Cork in right zone as Dublin exit
Cork 1-24: Dublin 1-19: Composure. Lack of it and a surplus of it.
That, in microcosm, was the story of this All-Ireland semi-final, with Dublin failing to land a place in the showpiece day, while Cork lived up to that old, tattered maxim that they spring up overnight like mushrooms.
It all hung in the balance until Ryan O'Dwyer's rash and high challenge on Lorcan McLoughlin in the 49th minute.
Added to his yellow card in the second minute, it left the task facing the Dubs insurmountable.
Dublin manager Anthony Daly was rueful afterwards about the red card, musing: "The ref put himself under pressure from the first yellow.
"The second one was a free and a yellow, I think Ryan will admit that straight away, but I was right behind the first one.
"It was Conor Lehane and himself going shoulder-to-shoulder and like, how is that a yellow card?
"But if you are dishing out one of them after a minute ... "
Upon the numerical difference, Cork played it smart, stacking the defence with two sweepers, withdrawing their half-forward line out of sight while retaining a dangerous full-forward line.
Even for that, Dublin had to keep driving on and playing with aggression. It led to a wild pull from the otherwise brilliant Liam Rushe across the body of Pa Horgan, and he was lucky that referee James Owens awarded only a yellow card.
A Paul Ryan free left a mere point in it with six minutes left, until a looping delivery inside by Pa Cronin bounced in no-man's land.
Gary Maguire came out to claim but just before it was in his paw, Patrick Horgan flicked it to the net.
It created a four-point gap that Ryan attempted to narrow with a free driven from the 21-yard-line on 69 minutes, but Anthony Nash killed the shot.
The Cork goalkeeper had a fine afternoon, sparing Tom Kenny's blushes with a fine save from O'Dwyer during the third quarter and converting three frees in the second half.
Fourteen years after bringing a group of kids to an All-Ireland final and victory over Kilkenny, Jimmy Barry Murphy is back at it again.
Relegation may have been but a fleshwound to them as they square up to either Limerick or Clare in what will be an all-Munster final.
"I don't think we're in bonus territory but at the start of the year I wasn't thinking of getting to an All-Ireland final, I wasn't thinking beyond surviving in the National League because we were trying to build up the team after a long number of years without success," he said.
"I don't think we're in bonus territory but we're there now and we'll try to win it. We'll give it our best shot – why not?"
DUBLIN: G Maguire; N Corcoran, P Kelly, P Schutte; S Hiney, L Rushe, M Carton; J McCaffrey [Capt] (0-1), J Boland (0-1); C Keaney (0-2), R O'Dwyer (0-1), D Sutcliffe (0-3); D O'Callaghan (0-2), P Ryan (0-7, 6f, 1x'65'), D Treacy (1-1). Subs: S Durkin (0-1) for Hiney [23m], M Schutte for Treacy [52m], E Dillon for O'Callaghan [61m], R Trainor for P Schutte [72m]
Yellow cards: O'Dwyer [2, 49m], Rushe [57m], Sutcliffe [63m]
Red card: O'Dwyer [49m]
CORK: A Nash (0-3, 3f); S McDonnell, S O'Neill, C O'Sullivan; T Kenny, C Joyce, W Egan; L McLoughlin (0-3), D Kearney (0-1); S Harnedy (0-2), J Coughlan (0-1), P Cronin [Capt] (0-1); L O'Farrell (0-2), P Horgan (1-7, 4f), C Lehane (0-3). Subs: S White for Kenny [44m], C Naughton for Coughlan [64m], S Moylan (0-1) for Lehane [69m]
Blood sub: R O'Shea for McLoughlin [52m]
Yellow cards: White [63m], Harnedy [67m]
Referee: James Owens [Wexford]