By Jack Flynn
Cork 1-8, Stamford 0-11
Down by as many as six points in the second half, Cork staged a furious and thrilling comeback to forge a 1-8 to 0-11 draw with Stamford in a Senior Football Div. I match at Gaelic Park on Sunday.
“It was a tough, tight game the whole way,” said Denis Kiely, whose second-half goal was a key score in Cork’s comeback.”We were lucky that we were able to come back.”
Cork simply looked lost in the first half, as Stamford consistently maintained the better of play to take an 0-5 to 0-2 halftime lead.
Both teams were a tad sloppy early on, missing points that should have been converted. Finally, Stamford’s Aidan Creamer put two separate balls over the bar to give his side the early two-point advantage. It could have been worse, if not for Tom O’Riordan’s wonderful defense blocking down a point try off the foot of Stamford’s Richie Power.
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Pat Mahoney and Eric Dockery scored for Cork to even the score at 0-2, but Stamford would not allow another point for the rest of the half. Creamer, Mick Martin and Bryan Martin all scored for Stamford before the horn blew.
Stamford looked to be running away with the match in the second half, as Mick Martin scored three straight points to give his side an 0-8 to 0-2 advantage.
The situation looked bleak for Cork, but a combination of luck and skill got them back into the match.
Stephen Quinn and Steve Dineen each scored a point to break Stamford’s streak and make the score 0-8 to 0-4. Then, as Cork was striving for a third consecutive point, good fortune came their way.
A Cork attacker sent a ball that seemed destined for success until it glanced high off the goal post and right into the arms of Kiely. Cork’s full forward was surprised but wasted no time slamming a shot into the Stamford net for a goal.
Substitute Kieran Cornan and Dockery scored points soon after, and a six-point Stamford lead had become a one-point Cork advantage in a matter of minutes.
Stamford scored three of the next four points, however, and with time running down looked like they might pull out a victory after all. But Dineen converted an easy free to tie the score.
Stamford tried to take advantage of a Cork miscue with less than one minute to go but could not convert. Time ran out with both sides level.
“Both teams were unlucky [not] to win it,” Kiely said, “but it was a good result for us.”
Cork scorers: Kiely 1-1, Dineen and Dockery 0-2, Mahoney, Quinn and Cornan 0-1.
Stamford: M. Martin 0-6, Creamer 0-4, B. Martin 0-1.