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Cork into final as Dublin edged out
19 Apr 2015 22:10
By Daragh Smalling
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Cork 1-27 Dublin 2-23
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Cork advanced to their first Allianz NHL final since 2012 after a scintillating comeback against Dublin at Nowlan Park, Kilkenny.
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Cork have not won the league since 1998 and looked to be heading out here as they trailed by 2-15 to 0-12 at half-time but Seamus Harnedy sneaked a late point to give the Rebels victory.
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Mark Schutte and David O’Callaghan goaled for Dublin but Paudie O’Sullivan brought Cork back into it and Patrick Horgan’s incredible 17-point haul stole the show for the Rebels.
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Dublin used the wind to full affect in the opening half and held a nine-point lead at the break.
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Conor Lehane got Cork’s first point in the second minute but Harnedy was their only other scorer until the 20th minute – Dublin hit 2-09 in a devastating spell.
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Following Lehane’s opener Mark Schutte goaled when he got out in front of Damien Cahalane and rifled his shot to the right of netminder Anthony Nash.
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Conal Keaney then landed a monstrous effort, Paul Ryan added two frees and with Mark Schutte notching another point Dublin were in the ascendancy.
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Leading 1-09 to 0-03 after 18 minutes, David O’Callaghan raced at the Cork defence and after pirouetting his way through he found the net.
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Horgan settled Cork with three frees but they still trailed by nine with just over ten minutes left in the half.
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Ryan also got his third free but Cork got a foothold and brought themselves back into contention with Lehane and Horgan doing the damage.
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The latter ended the half with six points but a point from Liam Rushe ensured Dublin led 2-15 to 0-12 at half-time.
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Mark Schutte gave Dublin the perfect start with a point after the break but Horgan continued his scoring-spree moments later.
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The Cork sharp-shooter hit six points over the next 11 minutes to drag Cork within two goals of Dublin.
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But from here Ger Cunningham’s side went score for score with Cork until Bill Cooper set up O’Sullivan for a crucial goal.
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That left the scores at 2-22 to 1-22 and O’Callaghan responded quickly for the Dubs before Horgan made it a three-point game again.
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Cork continued their scoring momentum as Horgan rounded off his tally with a point and another free to make it 2-23 to 1-25 in Dublin’s favour as the clock hit 70 minutes and two minutes were signalled for added time.
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The Rebels were not for turning and smelt a draw, at least, was still in their grasp and Lehane duly pointed to level a thrilling encounter before Harnedy completed a stunning comeback at the death, to book Cork’s spot in final at the expense of a crestfallen Dublin side.
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Cork: A Nash; S O’Neill, D Cahalane, W Kearney; L McLoughlin, Aidan Walsh (0-01), S McDonnell; D Kearney, R O’Shea; C Lehane (0-04), S Harnedy (0-03), B Cooper; A Cadogan (0-01), L O’Farrell (0-01), P Horgan (0-17, 0-12f, 0-02 ’65).
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Subs used: B Lawton for Harnedy (14), Harnedy for Lawton (16), P O’Sullivan (1-0) for Cadogan (51), A Spillane for O’Farrell (63), Lawton for Kearney (67)
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Dublin: G Maguire; C O’Callaghan, P Kelly, P Schutte; S Durkin, C Crummey, C Keaney (0-02); J McCaffrey (0-02), N McMorrow; P Ryan (0-07, 0-04f), R O’Dwyer, M Schutte (1-03); D O’Callaghan (1-03), L Rushe (0-03), D Treacy (0-02).
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Subs used: B Quinn (0-01) for McCaffrey (54), C Cronin for O’Dwyer (62), O O’Rorke for Treacy (68)
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Referee: James Owens (Wexford).
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