Gallery: An agonising defeat for Dublin as Cork win a breathtaking semi-final
This game was almost impossible to call given how close the two teams were, but few could have predicted just how exciting the game would turn out to be
It was breathless from start to finish, as the two teams traded points for the entire first half, and even when Dublin went ahead through a great goal from Davis Treacy, who kicked the ball into the back of the net, Cork refused to let up.
Every time it looked as though Dublin would pull away Cork pegged them back, and the same happened in the second half, with the roles reversed. In particular some great points from Danny Sutcliffe from a very tight angle for Dublin, and consistent scoring from Pat Horgan for Cork.
The turning point was perhaps the sending off of Ryan O'Dwyer for a second yellow, and while Dublin showed great heart to stay in contention in the minutes immediately afterwards, the pace of playing the game a man down told towards the end as Cork had just enough in the tank to start to build a lead.
The sides were level fifteen times in the game, even after Dublin had been reduced to 14 men, and they were lucky not to be down to 13 after Liam Rushe seemed to strike out with the hurl in the second half.
Cork scored in the 65th minute after a loose bit of goalkeeping from Gary Maguire saw the ball knicked off his hurl and turned into the net by Pat Horgan. That proved to be the difference maker as Dublin couldn't claw it back, despite having a good opportunity from a free with just 30 seconds left of normal time.
Truly today neither team deserved to lose this epic battle, but in a breathless Croke Park in front of over 60,000, a match that will be remembered for a long time took place which itself would have been worthy of the final. Cork emerged victorious by a score of 1-24 to 1-19, but the standard has been set for the final games of this year's All-Ireland to live up to.