GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship

Cork 1-14 0-16 Roscommon

Preliminary Quarter-Final
Páirc Uí Chaoimh
Brendan Cawley
Extra Time if Necessary
All-Ireland SFC: Cork win thriller
Conor Carroll, Roscommon, and Rory Maguire, Cork, in All-Ireland SFC action at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Photo by Tom Beary/Sportsfile

All-Ireland SFC: Cork win thriller

All-Ireland SFC Preliminary Quarter-Final

Cork 1-14 Roscommon 0-16

Kevin O’Donovan was the Cork hero as his 73rd-minute point earned the Rebels a one-point victory over Roscommon and a place in next weekend’s All-Ireland SFC quarter-finals.

Having conceded five consecutive points as Roscommon levelled the game going into injury time, it looked like Cork might succumb to something similar to what they had inflicted on Mayo the previous week, when they surged to victory.

Roscommon had the momentum, but couldn’t make a late possession count and Cork took full advantage. After being awarded a free when Roscommon fouled the ball, the home side were able to work an opening and Seán Powter fed Ian Maguire, who in turn found sub O’Donovan and he fisted the ball over the bar.

There was time for Roscommon to find another levelling score and send the game to extra time, but a late red card for Enda Smith for an off-the-ball incident ate up some of that and Cork were able to see out the victory.

Following on from the Mayo win, it marks the first time since 2009 that the Rebels have beaten two Division 1 counties in the same championship and they will be full of belief going into Monday morning’s quarter-final draw.

They had to show different sides to their game, but a lack of panic was a central theme – at 0-7 to 0-3 down, Cork kept plugging away and were rewarded by going in just a point down at half-time; then, after seeing the five-point lead evaporate, they kept their heads to find a winner.

That they had assembled such an advantage was down to a big improvement on the resumption. While Rory Maguire had them level at 0-7 each soon after the restart, they had to be thankful to goalkeeper Micheál Aodh Martin for a brilliant save to deny Diarmuid Murtagh in the wake of that.

Though Roscommon goalkeeper Conor Carroll came forward to stroke over the resultant 45, Cork were generating some momentum and had five of the next seven points between the 40th and 51st minutes. With Brian O’Driscoll prominent and Matty Taylor shining among a defence that never ceased working, they seized the upper hand and Steven Sherlock’s fifth point gave them their biggest lead they had held up until then, 0-12 to 0-10.

After Roscommon’s Daire Cregg replied with a point from a mark, Sherlock looked to have made it a two-point game again but the shot was waved wide, to the dismay of many in the crowd of 14,294.

However, those misgivings were soon forgotten as sub Conor Corbett exchanged passes with Powter and sent a low shot past Carroll, the ball rolling in off the post. When impressive sub Chris Óg Jones added a point, they were 1-13 to 0-11 to the good.

Roscommon didn’t yield and two Diarmuid Murtagh points had the deficit down to a goal. That might have been doubled as Jones had a chance of a green flag – he shot wide but Cork felt he was being fouled. After that let-off, Cregg, Diarmuid Murtagh and Ciaráin Murtagh all reeled off points and Roscommon were level. It was Cork’s day, though.

Scorers for Cork: Steven Sherlock 0-5 (3fs), Conor Corbett 1-0, Chris Óg Jones, Rory Maguire 0-2 each, Tommy Walsh, Luke Fahy, Matty Taylor, Brian O'Driscoll, Kevin O'Donovan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Roscommon: D Murtagh 0-6 (0-3 frees), Ciaráin Murtagh 0-5 (3fs), Daire Cregg 0-1 (m), Enda Smith 0-2 each, Conor Carroll (45) 0-1 each.

CORK: Micheál Aodh Martin; Tommy Walsh, Daniel O’Mahony, Maurice Shanley; Luke Fahy, Rory Maguire, Matty Taylor; Colm O’Callaghan, Ian Maguire; Killian O’Hanlon, Seán Powter, Brian O’Driscoll; Ruairí Deane, Steven Sherlock, Eoghan McSweeney.

Subs: Chris Óg Jones for McSweeney (34), Conor Corbett for Deane (44, injured), Kevin O'Donovan for Shanley (48), Thomas Clancy for Fahy (59), John O'Rourke for O'Hanlon (70).

ROSCOMMON: Conor Carroll; David Murray, Brian Stack, Niall Daly; Conor Hussey, Conor Daly, Eoin McCormack; Eddie Nolan, Dylan Ruane; Ciaráin Murtagh, Enda Smith, Cian McKeon; Donie Smith, Ben O’Carroll, Diarmuid Murtagh.

Subs: Conor Cox for Smith (35, injured), Daire Cregg for Ruane (46), Keith Doyle for Nolan (53), Cian Connolly for Hussey (61), Richard Hughes for N Daly (64).

Referee: Brendan Cawley (Kildare).