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Cork's tale of underage hurling woe against the Tribesmen

The current Cork squad have endured plenty disappointments during their underage careers against teams from the Connacht county.

Cork's Shane O'Neill has suffered his share of defeats to Galway during his career.
Cork's Shane O'Neill has suffered his share of defeats to Galway during his career.
Image: INPHO/Donall Farmer

CORK ENTER SUNDAY’S All-Ireland semi-final hoping to atone for the recent luckless run they have endured at senior hurling level against Galway.

Last summer they were humbled in the All-Ireland qualifiers in the Gaelic Grounds, in 2010 they were soundly beaten by Galway in the league final and in 2009 it was also Galway who brought their championship campaign to an end.

The epic comeback win with fourteen men in Thurles in 2008 was Cork’s last senior hurling championship win over Galway and the squad that Jimmy Barry-Murphy has assembled for next Sunday’s match have endured a plethora of disappointments against the Tribesmen in their underage careers.

A number of bad days…

July 28th 2002
All-Ireland MHC Quarter-Final: Galway 2-10 Cork 2-6 – Croke Park
Cork’s underage rot against Galway began in this clash a decade ago. Galway just edged this encounter with right corner-back David Collins and midfielder Iarla Tannian both in action that day.  Joe Gantley, Niall Healy and Aonghus Callanan were other future senior players to be competing. On the Cork side, Anthony Nash was the sub goalkeeper in that game but of the starting line-up only Kevin Hartnett went on to play senior championship for the county.

August 15th 2004
All-Ireland MHC semi-final: Galway 2-15 Cork 1-13 – Croke Park
Cork entered this game in a buoyant mood on the back of a dramatic Munster final triumph against Tipperary that year when Eoghan Murphy fired home a late match-winning goal. But Galway proved too strong with a team that included current full-back Kevin Hynes playing at centre-forward that day and a 15 year-old Joe Canning firing home 1-1 from full-forward.

The star for the Tribesmen in that game was Kerril Wade who struck 1-9 while Ger Mahon and John Lee, who both also progressed senior for the county, formed the spine of the defence. Amongst the Cork team defeated in that game were defenders Eoin Cadogan and Shane O’Neill, attacker Cathal Naughton who grabbed 1-2, Patrick Cronin who shot 0-8 from full-forward and a 16 year-old Patrick Horgan was drafted in as a substitute.

August 13th 2005
All-Ireland MHC semi-final: Galway 4-13 Cork 1-9 – Portlaoise
Once again a bunch of Cork players saw their All-Ireland minor dreams quashed by Galway. A Galway team that featured James Skehill in goal, Joe Canning starring with a 1-6 haul from full-forward and Aidan Harte coming on as a substitute, were far too strong for Cork. Amongst the defeated Rebels on that occasion were Paudie O’Sullivan playing at centre-back, Patrick Cronin at right half-forward and the full-forward line of Patrick Horgan, Cathal Naughton and Stephen Moylan. They are currently part of Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s squad while interestingly Cork footballer Colm O’Neill came on for the minor hurling side that day.

August 27th 2005
All-Ireland U21HC semi-final: Galway 1-19 Cork 1-13 – Gaelic Grounds
Galway’s proved too strong again for Cork later that month, this time in the U21 grade. Their attack excelled with Niall Healy, Kerril Wade and Aonghus Callanan, who all have featured for the county senior side in recent years, bagging 1-12 between them. From the current senior squad David Collins was left half-back for Galway that day in a team that also featured Joe Gantley while former senior footballer Barry Cullinane was centre-back. Anthony Nash was the Cork goalkeeper that day while Shane O’Neill and Eoin Cadogan were part of the Rebels defence. Kevin Hartnett, Kevin Canty and Michael Cussen were other notable members of that Cork U21 side who went on to feature on the senior championship stage.

Cork’s Eoin Cadogan in action in the 2005 All-Ireland U21HC semi-final. Pic: INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan

August 6th 2006
All-Ireland MHC semi-final: Galway 2-12 Cork 0-16 – Croke Park
This was a particularly galling defeat for Cork as they possessed what was viewed as an extremely strong team. Paudie O’Sullivan and Patrick Horgan were the two stars of that team while John O’Callaghan, Stephen White and Brian Corry all experienced time in the senior squad subsequently.

Colm O’Neill was also corner-forward on that team while wing-back Shaun O’Riordan actually went on to feature for the Limerick senior side in 2010. In the Galway line-up that day were goalkeeper James Skehill, right half-back David Burke, wing-forward Aidan Harte and centre-forward Joe Canning who fired 1-8.

August 25th 2007
All-Ireland U21HC semi-final: Galway 4-21 Cork 2-18 – Semple Stadium
A spellbinding and high-scoring clash was only settled after extra-time when Galway prevailed. Shane O’Neill, Eoin Cadogan, Patrick Cronin, Cathal Naughton, Patrick Horgan and Stephen Moylan all saw game time for Cork in that game while current senior footballers Ken O’Halloran and Colm O’Neill were in goal and at left corner-forward respectively. Cronin, Naughton, Horgan and O’Neill contributed a combined total of 2-13 in that game. But a Galway team with James Skehill in goal, Aidan Harte at midfield, Kevin Hynes at centre-forward and Joe Canning at full-forward prevailed with Hynes firing 0-2 and Canning striking 0-7.

August 17th 2008
All-Ireland MHC semi-final: Galway 1-18 Cork 0-17

This was a keenly contested encounter with Galway prevailing by four points, Richie Cummins goal proving the crucial difference and forming the centrepiece of his 1-5 haul. Other notable players in that Galway side were current senior sub goalkeeper Fergal Flannery, defensive trio Declan Connolly, Gerard O’Halloran and Niall Donoghue, midfielder David Burke, and attacking pair Niall Burke and Davy Glennon. James Regan and Brian Flaherty were amongst the subs brought on for Galway in that clash.

From the Cork side that day, current senior sub goalkeeper Darren McCarthy was playing along with defender William Egan while Jamie Coughlan and Luke O’Farrell were both brought on as substitutes during the second-half. Aidan Walsh, Mark Collins and Ciaran Sheehan, who were all part of the Cork squad that won the All-Ireland senior quarter-final against Kildare last Sunday, all started for the Rebels minor hurling side in that game.

And a couple of rare good days…

September 9th, 2001
All-Ireland MHC final: Cork 2-10 Galway 1-8 – Croke Park
This was a game where John Gardiner advertised his hurling talents on the national stage with a supreme performance at centre-back that helped steer Cork to victory. Gardiner is the only member of that Cork team to be currently part of the Rebels senior squad but Martin Coleman, Cian O’Connor, Shane Murphy, Kevin Hartnett, Kieran Murphy (Erins Own), Tomas O’Leary, Setanta Ó hAilpín and Tomas O’Leary, who captained the team, were all in action that day as well.

From the Galway line-up Tony Óg Regan and Andy Smith are the only members of the current side to have played in that game. But Shane Kavanagh, Ger Farragher, who was going for a third consecutive All-Ireland minor medal in that game, Adrian Cullinane,Joe Gantley and Niall Healy also featured in that game and have lined up in recent years.

Sunday 29th July, 2007
All-Ireland MHC quarter-final: Cork 2-19 Galway 0-8 – Croke Park
Given the excellence that Galway have produced consistently in the minor grade, this particular game was striking for the scale of the defeat that they suffered. Cork lined out in that game with Darren McCarthy in goal, Killian Murphy at corner-back, Lorcan McLoughlin at wing-back and Luke O’Farrell at corner-forward while Cian McCarthy and Stephen McDonnell were both drafted in as substitutes during that game.

Midfielder for Cork in that game was Denis O’Sullivan who came on for the county’s senior footballers last week against Kildare. From the Galway team in that game, corner-back Niall Donoghue and wing-back David Burke are current senior panellists while Bernard Burke has been involved in the squad at stages this year as well.

Cork draft in McLoughlin and Lehane for All-Ireland semi-final

Talking Points: Clare v Tipperary, Bord Gáis Energy Munster U21HC final

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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