All Ireland SFC final: Cork 0-16 Down 0-15 as it happened
With Conor Hogan
Wrap up: After losing two of the previous three All-Irelands, Cork finally and deservedly win their first All-Ireland since 1990. Down were the better team in the first half, but Cork showed great charachter in the second half, and the introduction of Graham Canty made a difference.
In the end, the difference was Cork's domination of possession (they won three times the amount of kick-outs that Down did). Down were living off scraps in the second half, and did exceptionally to stay within a point of Cork by the end. Despite the best efforts of Marty Clarke and Benny Coulter, Down's fairytale at Croke Park ends.
Thanks very much for joining us today.
Across the channel, Man City are defeating Wigan 2-0 and Chelsea are winning 4-0 against Blackpool.
"Our guiding light, our general, our chief, is the one and only Conor Counihan," Canty adds. "He leaves no stone unturned. He's never gone, he's never beaten, and he's always back again."
Graham Canty lifts the Sam Maguire over his head. "We suffered disappointment and heartache and a few other things throughout the last few years. But we showed true character to come back and try and win it again here today," he says.
Cork win the ball back, Goulding is fouled and Cork have a free. Goulding plays the free in, it doesn't go over but David Coldrick blows his whistle. The match is over. Cork are the victors. Down's unbeaten record in finals is over.
Goulding plays the ball in, it drops short, McVeigh catches it and is fouled.
There will be two minutes of injury time. Marty Clarke plays in a sideline, and Danny Hughes fists it over the bar for Down. Cork lead by the narrowest of margins.
A long ball is played into Coulter, who catches, turns and shoots. The ball goes over the bar. Great play.
Ronan Murtagh immediately responds for Down, with a nice point. Cork almost had a goal, but Brendan McVeigh makes a good save from Colm O'Neill and the ball is scrambled away for a 45. Cork might have had a penalty, as it seemed like O'Neill was fouled. Daniel Goulding converts the 45, and Cork are ahead by three.
Donnach O'Connor has an attempt from far out and near the endline and it goes over. Amazing point.
Cork are playing keep ball, and lose the ball to Benny Coulter. The ball is played into Peter Fitzpatrick, who scores the point. The Rebels deserved to be punished there for messing about like that.
Cork win two 45s in quick succession. Daniel Goulding converts both of them, and Cork are in a strong position now.
A long ball is played into Donnacha O'Connor, who makes the catch and is fouled. The Ballydesmond man converts the free. Paul Kerrigan then scores a point for Cork to put them ahead.
Down played a couple of nervous handpasses in or around the square, but thankfully, for them, it didn't cost Down.
Down respond wonderfully. Mark Poland plays a great pass to Kevin McKernan, and the centre-half-back floats the ball over the bar. A hell of a game this has turned out to be.
Benny Coulter runs inside the Cork defenders, only to be dispossessed. The ball is cleared. At the other end, Ciaran Sheehan takes a shot from an acute angle. It flies over the bar, and Cork are level. They have the momentum.
A long ball is played into Donnacha O'Connor, who scores a terrific point; his third of the game. Daniel Goulding then gets his sixth point of the game and Cork are only a point behind. Murphy and Canty have made a hell of a difference since they've come on, and it looks ominous that Cork will take control.
Ã‰ire Ã“g's Daniel Goulding pops over his fifth point of the afternoon. Within a minute, however, Mark Poland scores the point of the game to increase the gap to a goal again. It was reminiscent of Benny Coulter's wonderpoint against Kildare on half time.
Conor Counihan is playing his trump card, and brings on Graham Canty for Paudie Kissane. A risky move with nearly half an hour left to play.
Down goalkeeper Brendan McVeigh gives away a needless after fouling Alan Sheehan. The resulting free is converted by Goulding.
Paul McComiskey goes for a point, but his attempt hits the post. A minute later, McComiskey makes no mistake and puts Down ahead by four. Great play by Danny Hughes in the build-up.
Nicholas Murphy makes an immediate impact by winding Down's Peter Fitzpatrick. He's back on his feet, however.
The ball is thrown in again by referee David Coldrick. A change at half time for Cork. Nicholas Murphy comes on for Alan O'Connor.
Cork started the first half like a juggernaut, and should have been four points up in the first four minutes. Following that, however, Down took complete control of the match. Joe Brolly makes the point at half time that Cork have won 17 kick-outs to Down's six, and as such should be way ahead. Down are playing all the football, however, and might even be disappointed to be only three points ahead.
Daniel Goulding's attempt at a 45 dropped into the hands of Daniel Gordon. It was the last kick of the half.
Donnacha O'Connor, who was given the freedom of Croke Park, kicked the ball towards the posts, on the turn, and his shot went over the bar for Cork.
A long ball was played into Benny Coulter which the Mayobridge man wins fantastically. The Cork defenders have little choice but to foul him, and Marty Clarke taps over the resulting free.
Daniel Goulding gets Cork's first point from play from distance after nearly 32 minutes. Cork don't deserve to be anywhere near Down with the way they've played, yet there is only a kick of the ball between them.
Donnacha O'Connor has a free from just in front of the post for Cork. It just about drifts over. Still down by four, however.
John Clarke played a ball in for Down, which Alan Quirke had to fist out of play for a Down 45. Marty Clarke, surprisingly, puts it to the right and wide.
Cork are struggling to make any ground, and are repeatedly pushed further and further back as they try to go forward. John Miskella has an attempt from far out that couldn't have possibly gone wider. At the other end, Danny Hughes had a chance at goal, but played the percentages and fisted the ball off the bar and over.
Aghada's Pearse Oâ€™Neill hits Cork's fourth wide of the game. It was a difficult chance; the Rebels are living off scraps at the moment.
Aidan Walsh plays the ball into Paul Kerrigan who struggles to keep the ball on the pitch. The ball is played in, but Down defend brilliantly and win possession.
Canty's replacement John Miskella has a shot that floats straight into Brendan McVeigh. peter Fitzpatrick plays a great ball to Paul McComiskey, who shows Miskella how it's done and pops it over the bar. Down are comfortable at the moment.
Marty Clarke makes no mistake from a free, to put Down up again. The Ulstermen immediately gain hold of the ball again from Quirke's kick-out, and Marty's brother John Clarke punishes the Rebels. Marty Clarke adds another to increase the gap to a goal.
Paul Kerrigan pulls a 40-yard attempt 50 yards wide, but makes up for that miss by winning a free. Daniel Goulding puts over his second free of the match to level up the match.
Dundrum's Paul McComiskey gets his first point to give Down the lead. Danny Hughes then pulls one badly wide for Down's fourth wide. Cork started the first few minutes in the ascendancy, but now haven't scored for nine minutes.
Third wide for Down, Benny Coulter's long range shot goes to the left. Encouraging signs for Down in the last few minute, however.
The rain has made the surface difficult to play on; players on both teams are slipping all over the place. Paul McComiskey has an attempt from an acute angle, but it goes just to the right and wide.
Marty Clarke plays the ball across to Danny Hughes, whose 40-yard shot drops perfectly over the bar. Down are level; the point should calm them down.
Benny Coulter has the first attempt for Down, but it drifts badly wide. Cork are completely dominating so far.
Cork should have had a goal, Ciaran Sheehan had a shot that was brilliantly save by McVeigh. Cork eventually win a free, and Daniel Goulding puts it over.
The ball is thrown in. Alan O'Connor has the first chance for Cork but he pulls it horribly wide from in front of the post.
Joe Brolly reckons Down will win the game, barring unforseen circumstances. Spillane and O'Rourke go for Cork.
Graham Canty has his gum-shield in. It would be a shock if he starts, however. President Mary McAleese walks onto the pitch to meet the players. Less than ten minutes to go now.
Liverpool had pulled level with Man United thanks to two goals from Steven Gerard. United, who have a habit of blowing leads lately, have gone ahead once again, however, as Berbatov has completed his hattrick.
â€œAgainst Dublin there was definitely improvement, although if we play like we did that day, we probably wonâ€™t win an All-Ireland. Despite that, weâ€™re still confident enough of getting a result in the final,â€ Cork midfielder Nicholas Murphy said to JOE in an interview this week. Marty Morrissey has confirmed that Cork's Graham Canty will not be starting. John Miskella will take his place.
RTE commentary legend MÃcheal Ã“ Muircheartaigh is presented with a painting on the pitch by the GAA. Today will be his final All-Ireland final broadcast on RTE radio, as the 80-year-old Kerryman is retiring, after 61 years. JOE pays tribute to Ã“ Muircheartaigh, and compile some of his best quotes. Click here to read them.
JOE's Ciaran Whelan see's it differently to Conor Heneghan, however. "I expect Cork to learn a lot from the semi-final, though, and if they can play a bit more direct and avoid the sort of slow, lateral, monotonous approach play they got sucked into against Dublin, they should do enough to win," he writes. To read the former Dublin footballers All-Ireland preview column click here.
"Only Kerry (18) have lost more All-Ireland football finals than Cork (16), but folk in the kingdom can at least console themselves with the fact that they have won the Sam Maguire 36 times, whereas Cork have only won it on six occasions.
"Corkâ€™s dismal record in All-Ireland finals is in stark contrast to the fortunes of their opponents on Sunday, who, as has been well documented, have won every one of the five All-Ireland deciders they have appeared in, a statistic that seems to contradict the well-worn adage that to win an All-Ireland title, you have to lose one first."
JOE's Conor Heneghan reckons Down's self belief should edge the match in their favour. To read his preview of the All-Ireland final click here.
I will also be keeping an eye on the scores in 'the foreign game' across the channel. Celtic came back from a goal down to defeat Kilmarnock 2-1 in Rugby Park. The Bhoys goalscorers were their Irish striking duo of Daryl Murphy and Anthony Stokes. Manchester United are currently leading Liverpool 2-0 thanks to two-goals from last year's scapegoat extraordinaire Dimitar Berbatov. Liverpool have been very poor.
In the minor final today, Tyrone prevailed by a mere point, defeating Cork 1-13 to 1-12, in a terrific match. Tyrone were seven points ahead at one stage, but the Rebels doggedly fought back.
Down name an unchanged team from the one that defeated Kildare. James McCartan has made one positional change, though. Benny Coulter will start the game at left half forward, with Paul McComiskey occupying Coulterâ€™s usual position of right corner forward. Captain Ambrose Rogers, who is still struggling with a knee injury, will start from the bench.
Conor Counihan has made one change to the side that defeated Dublin in the semi-final with Cadogan replacing John Miskella in the full back line. Ray Carey will switch to left corner back to allow Cadogan to start in the right corner. Although named in the team, captain Graham Canty's participation is by no means a certainty. He has been struggling with a hamstring injury and faces a late fitness test.
Cork: A Quirke; E Cadogan, M Shields, R Carey; N Oâ€™Leary, G Canty (capt.), P Kissane; A Oâ€™Connor, A Walsh; C Sheehan, P Oâ€™Neill, P Kelly; D Goulding, D Oâ€™Connor, P Kerrigan.
Down: B McVeigh; D McCartan, D Gordon, D Rafferty; D Rooney, K McKernan, C Garvey; P Fitzpatrick, K King; D Hughes, M Poland, B Coulter; P McComiskey, J Clarke, M Clarke.