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IT Sun, Aug 26
 

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  • 14:48
    There may be tall ships in Dublin this weekend but in GAA terms two giants will be battling to reach the All-Ireland senior football final. Cork play Donegal for the right to face either Dublin or Mayo in the All-Ireland final on September 23rd at Croke Park

    Donegal survived a late Kerry comeback in the quarter-finals while Cork blew Kildare away to book their place in the semi-final and confirm their status as favourites for Sam Maguire. Both sides have notoriously mean defences but criticism that Donegal were too negative last year has subsided in 2012 as they have added more attacking options to their panel. Here’s hoping it won’t be the low-scoring affair that many pundits have predicted.

    It should be tense. It should be tight and conditions couldn’t be better for a fantastic game of football at Headquarters. So don’t go anywhere. I’m Ciaran Daly and I want you all to get involved with your predictions, comments and (most of all) terrible puns. Can the Ulster champions put a ‘Cork’ in the Rebels’ progress or will it be a ‘galling’ afternoon for Jim McGuinness’ charges?   Stay tuned to find out.


    All-Ireland senior football championship semi-final
    Donegal v Cork – Croke Park (3.30pm)
       
  • 14:49
    All-Ireland minor football championship semi-final

    Full-time: Meath 2-10 Mayo 1-11
  • 14:56
    That was a cracking end to the minor semi-final. There were two Meath goals in the last five minutes. The first goal was a penalty after Mayo’s Adam Gallagher was harshly adjudged to have committed a foot block. Fiachra Ward scored the penalty. Just. It wasn’t the cleanest of strikes but the important thing from a Meath perspective was that it crossed the line. 

    Paddy Kennelly then stabbed in from close range to put Meath three points in front with precious little time remaining.

    Meath may have left it late but they were worth their victory. They spurned a lot of goal-scoring chances in the first half and Mayo offered little in the second. It means that Meath will face either Dublin or Kerry in the decider on September 23rd at Croke Park.
  • 14:57
    Mayo had a barren spell of over 26 minutes in the second half.
  • 14:59
    Before we get to the senior semi-final, take some time to watch Donal Óg Cusack’s inspirational speech at the launch of Foyle Pride 2012.

    “I’m not just from Cloyne, not just from Cork, not just a hurler. Not just a gay man. Like everybody in this room I’m the sum total of many, many things and that’s how I want to be judged. That to me is what pride is about.”
  • 15:00
  • 15:02
    The last time the team that knocked Kerry out of the Championship didn’t go on to reach the All-Ireland final was 1995. Who was the team that didn’t reach the final after eliminating the Kingdom then? Cork…
  • 15:03
    Cork are favourites to progress today. Read why that is here - http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/sport/2012/0825/1224322965500.html
  • 15:06
    We’re long overdue a draw in a big Championship game, aren’t we? Think today’s going to produce a draw ? Put your money where your mouth is – you’ll get odds of around 15/2 for a draw.
  • 15:08
    Jim McGuinness is the José Mourinho apparently. Donegal fans love him so much they write songs about him no matter where they are in the world. Check it out.
  • 15:09
  • 15:12
    Cork fans are fond of their manager too. Want to know more about Conor Counihan? Read this.
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/sport/2012/0825/1224322964204.html
  • 15:15
  • 15:15
    A banner at Croker today reads, ‘Brolly loves Spillane.’ Joe insists he doesn’t love Spillane but he does worship him. Pat isn’t returning the compliment. Oh the pain of unrequited love.
  • 15:17
    Shay Given may have retired from international football but he’ll never stop supporting Donegal it seems.
  • 15:17
  • 15:18
    Apparently neither Ray Carey nor Nicholas Murphy will start for Cork.
  • 15:19
    Darragh Ó’Sé thinks this afternoon’s semi-final may be too close to call –
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/sport/2012/0822/1224322660760.html
  • 15:21
    Who’s going to win this afternoon and who do the neutrals want to win this afternoon?
  • 15:25
    CORK: A Quirke; N O’Leary, M Shields, E Cadogan; P Kissane, G Canty, F Goold; A O’Connor, A Walsh; C Sheehan, P Kelly, P Kerrigan; C O’Neill, D OConnor, D Goulding.

    DONEGAL:
    P Durcan; P McGrath, N McGee, F McGlynn; E McGee, K Lacey, A Thompson; N Gallagher, R Kavanagh; R Bradley, L McLoone, M McHugh; P McBrearty, M Murphy, C McFadden.
  • 15:25
    Cork’s line-up is incredibly attacking.
  • 15:27
    Donegal’s full forward line is fantastic but whoever wins possession around midfield may have the advantage here.
  • 15:28
    I think Cork may just edge it but I want Donegal to do it. There. That’s all bases covered.
  • 15:29
    Aidan Walsh was Cork’s best player against Kildare. Donegal simply cannot allow him to have any space to run into this afternoon.
  • 15:30
    We’re minutes away from the throw-in. Will we be watching the two best teams in the country play this afternoon? Dubs might have something to say about that of course...but then again, when don't Dubs have something to say for themselves?
  • 15:31
    We’re off!
  • 15:33
    Early free in for Donegal. They should go in front here. It’s already a very tactical game.
  • 15:33
    Murphy converts. Donegal 0-1 Cork 0-0
  • 15:33
  • 15:33
  • 15:36
    Donegal do seem to attract criticism for being ‘too tactical.’ But until recent years wasn’t it the case that ‘hunger’ and ‘desire’ were the only tools available to players?
  • 15:37
    Kerrigan levels things up for Cork.
  • 15:37
  • 15:37
  • 15:38
    Cork are in front. Their forwards are so quick and when they run directly into the opposition half they’re almost impossible to stop.
  • 15:39
    McFadden converts Donegal’s second free. We’re level again.
  • 15:40
  • 15:41
    Neither team really on top after 10 minutes.
  • 15:42
    Donegal’s first score from play. McFadden points it.
  • 15:42
  • 15:43
    Michael Murphy is sitting on the edge of the square and is proving to be an excellent target man. He set up the last point.
  • 15:44
    Goulding converts a free for Cork and now it’s 0-3 apiece after 13 minutes.
  • 15:44
  • 15:45
    Both sets of players involved in some off the ball stuff. Not as bad as the Kilkenny and Tipp lads last Sunday but the game doesn’t need any of it.
  • 15:47
    Both sides appear deliberate in their build up but then an injection of pace ensues and we see scores. It’s an intriguing game.
  • 15:49
    Mark McHugh has an identical twin, right? One person can’t have already covered that much ground?
  • 15:49
    Michael Murphy has put Donegal back in front.
  • 15:50
    All but one of Donegal’s four scores have come from free kicks.
  • 15:50
  • 15:51
    Ciarán Sheehan has levelled for Cork with a fisted point. Nearly 20 minutes gone at this stage. Both teams have scored 0-4
  • 15:52
    Donegal’s defence has been superb. Just when Patrick Kelly looked like he had shaken his marker off three Donegal players harried him out of possession.
  • 15:53
    Michael Murphy is limping.
  • 15:53
    Cork have had two bad wides in the last two minutes. Donegal have hit three wides to Cork’s four in the first 23 minutes.
  • 15:54
    Donegal dispossessed Cork in midfield and a short burst and fantastic shot from Rory Kavanagh has put the Ulster champions in front.
  • 15:55
    Cork respond immediately. Colm O’Neill with the score.
  • 15:55
  • 15:57
    26 mins - Colm O’Neill puts Cork in front. Cork 0-6 Donegal 0-5
  • 15:57
  • 15:58
    Karl Lacey has levelled for Donegal.
  • 15:58
  • 15:59
    Cork may not be able to penetrate the Donegal defence directly but the running of the Cork half forwards is sucking Donegal defenders out of position and creating space for the Cork full forwards
  • 15:59
  • 16:00
    Ciarán Sheehan’s last point was a phenomenal score.
  • 16:00
    Donegal sub: David Walsh on for Ryan Bradley
  • 16:01
    David Walsh scores with his first touch. It’s Donegal 0-7 Cork 0-7
  • 16:01
  • 16:02
    Aidan Walsh has hit two wides in the last three minutes. He certainly hasn’t been as imposing a figure in the first half today as he was against Kildare in the quarter-finals.
  • 16:04
    Donegal have hit more foot passes than Cork. No doubt Pat Spillane will point that out at half-time...
  • 16:05
  • 16:05
    When Cork’s attacks break down Mark McHugh is invariably the man to lead the ball out of defence for Donegal. And now he’s just pointed for Donegal. They lead 0-8 to 0-7
  • 16:06
    Arguably the most intriguing battle today has been the one happening between Paddy Kelly and Karl Lacey.
  • 16:07
    Poor wide from Murphy. That was definitely one that should have been over. McBrearty’s pass in the build-up was cleverly disguised.
  • 16:07
  • 16:08
    Half-time: Donegal 0-8 Cork 0-7
  • 16:08
    That was a fascinating half of football. It was exciting too. Plenty of good attacking bursts from both teams.
  • 16:10
    Fintan Goold is perhaps the only player struggling for Cork. Ryan Bradley failed to make an impact from a Donegal perspective and was duly substituted.
  • 16:11
    All to play for in the second half. Anyone care to make a prediction for the second half? You’d need to be brave to do that this afternoon.
  • 16:19
  • 16:20
    Donegal have scored more in the first half of this year’s semi-final than they did during the whole of last year’s semi.
  • 16:21
    Neil Gallagher has dominated at midfield for Donegal.
  • 16:23
    Today’s attendance: 55,169
  • 16:24
  • 16:25
    Joe Brolly: “If Donegal score a goal it’s like any other team scoring three goals.”
  • 16:26
    Cork substitute: Pearse O’Neill replaces Fintan Goold
  • 16:27
    That substitution will probably mean Patrick Kelly moves to half back.
  • 16:27
    The second half is underway.
  • 16:28
    Can he or Canty? Cork captain hits Cork’s first wide of the second half.
  • 16:29
    Neil Gallagher has plucked another ball from the ether. Fantastic catch.
  • 16:29
    Colm McFadden is the first player to see yellow for a foul on Canty.
  • 16:30
    Cork have now hit two wides in the second half. That’s their eighth wide in total.
  • 16:31
    McFadden with a gem of a point.
  • 16:32
  • 16:32
    Aidan Walsh is booked for a late tackle on David Walsh.
  • 16:33
    Frank McGlynn, Donegal corner back has scored Donegal’s second point of the second half. Donegal 0-10 Cork 0-7
  • 16:33
  • 16:34
  • 16:35
  • 16:35
    Karl Lacey has now scored a point in each half. Donegal have been excellent in the second half.
  • 16:36
    43 mins – Donegal 0-11 Cork 0-7
  • 16:36
    Aidan Walsh scores his first point of the semi-final. Donegal 0-11 Cork 0-8
  • 16:36
  • 16:38
    Anthony Thompson points for Donegal soccer style. Rory Kavanagh broke through. There was a chance of a goal but Donegal will happily settle for a point.
  • 16:38
    Colm O’Neill hits the crossbar!
  • 16:38
  • 16:39
    O’Neill prevented a shot that was going wide from crossing the line and cut inside and hit the bar. Donegal broke quickly and McFadden missed an easy chance for a point.
  • 16:39
    Ciarán Sheehan reduces the arrears to three points.
  • 16:39
    Cork sub: Denis O’Sullivan replaces Alan O’Connor.
  • 16:40
  • 16:41
    Cork beginning to dominate now but can they make it count on the score-board?
  • 16:42
    Cadogan fouls Murphy. McFadden should convert this one.
  • 16:42
    50 mins – Donegal 0-13 Cork 0-9
  • 16:43
  • 16:45
    Both teams have hit nine wides. Donegal worked that ball into a great position but McBrearty couldn’t apply the finishing touch there.
  • 16:46
    Michael Murphy with a huge free kick from behind the 45 metre line. Donegal 0-14 Cork 0-9
  • 16:46
  • 16:47
    Donegal have a lot of possession. Can Cork force their way back into this?
  • 16:48
    Cork sub: Nicholas Murphy replaces Donnacha O’Connor
  • 16:49
    56 mins - Paul Kerrigan with a great score from play. Donegal 0-14 Cork 0-10
  • 16:49
  • 16:50
    McFadden easily converts a 45. Donegal lead by five.
  • 16:51
  • 16:51
    Donegal sub: Martin McElhinney replaces Rory Kavanagh
  • 16:51
    59 mins – Donegal 0-15 Cork 0-10
  • 16:53
    Less than 10 minutes to go and Donegal lead by five. Can Cork get the goal that they probably need?
  • 16:54
    Graham Canty sees yellow for a cynical foul around midfield.
  • 16:56
    Nicholas Murphy hasn’t had a sniff as yet.
  • 16:56
    Six minutes left. Donegal lead by five points.
  • 16:57
  • 16:57
    64 mins – Colm O’Neill points for Cork. Donegal 0-15 Cork 0-11
  • 16:58
    Nicholas Murphy becomes the third Cork man to be given a yellow card.
  • 16:58
    Remember Kerry nearly clawed back a lead in the last five minutes of the quarter-final? Can Cork do the same?
  • 16:59
    Martin McElhinney has pointed. It’s Donegal 0-16 Cork 0-11
  • 16:59
    Three minutes plus injury time to go.
  • 17:00
    Ciarán Sheehan fires wide. It looks like Donegal will win at this stage.
  • 17:01
    Donegal sub: Declan Walsh replaces Frank McGlynn
  • 17:01
  • 17:02
    An amazing block in the Donegal defence to deny Cork once again!
  • 17:02
    There will be at least three minutes of additional time.
  • 17:04
    GOAL! Colm O’Neill receives a long ball forward and he slots under Durcan. It’s Donegal 0-16 Cork 1-11
  • 17:04
  • 17:04
  • 17:05
    Donegal win!!!
  • 17:06
  • 17:06
    Donegal reach their second All-Ireland final, 20 years after their first.
  • 17:06
    Full-time: Donegal 0-16 Cork 1-11
  • 17:07
    The most important thing about today’s victory for Donegal? I’ve made money. I bet each way on Donegal to win the All-Ireland this year.
  • 17:08
    Donegal fully deserved that. The second half performance was the best football I’ve seen this year.
  • 17:09
  • 17:11
    Can anyone who watched that match say that Donegal weren’t the better team? Forget systems – they were simply the better team throughout.
  • 17:13
    Is it ever fair to give a man-of-the-match award when Donegal win? McHugh, McGlynn, Lacey, Gallagher and Murphy could all justifiably lay claim to the award.
  • 17:14
    Were Cork overawed by Donegal?
  • 17:15
    Cork’s depth has often been cited as one of their strengths. Today the subs introduced for the Rebels were ineffective. Donegal’s substitutes made a difference when they were called upon.
  • 17:15
    José Mourinho could learn a thing or two from Jim McGuinness.
  • 17:16
  • 17:18
    Who are the real winners today? Donegal publicans of course…
  • 17:23
    Rory Kavanagh has written an article. Therein he has stated that he was required to eat eight meals a day to build himself up. It just goes to show that the old GAA adage of a player being ‘hungry’ is nonsense.
  • 17:25
  • 17:39
    SEANCOLUMB HOPE ALL THE COLUMBS IN DONEGAL WERE AT THE GAME IRANG BUT NO ANSWER AT ANY HOUSE CONGRATS_A GREAT WIN IWAS ABASKET CASE AT THE END BEST TO ALL SEAN ///////////////
  • 17:39
    Jim McGuinness spoke about Donegal’s victory. He said:

    “We’re delighted to be in the final. It’s a long long road to get to an All-Ireland final particularly when you start in May in the preliminary round of Ulster. We just hope now that we’ve come this far we can finish the job off in four weeks’ time.”

    McGuinness added: “There are a few things to work on definitely but for the supporters and the players themselves, the key thing was to get over the line and we’ve done that now. We can look forward to a really good focussed month and to the All-Ireland final.”
  • 17:54
    We now know Donegal are in the All-Ireland final.  We also know that it will take something special for Dublin or Mayo to beat them on September 23rd

    Cork were slight favourites coming into today and yet for most of the second half they were outclassed by the Ulster champions in front of a crowd of 55,169 people at Croke Park, the majority of whom had travelled to the capital from Donegal.

    The teams were evenly matched throughout the first half but Donegal edged ahead just before the break and led 0-8 to 0-7 at half-time.

    The beginning of the second half proved to be the beginning of the end for Cork. Points from Colm McFadden, Frank McGlynn and Karl Lacey opened a gap that Cork were never able to close.

    Cork’s attacks were suffocated by a resolute Donegal defence and with Neil Gallagher starring at midfield, Donegal bided their time and selected their shots wisely to wrestle the initiative from Cork.

    An injury time goal from Colm O’Neill caused some concern for Donegal fans in the final seconds but had in reality, it merely served to take the sheen off what was a fairly comprehensive Donegal victory.

    Donegal are through to the All-Ireland final. Who will join them there – Dublin or Cork? Come back here next week to find out the answer.