Cork get Division 2 campaign up and running with convincing display against Down

By John Fogarty

Down 0-9

Cork 1-13

Mark Collins struck 1-5 as Cork got their Division 2 campaign up and running with a convincing display in this round two clash in Newry’s Páirc Esler.

Cork were the better team throughout and made their superiority felt in less than 60 seconds 29 minutes into the second half. After Colm O’Neill fired over a free, Collins seized Shane Harrison’s poor restart, sprinted towards goal and lobbed the Down goalkeeper. O’Neill added another free and Cork were cruising.

The only concern for Ronan McCarthy was a serious-looking injury to Cillian O’Hanlon. After Seán Powter’s league-ending hamstring difficulty and the Nemo Rangers players continuing to be unavailable, Cork can’t afford to lose too many more players.

Having been one behind at the break, Down drew level seven minutes into the half which drew a response from the 2,938 crowd but Collins sent over the next two scores, the first from a free and the next the finishing touch from the kick-out after his free.

Micheal McSweeney of Cork in action against Shay Millar of Down during the Allianz Football League Division 2 Round 2 match between Down and Cork at Páirc Esler, in Newry, Down.

Cork were by far and away the more industrious in the opening half and led by four points in the 14th minute. As Down sat back, Cork were methodical in recycling the ball and Sean White scored two fine points one after another.

Down, though, cut that gap to one point by the 21st minute through a succession of frees, two from Anthony Doherty, each either side of a Darragh O’Hanlon converted dead ball.

Collins had Cork rolling again and added his third of the half shortly after another Doherty free but Cork’s indiscipline cost them again in additional time as O’Hanlon converted a free to leave one between the sides at the break, 0-6 to 0-7.

Had Cork been told they would have restricted Down to one point in the opening period, they would have grabbed it but the first half was a missed opportunity.

Scorers for Down: A. Doherty (0-3, frees); C. O’Hanlon (0-2, frees); C. Harrison, S. Millar, C. Mooney, R. Johnston, K. McKernan (0-1 each).

Scorers for Cork: M. Collins (1-5, 0-2 frees); C. O’Neill (0-5, 3 frees, 1 45); S. White (0-2); P. Kelleher (0-1).

Down: S. Harrison; B. McArdle, C. Flanagan, D. O’Hagan; N. McParland (c); C. Mooney, A. Doherty, D. O’Hanlon; C. Poland, N. Donnelly; S. Millar, C. Maginn, A. Morgan; C. Harrison, D. O’Hare.

Subs for Down: B. O’Hagan for D. O’Hare, K. McKernan for C. Maginn (both 51); R. Johnston for S. Millar, D. McKibbin for A. Doherty (both 56).

Sent off: C. Harrison (straight, 70+5).

Cork: M. White; S. Ryan, J. O’Sullivan; M. McSweeney; K. Flahive, B. O’Driscoll, T. Clancy; I. Maguire, C. O’Hanlon; S. White, K. Crowley, R. Deane; J. O’Rourke, C. O’Neill, M. Collins.

Subs for Cork: M. Hurley for J. O’Rourke (45); C. Dorman for B. O’Driscoll (51); P. Kelleher for C. O’Hanlon (inj 60); M. Taylor for S. White (64); C. Dorgan for K. Flahive (68); S. Sherlock for C. O’Neill (69).

Sent off: J. O’Sullivan (second yellow, 70+5).

Referee: F. Kelly (Longford).

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