Cork 2-19 Leitrim 0-8
Twelve players got on the score sheet for Cork in a dominating performance that marks them as the favorites for senior football glory this year.
While two sendings off in the second half put paid to any hopes of a Leitrim comeback, Cork were already holding a nine point lead at the halfway mark. The brilliance of the Rebel corner forwards gave the side a scoring option throughout, and they took it on a constant basis.
It was all Cork in the first half. They were dominant in all fashions, with a flowing game plan and a full forward line that was out in front constantly.
Come halftime they were ahead by 0-12 to 0-3 and they were in cruise control. The three Leitrim scores were spread out over 30 minutes, although they did have two clear goal chances. Gary Hanley cleared the first by Kenny O’Connor of the goal line, while the second went out for a 50.
The Cork tactics were pushing Leitrim deep constantly. The wing backs had three points, which shows the threat that the overlap was showing.
Hanley was also doing well under the dropping ball which negated that tactic for the reigning county champions.
It was more of the same in the second half as Cork continued their dominance. The level of intensity died as the game went on as Leitrim were relegated to 13 players. Willie Milner got a straight red when he punched Jason Kelly in plain view, while John Goldrick for a high tackle received his second yellow and marching orders.
Cork added points at a nice pace and also had a Gary Lowney goal when a free was punched back to him by the Leitrim defense.
Their second goal was a cracker from Gerald McCarthy when Sean McNamee did the spade work. McCarthy added even more firepower to a full forward line that will take holding as the year progresses.
With the two man advantage Cork was able carry at its ease, and the game became shooting practice.
The winners will be very pleased with the performance, and new manager Liam Hanley will be very happy with his new and returning players.
Gary Hanley was excellent under the dropping ball with a timely hand in. The half back line was outstanding. The two Eoins, McHugh and Dillon, attacked at will while Alan Raferty, back from London, played more of a holding role. All three won their head to head battles easily.
Conor Brophy is a very athletic player who is a good ball carrier. Aiden Walsh, Mickey Leneghan and Peter Hatzer were outstanding in the forward line.
Leitrim had little positives on a lost day. Damien Walsh and Paddy Kelly were okay, and sub Ray O’Connor had two very good scores -- his second was a screamer over the bar were their best.
The physical game that Leitrim presented had no effect whatsoever on Cork. A lot of people had opinions on the game of a week ago against Kerry, and how Lawrence McGrath (this week’s ref) would perform.
Willie Milner lost his head when hitting Kelly and was in plain sight of all. Goldrick got a deserving but silly first yellow, one he could have avoided before his second got him an early rest.
McGrath’s performance was good. He played the rules which is all anyone could ask for.
Leitrim: 1 Conor O’Loughlin, 2 Shane Maher, 3 Damien Walsh, 4 Mike Creegan, 5 Emmitt Killeen, 6 Peter Fahey, 7 John Goldrick, 8 Willie Milner, 9 Paddy Kelly, 10 Cian Reynolds (0-2), 11 Rory Woods (0-1), 12 Danny Sullivan, 13 Dan Doona (0-1), 14 Kenny O’Connor, 15 Donal Hartnett (0-1). Subs: Ray O’Connor (0-2).
Cork: 1 Darren O’Mahoney, 2 Paddy Harrington, 3 Gary Hanley, 4 Sean McNamee, 5 Eoin Dillon (0-2), 6 Alan Raferty, 7 Eoin McHugh (0-1), 8 Conor Brophy, 9 Rory Stafford (0-1), 10 Francie Cleary, 11 Jason Kelly (0-5), 12 Aiden Walsh (0-3), 13 Mickey Lenaghan (0-2), 14 Gary Lowney (1-1), 15 Peter Hatzer. Subs: Gerald McCarthy (1-1), Tadhg Foley (0-1), Tom Hardwick (0-1), Brian Argue (0-1).
Man of the match: Mickey Lenaghan (Cork).
Referee: Lawrence McGrath.
Farrell Leads Tyrone Home - Tyrone 3-11 Armagh 0-8
THE final game of the day on Sunday’s card failed to live up to its billing. Tyrone’s senior football victory was built on a dominating first half performance when they only allowed one point from Armagh while slotting 1-5 at the offensive end.
Niall Farrell was the scorer-in-chief, but he did have a capable partner in the full forward line in David Morgan.
The sides were level after two minutes with a point apiece, but that was the last occasion that it would occur over the hour. The Armagh score came from Paddy King, a 55 yard towering kick. It was a lone highlight on what was a dismal outing for the side.
Farrell had three frees over the next 17 minutes and also fired in a goal from play for good measure when he was set up by Mickey Coleman and Morgan.
The Armagh defense was fighting as hard as it could and indeed kept the scoreline to a moderate level in fairness. It was the countless runs up the wings from Dan Jackson, Ciaran Quelly and Coleman that were tough to control.