"It wasn't until the last ten minutes that we started to pull away. It was a close game right up until the end,” was the reaction of corner-back, Paddy McGrath, after the game.
“ It was always going to be tight, especially after the Ulster final. This was a big game and teams do find it hard after losing in Ulster to prepare for the All-Ireland series,"
He was full of praise for teammate Patrick McBrearty, who was central to the Donegal win with 0-11 of their 0-21 total.
"It was great to see it. He deserves it. He is a quality player and he's shown that today. He's stepped up to the mark and that's what he needs to do and we need more and more of that there. Hopefully now he can do the same the next day."
The next day will be a game against the Dubs and McGrath is not phased. "Different game, yeah. Ah it's great playing Dublin here in Croke Park and it's always good to play in Croke Park and good to get a run out today. I would be looking forward to it. It's a massive challenge and we have a week to get ready for it.
"It's a short time, but we are going to have push on and get prepared for it."
The Ardara man felt the Cork game was always going to be tricky: "It is always a sticky game, after you lose an Ulster final; to lift your spirits again. And it was great to get through that and I think we scored over 20 points, whatever it was. That's a good plus as well. We just need to push on for that.
"It's not hard to get up for the Dubs in Croke Park. I suppose you would rather have longer to prepare for such a game, but that's the way it is."
As regards conceding 1-15, McGrath knows that there is improvement needed there. "We have some improvement to do there. It was a shootout more than anything else. But listen, it was good to get through that game more than anything else. I know we conceded a lot but we will have to work on that," said McGrath.
Asked about the goal and his man, Paul Kerrigan, getting the goal, Paddy said he felt Neil McGee was fouled and they took the quick free and Donegal were on the back foot. "Again these things happen; he is a quality player, one of the best in Ireland and if he gets a sniff of it at all, he's going to take the chance."
The Ardara man was full of praise for the Donegal support who were in Croke Park. "We can't thank them enough, what they have done for us over the last few years. It gives us a great lift but we always try to do our best for them every day as well. We are a proud county and we don't like bad press," said Paddy, who hoped that Donegal supporters enjoyed their day in Croke Park as well.
Asked if he thought about taking on a shot at goals when he got in a position inside the Croke 20m line on a few occasions, Paddy laughs: "It all comes down to percentages," quipped Paddy.