. Jack McCaffrey sent in a high ball from a free, and it led to Cormac Costello running in on goal which created an overlap. The Whitehall Colmcille star hand-passed to Michael Darragh Macauley, who palmed it into the empty net.
After the Rebels were competitive for such long periods, it was a cruel blow as Dublin went in at half-time, 2-9 to 0-9 ahead.
Nonetheless, while so many sides have wilted in the face of adversity when playing this Dublin side, Cork hung in there.
They started the second half brightly with a string of scores to stay in touch, and when Luke Connolly smashed in a 45th minute penalty, belief grew among the travelling support that an upset might be on the cards.
The Munster finalists trailed by just two points approaching the 50-minute mark, but that was as good as it got for Ronan McCarthy's outfit.
Dublin finally found gaps in the Cork defence, and when they did, they punished them dearly.
Three goals in the space of five minutes ended the tie emphatically. Niall Scully, Ciarán Kilkenny and Brian Fenton all raised green flags, to finish off the Cork challenge.
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Nonetheless, the Rebels will have cause for optimism ahead of next week's meeting with Tyrone. Meanwhile, the seemingly imperious Dubs will face Roscommon.