Donegal beat Cork 0-21 to 1-15 in qualifier helped by 11 Paddy McBrearty points

Cork's Peter Kelleher and Donegal's Eamon McGee
Cork led by five after 20 minutes but Donegal regrouped to set up a quarter-final against champions Dublin

Paddy McBrearty hit 11 points as Donegal came from five down to beat Cork and set up an All-Ireland Football quarter-final against Dublin next week.

Cork's early running caused Donegal problems and the Rebels led by five on 17 minutes when Paul Kerrigan netted.

However, Donegal regrouped to lead within 15 minutes helped by McBrearty's stunning exhibition of scores.

Cork regained the lead by the break but Donegal's greater composure in the second period proved the difference.

Points from wing-backs Tom Clancy and Kevin O'Driscoll exemplified Cork's early vigour with only McBrearty's superb scoring keeping Donegal in touch as their defence looked decidedly shaky.

Paul Kerrigan celebrates after scoring his 17th-minute goal for Cork
Paul Kerrigan's goal put Cork five ahead at Croke Park

Cork punch holes in Donegal's defence early on

Cork were having little difficulty in punching holes in Donegal's defence and the inevitable goal arrived in the 17th minute as Kerrigan stepped inside Neil McGee and rifled to the root after being set up by Tomas Clancy.

To their credit, Donegal responded by hitting seven of the next eight scores in a 15-minute period with the McHugh cousins Eoin and Ryan, Michael Murphy and Karl Lacey finally getting in on the scoring act alongside the on-form McBrearty.

McBrearty was tormenting Eoin Cadogan from the off and it seemed strange that the Cork management opted some 28 minutes to make a switch as Tom Clancy was delegated to pick up the Kilcar man.

Points from Tom Clancy and Donnacha O'Connor helped Cork edge 1-9 to 0-11 ahead by the interval but there was the suspicion that the Rebels had let Donegal off the hook.

The two defences tightened up after half-time and the shackles contributed to a number of wides at both ends.

Donegal shut down game in closing stages

With Colm O'Neill and Paddy Kelly now introduced for Cork, the Rebels led by two after 50 minutes after successive points by Clancy and O'Neill.

However, a silly foul by Cadogan gifted McBrearty his ninth point and Eoin McHugh levelled proceedings in the 54th minute.

The remainder of the contest saw Cork struggling to breach Donegal's massed defence, with the Ulster champions breaking at pace to set up scores after the inevitable turnovers.

McBrearty's 11th and final point was arguably his best as he ran onto Murphy's quick free although he blotted his copy book in the closing seconds as he received a black card on top of his earlier yellow which meant Donegal ended the game with 14 players.

Donegal's defensive struggles for much of the contest means that few will give much chance of upsetting champions Dublin next weekend but that was also the case two years ago when Jim McGuinness masterminded a shock semi-final triumph over the then All-Ireland holders.

Donegal: MA McGinley; P McGrath, N McGee, E McGee; R McHugh, K Lacey, F McGlynn; R Kavanagh, M McElhinney; A Thompson, O MacNiallais, E McHugh; P McBrearty, M Murphy, M O'Reilly.

Cork: R Price; C O'Driscoll, E Cadogan, S Cronin; T Clancy, T Clancy, K O'Driscoll; A O'Connor, I Maguire; P Kerrigan, D O'Connor, M Collins; S Powter, P Kelleher, M Hurley.

WEEKEND FIXTURES

SATURDAY

All-Ireland SFC Round 4B Qualifiers

Donegal 0-21 1-15 Cork

Mayo 3-15 1-14 Westmeath

All-Ireland MFC Quarter-Final

Donegal 2-13 0-13 Cork

SUNDAY

All-Ireland SFC Quarter-Finals

Kerry v Clare, Croke Park, 14:00

Galway v Tipperary, Croke Park, 16:00

All-Ireland MFC Quarter-Final

Kerry 1-24 2-10 Derry

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