By Mike Fitzpatrick
Donegal 1-13, Cork 1-5
Having already beaten Westmeath, Donegal resumed their senior football campaign with this emphatic Div. I victory over Cork Sunday at Gaelic Park.
With a number of their players back from All-Ireland duty, and a couple of veterans thrown in due to injuries and abstentions, this was a somewhat different Donegal side than the one which we have become accustomed to. Missing were Eunan Docherty, Edmun Cleary, Owen Cummins and Donal Breslin to name but four, and it was uncertain how the men from the north would perform against Liam
Bermingham’s Cork men.
Donegal had eight men on duty in Ireland last weekend and picked up a few injuries on the way. It was doubtful whether midfielder Gary Dowd would complete the game, but finish he did, and back to the bread and butter of New York championship football he came, playing a fine game in the center of the park for Paul Timoney’s side.
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Cork badly missed the services of New York midfielder Pat Mahoney, who has been an inspiration to their side recently, and having performed amazingly well versus Mayo in the Connaught championship, many were looking forward to his return to the domestic league here in New York.
Donegal stormed through the Cork defense from the off, with Ian Smith registering a point in the opening minutes, followed by efforts from Stephen Cassidy and Dermot Boylan.
Cork seemed to be a little shell shocked, with the Donegal onslaught
continuing throughout the first period.
Veteran forward Connie Molloy furthered his side’s lead with a well-taken free kick, and Smith again, half back Raymond Kane, and Cassidy again gave Donegal a healthy lead going towards the interval.
Donegal relaxed a little in the second half, having inflicted most of
the damage in the opening half hour. Cork began to rally and a goal from Morgan Burns suggested that the northern lads may have had a battle on their hands.
Substitutes for Cork, Kieran Cronin and Sean O’Sullivan, came on for Bermingham’s charges, and immediately got into the fray battling away in an attempt to claw something from the game.
The second period was by far a more evenly matched affair, with Donegal doing most of the defending, and Cork running themselves ragged in an attempt to salvage something from the tie. The vastly experienced Morgan Burns continued to battle his way through the Donegal Defense and hit another second half point for his side.
Sean O’Flynn, the Cork half forward, was unlucky on a number of occasions not to have registered with a few efforts, and had to remain content with a tally of two points.
Billy Horan and Dale Hynan both hit points for Cork versus this clearly slower Donegal side, which, having scored ten points in the first half, only registered three in the second.
A goal from Tadhg Donovan killed off any hopes Cork had of a
comeback, and Donegal went home with an eight-point win in the bag. Cork though, had they been able to include Mahoney in their side, could have brought the game a lot closer.
Donegal: Enda Lohan, Keith Nolan, Damian Meehan, Keith Murray (0-1), Raymond Kane (0-1), Pierce Coyle, Gerry Kelly, Gary Dowd (0-2), David McSweeney, Connie Molloy (0-2), Kieran Keaveney (0-1), Tadhg O’Donovan (1-1), Dermot Boylan (0-1), Stephen Cassidy (0-2), Ian Smith (0-2)
Cork: O’ Connor, Paddy O’Sullivan, Joe O’Sullivan, Ken Delanty, Denis
Mahoney, Morgan Burns (1-1), Jimmy O’Flynn, Billy Horan (0-1), Denis Kiley, Sean O’Flynn (0-2), Dale Hynan (0-1), John Donovan, Brendan Wylie, Stevie Quinn, John Paul Kiley, Subs Kieran Cronin, Sean O’Sullivan.