Fourteen man Dublin bowed out this years senior hurling championship despite an heroic effort in the second half against Cork in Pairc Ui Rinn this evening.
Dublin were a man down and two points behind at the break and had it all to do in the second period. Chris Crummey received his marching orders late in the first half after he received a second yellow for his second reckless foul.
Dublin though pulled the socks up and put in a trojan effort in the second half with Cork unable to shake them off. The Dubs created to goal chances early in second half but failed to take either, with Anthony Nash making a good save from a Mark Schutte effort.
A couple of fine points from Niall McMorrow and a David Treacy free kept Dublin in touch. With twenty minutes to go there was still only two points between the teams and the game was still there for the taking.
Dublin overturned a Cork possession and U21 star Chris Bennett who had an excellent game raced towards goal and offloaded the ball to Eamon Dillion to his left, Dillion took the ball in his stride and buried it to the right hand corner of the net and Dublin led by one.
Cork looked a little rattled but Dublin missed two opportunities to go further ahead and the Rebels made them pay with two quick points from Daniel Kearney and Cadogan to regain the lead.
Further points from Patrick Horgan, Conor Lehane and another from Daniel Kearney pushed Cork four ahead with ten minutes left. But Dublin weren’t finished yet and with four minutes left the sides were level again thanks to some brilliant long range frees from David Treacy and a superb point from Shane Barrett.
Eamon Dillion had the chance to put Dublin in front but his point effort just went the wrong side of the post. But back came Cork and two quick points from Bill Cooper and Conor Lehane gave them a little breathing space with time running out.
A David Treacy free put the bare minimum between the sides, but Cork rounded of the scoring with two points a minute apart, scored by Cadogan and Horgan and they held on for a hard fought three point win.
Dublin will be very disappointed to have bowed out of the championship at this early stage, but they gave it their all tonight and no one could complain about their work rate which was phenomenal, particularly being a man light for a large portion of the game.
It will be back to the drawing board now for Ger Cunningham and the job now will be to build again for next season, bring a couple more of the U21’s into the senior setup and hopefully get Danny Sutcliffe back into the squad.
P Horgan 0-12 (Eight Frees)
A Cadogan 1-05
C Lehane 0-03
D Kearney 0-02
W Egan 0-01
B Cooper 0-01
L O’Farrell 0-01
B Lawton 0-01
Cork Team: A Nash, M Ellis, D Cahalane, K Burke, A Walsh, C Joyce, C Murphy,
W Egan, B Cooper, L O’Farrell, S Harnedy (Capt), J Cronin, A Cadogan, P Horgan, C Lehane
Substitutes: C O’Sullivan for Murphy (half-time), D Kearney for Cronin (45 mins), B Lawton for Egan (48 mins), L McLoughlin for Burke (65 mins), S Kingston for Harnedy (67 mins).
D Treacy 0-09 (Seven Frees, one ’65)
C Bennett 0-04
P Ryan 0-04 (Four Frees)
E Dillon 1-00
N McMorrow 0-02
S Barrett 0-02
C Crummey 0-01
J McCaffrey 0-01
Dublin Team: G Maguire; E O’Donnell, C O’Callaghan, J Madden; C Crummey, L Rushe (capt), S Barrett, N McMorrow, J McCaffrey, D Treacy, R O’Dwyer, E Dillon, P Ryan, C Bennett, M Schutte.
Substitutes: N Corcoran for Madden (half-time), S Treacy for Ryan (43 mins), D O’Connell for McCaffrey (45 mins), D Plunkett for C Bennett (65 mins).
Referee: P O’Dwyer (Carlow).