Donegal 2-14 Cork 1-07

Donegal stay top of the Allianz Football League Division 1 table after an impressive 2-14 to 1-07 victory against Cork at Fr Tierney Park.

Apart from a brief period when they hit 1-02 at the start of the second quarter, Cork were never in this contest, played in driving rain, but on a pitch that held up well.

Donegal were very sharp in the opening half and led by 1-04 to 0-00 after 15 minutes.

Cork did have a good period thereafter, but at half-time Donegal had established a six-point advantage of 1-09 to 1-03.

Patrick McBrearty, Ciaran Thompson and Michael Murphy from a 50m free grabbed the opening points.

The first goal of the game came on 14 minutes when Martin O’Reilly combined with Eoin McHugh to cut through the middle and leave Brendan O’Connell helpless in the Cork goal as he found the corner.

Anthony Thompson added a quick point but Thompson’s opponent Donal Og Hodnett was central to a Cork comeback that saw them reduce the margin to a point at 1-04 to 1-03 by the 23rd minute.

The points came from three Daniel Goulding frees, two of them for fouls on Hodnett, while the half-forward was on the end of a good move to fire past Peter Boyle in the Donegal goal.

The comeback was halted as Donegal took control again in the final ten minutes of the half with five unanswered points, two of them wonder scores by McBrearty and Odhran MacNiallais from distance.

Donegal had Ciaran Thompson black carded within 90 seconds of the restart, but that didn't hold Donegal back as they continued to find the range with man of the match MacNiallais involved in much of their good work.

MacNiallais hit two points and was then on the end of a glorious move involving the McHughs and Neil McGee to fire home the second goal on 53 minutes.

That goal put Donegal into a 2-13 to 1-03 lead and there were 62 minutes on the clock before Cork got their first point of the second half, a Goulding score, which was their first in 40 minutes.

Before the end, Goulding added two more while McBrearty was almost in for a third goal, his drive just clipping the crossbar on the way over.

Donegal: P Boyle; E Doherty, N McGee, E McGee; P McGrath; R McHugh, A Thompson (0-02); O MacNiallais (1-04), H McFadden; E McHugh, F McGlynn (0-01), C Thompson (0-01); P McBrearty (0-04,2f), M Murphy (0-01,f), M O’Reilly (1-01). Subs., R Kavanagh for C Thompson, bcard 37; L McLoone for O'Reilly 53; M McElhinney for N McGee 55; E Ban Gallagher for E Doherty 58; N Gallagher for H McFadden 63; M Carroll for E McHugh 64

Cork: B O’Connell; C O’Driscoll, J O’Sullivan, K Crowley; T Clancy, B O’Driscoll (0-01), R Deane; I Maguire, M Collins (0-01); A O’Sullivan, P Kerrigan, D Og Hodnett (1-00); D Goulding (0--5,3f), P Kelleher, B Hurley. Subs., D O'Connor for Deane 49; F Gould for Maguire 53; K O'Hanlon for Hodnett 55; C O'Neill for Hurley 63; D MacEoin for Goulding 68.

Referee: J McQuillan (Cavan)