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Cork rue missed chances as Galway squeeze through to All-Ireland semi-finals

The Tribesmen will face Limerick in the last four.

Galway’s Cathal Mannion celebrates winning a free.
Galway’s Cathal Mannion celebrates winning a free.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Galway 2-19

Cork 1-21

CORK SPENT THE afternoon chasing Galway, ultimately falling just short. It was a pulsating quarter-final even if it never quite reached the heights we expected.

It wasn’t a vintage performance from the Tribesmen but they battled to a one-point victory to seal an All-Ireland semi-final showdown with champions Limerick.

It felt like a huge result for Henry Shefflin’s side, even if they won’t be totally pleased with the nature of their performance. 

Cork will leave Thurles kicking themselves at their failure to advance here. Ultimately the damage was done in a first-half where they outplayed Galway but left 3-12 behind them.

Kieran Kingston’s side got so much right here. Tactically they were well set-up, they possessed a real attacking threat, managed to keep a number of Galway’s key men quiet and got a huge impact from their bench. 

Shane Kingston’s goal shortly after the restart was the perfect tonic after they went in five behind.

After Jack Grealish’s attempt was fumbled into the net by Patrick Collins 18 seconds in, Cork were in the arrears for the entire game but couldn’t haul themselves level. 

Eanna Murphy was outstanding between the posts for the Tribesmen, both for his saves in the first-half and puck-outs in the second.

daithi-burke-and-darren-morrissey-with-tim-omahony Galway’s Daithi Burke and Darren Morrissey with Tim O’Mahony of Cork. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

If the opening period was sloppy, the execution levels increased immensely in the second period. 

Cork went in at half-time scratching their heads wondering how they found themselves five were behind. 

Much of it was down to Eanna Murphy, who produced excellent stops from Alan Connolly, Robbie O’Flynn and Darragh Fitzgibbon to keep Cork out. 

Then there were the 12 wides they fired – most of of them coming from scoreable positions. The decision to leave Patrick Horgan on the sideline looked questionable after Conor Lehan missed a few frees. He was eventually replaced by Shane Kingston on the placed balls. 

Galway’s opening goal arrived with a huge slice of luck. Patrick Collins dropped Jack Grealish’s point attempt into the net inside the first 20 seconds to give the Tribesman an ideal start.

But for much of the half, they struggled to get a foothold on the game. Galway were the side searching for their rhythm. Conor Whelan was their only player causing the Cork defence problems. However, when they put the ball into space in front of him, he did damage. 

For his 18th minute goal, he outmuscled Sean O’Donoghue and fired a beautiful finish past Collins. That pushed Galway 2-2 to 0-3 clear, but they were shipping water all over the field. 

Fahy was marked out of it by Damien Cahalane and found himself replaced Brian Concannon on the half-hour mark. Then Gearoid McInerney went down with a leg injury and limped off, with Jason Flynn entering the fray.

After their poor showing in the Leinster final, the expected reaction from Galway didn’t transpire

Horgan was introduced at the break in place of Lehane. Shane Kingston gave the Rebels the ideal start to the second-half. He showed great strength and wrist work to hold off two defenders and chop the ball into his hand. The Douglas ace raced through and left Eanna Murphy with no chance.

Galway’s response was clinical as they responded with three in-a-row to restore their five-point advantage. Darragh Fitzgibbon broke forward and clipped two points in as many minutes. As he raced past the sideline after the second of the pair he received a pat on the back from his manager.

bill-murray-at-the-game Actor Bill Murray at the game. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The quality vastly improved in the second period, particularly the point-taking.

Mark Coleman stroked over a stunning sideline that was verified by Hawk-Eye. Brian Concannon and Jason Flynn found the range for Galway. 

Cork found a purple patch as their subs made a major impact. Jack O’Connor in floated two glorious deliveries that led to scores from Horgan and O’Flynn. 

The Rebels were back within two when the pendulum swing in Galway’s favour once again. They shot three scores in succession, the pick of them a long-range effort from Joseph Cooney who had switched to centre-back since McInerney’s withdrawal.

Alan Cadogan arrived off the bench and fired two scores from two possessions, yet Galway kept daylight between the sides through Cathal Mannion and Conor Cooney. 

Cadogan added another and Cork struck the post twice with point attempts in the closing stages as they chased the game. 

Fitzgibbon reduced the deficit to one in the 75th minute. That’s where Cork’s challenge ran out of time. 

Scorers for Galway: Conor Whelan 1-2, Cathal Mannion and Conor Cooney (0-3f, 0- 65) 0-4 each, Jack Grealish 1-0, Joseph Cooney and David Burke 0-2 each, Ronan Glennon, Tom Monaghan, Johnny Coen, Brian Concannon, Jason Flynn 0-1 each.

Scorers for Cork: Shane Kingston 1-2 (0-1f), Patrick Horgan 0-4 (0-2f, 0-1 65), Darragh Fitzgibbon, Alan Cadogan, Mark Coleman (0-2f, 0-1 sideline) and Robbie O’Flynn 0-3 each, Luke Meade, Damien Cahalane and Conor Lehane (0-1f) 0-1 each.

Galway

1. Éanna Murphy (Tommy Larkins)

4. Darren Morrissey (Sarsfields), 3. Daithí Burke (Turloughmore, captain), 2. Jack Grealish (Gort),

6. Pádraic Mannion (Ahascragh-Fohenagh), 5. Gearóid McInerney (Oranmore/Maree), 7. Fintan Burke (St Thomas’)

 9. David Burke (St Thomas’), 10. Ronan Glennon (Mullagh)

12. Tom Monaghan (Craughwell), 11. Conor Cooney (St Thomas’), 8. Joseph Cooney (Sarsfields),

15 Cathal Mannion (Ahascragh-Fohenagh),13. Conor Whelan (Kinvara), 14 Cianan Fahy (Ardrahan)

Subs

21. Brian Concannon for Fahy (30)

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23. Jason Flynn for McInerney (34)

18. Johnny Coen for Glennon (45)

24. Evan Niland for Burke (69

25. Gavin Lee for Monaghan (75)

Cork

1. Patrick Collins (Ballinhassig)

 5. Damien Cahalane (St Finbarr’s), 4. Sean O’Donoghue (Inniscarra), 2. Niall O’Leary (Castlelyons),

3. Robert Downey (Glen Rovers), 6. Ciarán Joyce (Castlemartyr), 7. Mark Coleman (Blarney) Captain

8. Darragh Fitzgibbon (Charleville), 9. Luke Meade (Newcestown)

10. Robbie O’Flynn (Erins Own), 11. Séamus Harnedy (St Ita’s), 12. Shane Kingston (Douglas)

13. Tim O’Mahony (Newtownshandrum), 14. Alan Connolly (Blackrock), 15. Conor Lehane (Midleton)

Subs

23. Patrick Horgan for Lehane (ht)

22. Jack O’Connor for Connolly (47)

17. Ger Millerick for Downey (51)

25. Alan Cadogan for Tim O’Mahony (58)

20. Tommy O’Connell for Harney (67)

Referee: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow).

About the author:

Kevin O'Brien  / Reports from Semple Stadium

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