/ GAA

Dublin 1-16 Cork 0-14

Updated: Saturday, 03 Aug 2013 21:14 | Comments

Jack McCaffrey's clever finish helped Dublin reach the semi-finals
Jack McCaffrey's clever finish helped Dublin reach the semi-finals

Dublin battled bravely to book an All-Ireland SFC semi-final next month after a 1-16 to 0-14 win over Cork at Croke Park.

A 38th minute goal from Jack McCaffrey provided the tonic for Dublin to advance to the last-four.

The sides were level five times in the opening half, but Dublin pulled ahead to take a 0-09 to 0-07 interval lead.

McCaffrey's goal pushed Dublin four points clear on the restart, and despite the Blues missing seven goal-scoring chances, they held out for victory.

Cork manager Conor Counihan stepped down in the wake of this defeat, after six years at the helm with the Rebels, and delivering an All-Ireland title in 2010, with Cork beating Dublin in the semi-final that summer.

Counihan stuck with the team named midweek, but his Dublin counterpart Jim Gavin made one late chance as Bryan Cullen was handed a starting berth instead of Eoghan O'Gara.

Dublin's last win over Cork in the All-Ireland Championship was in 1995, and while the Metropolitans claimed victory today, it was nip-and tuck throughout this contest.

70,018 watched on, as Cork settled quickest with Daniel Goulding firing the opening point after two minutes.

Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton was in superb form from dead-balls over the 70 minutes, claiming two of his sides opening three points to take a 0-03 to 0-02 lead in the seventh minute.

Michael Dara Macauley with Dublin's third score, and their first from play, with Ciaran Sheehan keeping Cork in touch.

Cluxton continued to impress, firing Dublin 0-04 to 0-02 ahead, but Cork bounced back to tie the game at 0-04 each after 12 minutes, with Brian Hurley and John O'Rourke on target.

Cork were hugely impressive at this stage from defence through to attack, with Ciaran Kilkenny forced wide from a tight angle, after a water-tight Cork defence forced the Castleknock man to shoot wayward.

Dublin regained the lead thanks to Paul Flynn, but a goal chance was also on the cards from that move, with McCaffrey setting up Flynn, but the Fingallians clubman opted to send the ball over the crossbar.

Points from placed balls from Damien Cahalane and Daniel Goulding pushed Cork 0-06 to 0-05 ahead with 13 minutes to go before the break.

Dublin finished the half strongly, outscoring the Rebels by three points to one before the interval, with Flynn, Kilkenny and Bernard Brogan on target as they claimed a 0-09 to 0-07 half-time lead.

Dublin manager Jim Gavin praised his side afterwards for their pressure and intensity, but expressed his hope that this group of players could be more clinical with their goal-scoring chances in future games.

Most of these goal opportunities came in the closing 35 minutes, with McCaffrey the only man to place the ball in the back of the net, three minutes after the restart.

Cian O'Sullivan sent the ball to fellow Kilmacud Crokes clubman Paul Mannion, before the teenager laid the ball off to his fellow Under 21 colleague McCaffrey who rifled the ball to the net, to push Dublin four points clear.

Cork weren't gone away by any means and two Daniel Goulding points from placed balls settled the Rebels, but the beaten Munster finalists could have been closer to their opponents on the score-board at this stage.

Ciaran Sheehan was denied of a goal in the 40th minute, after Rory O'Carroll made a superb block.

Pearse O'Neill's follow up was also kept out, as Goulding converted the subsequent 45 metre free.

Substitute Dean Rock and Sheehan traded points, before Diarmuid Connolly claimed Dublin's latest goal miss, after fisting wide, with Mannion failing to connect inside.

Cork continued to plug away with Brian Hurley's only score of the game cutting the gap to two points in the 49th minute.

But the Leesiders couldn't get any closer despite their efforts in the final quarter, with Rock, Kevin McManamon, Kilkenny, Cluxton and Denis Bastick on target.

Cork could only manage two points in the closing 13 minutes, with their final score coming from Belfast native James Loughrey close to the end.

But Gavin's men had still plenty of gas in the tank and finished strongly to book an All-Ireland semi-final on September 1st.

Scorers for Dublin: S Cluxton 0-06 (2f, 4 '45), J McCaffrey 1-00, P Flynn, C Kilkenny, D Rock 0-02 each; MD MacAuley, B Brogan (1f), K McManamon, D Bastick 0-01 each.

Scorers for Cork: D Goulding 0-05 (2f, 1 '45); B Hurley 0-03; M Collins 0-02 (1f); C Sheehan, J O'Rourke, D Cahalane (1 '45), J Loughrey 0-01 each.

Dublin: S Cluxton; J Cooper, R O'Carroll, K O'Brien; J McCarthy, G Brennan, J McCaffrey; MD Macauley, C O'Sullivan; P Flynn, C Kilkenny, D Connolly; P Mannion, B Cullen, B Brogan.

Subs: D Rock for B Cullen (41), P McMahon for J Cooper (50), K McManamon for P Mannion (54), D Bastick for MD Macauley (60), E O'Gara for C Kilkenny (66).

Cork: A Quirke; E Cadogan, M Shields, T Clancy; D Cahalane, G Canty, J Loughrey; A O'Connor, P O'Neill; M Collins, A Walsh, J O'Rourke; D Goulding, C Sheehan, B Hurley.

Subs: P Kissane for E Cadogan (36), P Kerrigan for J O'Rourke (43), J O'Sullivan for T Clancy (48), D O'Connor for A O'Connor (51), T Clancy for G Canty (55).

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