Updated: March 27th, 2023

Allianz FL: Late Cork goal denies Derry victory

A late Cork comeback at Páirc Uí Chaoimh ensured the points were shared in Derry’s final group game of the 2023 Football League campaign.

Courtesy of GAA.ie

Cork 1-14 Derry 1-14

Cork summoned a remarkable eight-point comeback to end Derry’s perfect winning streak, with Ian Maguire’s 78th-minute goal snatching a draw.

The seven added minutes were just up when Cian Kiely lofted in a high ball and the Cork midfielder was credited with the final touch to the net.

Cork had been down to 14 men for that final minute, with Luke Fahy black-carded. It could even have been a goal at the other end only for Mícheál Aodh Martin to make a crucial charge off the line to deny Shane McGuigan before Cork worked the ball down field.

They outscored the table-toppers by 1-6 to 0-1 in the final 24 minutes and their place in the Sam Maguire top-16 looks secure as they clinched fourth place in the table.

Derry were already booked in for their Division 2 final at Croke Park, with Dublin providing the opposition, although Chrissy McKaigue limping off with an ankle injury provides Rory Gallagher with some concern.

There were late switches on either side; Kevin O’Donovan, Killian O’Hanlon, and Mattie Taylor in for Cork, while Ethan Doherty started for Derry.

There was a total of seven changes for the visitors from their victory over Clare, which secured top spot. Cork had more to play for, seeking to mitigate against the threat of being knocked down into the Tailteann Cup by any surprise provincial finalists.

Despite their reshuffled pack, Derry started the brighter. They had three early wides, including a fluffed McGuigan goal opportunity, but still struck five of the first six points.

Pádraig Cassidy and Niall Toner were prominent in creating chances, with the latter adding three first-half points of his own. McGuigan added another trio (two from play).

Cork earned some big chances from kick-outs. First, Colm O’Callaghan booted their opener after winning possession.

They had a goal chance shortly after but Ruairí Deane didn’t take the risk of lobbing the wandering Derry goalie and with the three-on-two still on, his handpass didn’t connect with its target and bobbled harmlessly wide.

They traded points for much of the half, with Chris Óg Jones’ long-range missile the highlight.

Brendan Rogers scored one and set up another for Shea Downey as they led 0-9 to 0-4 but Gareth McKinless was black-carded in the 32nd minute and Cork closed with a pair of Steven Sherlock frees.

After the break, Cork squandered their man advantage until McKinless’s return. Derry got the only point of that period, through Lachlan Murray.

Seán Powter did carve out a fine goal chance for Sherlock but he went for power over precision and Ryan Scullion made the save.

They too often gifted Derry pockets of space and Gallagher’s men made it four on the trot with Pádraig McGrogan, McGuigan, and Doherty benefitting. 0-13 to 0-6 now.

O’Hanlon and Sherlock produced the Cork response with two points but Derry struck back on 53 minutes. Taylor blocked Doherty’s point effort and it fell kindly for Murray, with Downey eventually finishing to the net after a goalmouth scramble.

The game appeared over. It was anything but. Derry relaxed and Cork finally showed some pace, urgency, and directness.

Scullion produced a superb one-handed reaction save from Conor Corbett but the substitute helped to turn the game.

They knocked over six points in a row to reduce the gap to two, with Corbett (0-3), Kevin O’Donovan, Colm O’Callaghan, and O’Hanlon (0-1 each) leading the way.

McGuigan extended the gap to three but there were seven minutes added on. Cork needed every last one of them and a few extra seconds too.

Scorers for Cork: Steven Sherlock 0-4 (4f); Ian Maguire 1-0;Conor Corbett 0-3 (1f); Colm O’Callaghan, Kevin O’Donovan, Killian O’Hanlon 0-2 each; Chris Óg Jones 0-1.

Scorers for Derry: Shea Downey 1-1; Shane McGuigan 0-4 (1f); Niall Toner 0-3; Ethan Doherty 0-2; Pádraig McGrogan, Paul Cassidy, Brendan Rogers, Lachlan Murray 0-1 each.

CORK: Mícheál Aodh Martin; Kevin O’Donovan, Seán Meehan, Tommy Walsh; Luke Fahy, Rory Maguire, Mattie Taylor; Colm O’Callaghan, Ian Maguire; Brian O’Driscoll, Killian O’Hanlon, Ruairí Deane; Chris Óg Jones, Seán Powter, Steven Sherlock. Subs: Conor Corbett for Sherlock (54), John O’Rourke for Jones (55), Mark Cronin for O’Driscoll (58), Cian Kiely for Taylor (58), Paul Walsh for O’Hanlon (70+6).

DERRY: Ryan Scullion; Paul McNeill, Pádraig McGrogan, Conor McCluskey; Shea Downey, Gareth McKinless, Pádraig Cassidy; Paul Cassidy, Brendan Rogers; Ben McCarron, Niall Toner, Ethan Doherty; Matthew Downey, Shane McGuigan, Lachlan Murray. Subs: Conor Glass for McCarron (40), Chrissy McKaigue for McNeill (54), Conleth McGuckian for M Downey (55), Conor Doherty for McKaigue (60 inj), Declan Cassidy for Murray (64).

Referee: Anthony Nolan (Wicklow).