- Sunday Sport GAA: Marty Morrissey commentates on Cork's easy win over Mayo in the Allianz National Football League Division 1 final at Croke Park on Sunday.
- Sunday Sport GAA: Kevin McStay and Anthony Tohill look back on Cork's win over Mayo at Croke Park in what was a disappointing match entertainment-wise.
Cork recorded a comprehensive victory over Mayo in the Allianz National Football League Division 1 final in front of 27,005 spectators at Croke Park on Sunday.
The superb finishing of Donncha O’Connor illuminated the game. His five points sent the Rebels in with a 0-09 to 0-05 advantage, with three of Mayo’s scores coming from Conor Mortimer as they rued three missed goal chances in the opening period.
Mayo were never able to augment the excellent finishing of Mortimer, who tallied six points.
Meanwhile, the Rebels scored at will, with Daniel Goulding banging in a 63rd minute goal to establish a personal tally of 1-05.
The reigning Division Two champions efficiently and stylishly saw off the challenge of Mayo to lift the New Ireland Cup, recording a resounding victory which will ease them gently into serious preparations for the Munster Championship, commencing in all probability with a semi-final against All-Ireland champions Kerry on 6 June.
Mayo’s long ball strategy crafted three goal chances in as many minutes midway through the first half.
But Aidan O’Shea punched Kevin McLoughlin’s delivery against the crossbar, Mark Ronaldson blazed his opportunity wide, and Jamie O’Sullivan denied O’Shea with a superb block.
Cork had already moved 0-04 to 0-01 ahead by that stage, with Patrick Kelly getting the pick of their well crafted scores.
And, unfazed by the close shaves at the back, they continued to pick off points from distance, with O’Connor blasting over a couple of huge efforts.
Alan Dillon and Conor Mortimer converted frees to close the gap, but Dillon’s creativity failed to inspire his fellow attackers to find the range, until Mortimer became the first Mayo attacker to score from play in the 31st minute.
O’Connor added another couple off both feet, and by the halfway stage, the Rebels had established a 0-09 to 0-05 advantage.
Mortimer nailed on another couple of scores, but Daniel Goulding and Alan O’Connor knocked over points to maintain a safe distance between the sides, goalkeeper David Clarke forced to stretch to deflect the latter’s fisted effort over the bar.
The introduction of Ronan McGarrity did give Mayo a lift, and they pulled back scores through Mortimer and Moran, but Cork were scoring at will, and they put the outcome beyond all doubt in the 63rd minute when Ciaran Sheehan picked out Goulding with a perfectly timed pass, and the corner forward slotted the ball past Clarke for a personal tally of 1-05.
Mayo scored the last three points of the game, but it mattered little, even when Andy Moran’s deflected shot was pushed round a post by Cork goalkeeper Patrick O’Shea.
Cork: P O’Shea, R Carey, M Shields, E Cotter, N O’Leary (0-01), P Kissane, J O’Sullivan, A O’Connor (0-01), A Walsh (0-01), F Goold, D O’Connor (0-05, 2f), P Kelly (0-01), D Goulding (1-05, 0-01f), C Sheehan (0-02), P Kerrigan (0-01).
Subs: N Murphy for Goold, D Kavanagh for Walsh, C O’Neill for D O’Connor, J Hayes for Goulding, G Spillane for Shields
Mayo: D Clarke, C Barrett, G Cafferkey, L O’Malley, D Vaughan, T Howley, K McLoughlin, T Parsons, S O’Shea (0-02), A Moran (0-01), A Dillon (0-03, 3f), T Mortimer, C Mortimer (0-06, 3f), A O’Shea, M Ronaldson.
Subs: R McGarrity for Ronaldson, A Kilcoyne for T Mortimer, A Freeman for Parsons, B Moran for T Mortimer, P Harte for A O’Shea
Referee: P Hughes (Armagh).