Galway 2-18 Cork 1-16
CORK lost their third league fixture of the year in Pearse Stadium on Sunday to end their hopes of making it to the knock-out stages of this season’s league.
After a sluggish start into the wind, Cork looked to up their game in the second half only to find a more resilient and dogged Galway side when their backs were firmly to the wall.
Cork lined up with a series of changes from the starting 15 that took to the field against Limerick with Anthony Nash and Conor Lehane retaking the number one and 13 jerseys respectively.
Aidan Walsh and Niall O’Leary were also starters against the Tribesmen while the big news for Galway was the late omission of their star man Joe Canning.
Galway were first to trouble the scoreboard with a point-blank effort that was pushed over by Nash. Cork were back level in a matter of seconds with Shane Kingston’s first shot.
Seamus Harnedy was busy early on setting up one score and winning a free for Patrick Horgan to convert another but Galway, aided by a strong breeze, had most of the possession and led after 10 by 0-4 to 0-3. Galway could have been further ahead but for five early wides hampered their efforts.
Cork continued to push on but at the back a mixture of long balls on the wind and the efforts of Brian Concannon and Jason Flynn meant that the rebels were under sustained pressure throughout the opening period.
In fact it was Flynn that bagged the game’s first major when he got on the end of a quick pass from Concannon to smash past a helpless Nash on 23 minutes.
Cork rallied well and managed to weather a Galway storm with scores from Horgan (five frees in the first 35), a big score from Aidan Walsh and trailing by just Flynn’s goal as the sides headed for the break.
The side’s shared four scores in the first 10 of the second half before Kingston worked a great opportunity for himself only to be fouled on his way through. Horgan again hit the target from the resultant free – followed quickly by a long range effort from Darragh Fitzgibbon.
Cork hit the lead soon after when Robbie O’Flynn put Tim O’Mahony through on goal and the Newtownshandrum man made no mistake however within a minute O’Flynn saw red after a hefty challenge on Fintan Burke.
Galway were back in front three minutes later after a clever ball from Conor Cooney saw Flynn through again and the winger bagged his second goal of the afternoon to again heap pressure on the visitors.
They continued to battle on and looked to be making in-roads again. However Galway got the bit between their teeth with substitute Evan Niland bagging two late scores while second half sub David Burke landed the last hammer blow to a Cork side that just ran completely out of gas.
Cork didn’t go to the bench as much as they could have late on but on this day in front of over 4,500 fans the rebels came up a good bit short and Galway deserved the spoils.
Cork have all of 10 weeks to wait for their next competitive senior inter-county fixture which will be just another challenge for a management team that on this performance have already plenty on their plate.
Scorers for Galway: B Concannon 1-2; J Flynn 1-1; C Mannion 0-5 (0-3 f); C Cooney 0-3 (0-2 f); N Burke 0-2; E Niland 0-2 f, A Touhey, A Harte, D Burke 0-1 each.
Cork: P Horgan 0-9 f; T O’Mahony 1-1 (0-1sl), S Kingston 0-2, C Lehane, A Walsh, B Cooper; D Fitzgibbon 0-1 each.
GALWAY: E Murphy; D Morrissey, G McInerney, S Loftus; P Mannion, S Cooney, F Burke; C Mannion, A Touhey; N Burke, J Flynn, S Bleahene; B Concannon, C Whelan, C Cooney.
Subs: D Burke for N Burke (39), S Linnane for P Mannion (50), E Niland for F Burke (57), TJ Brennan for A Harte (59), C Walsh for B Concannon (68).
CORK: A Nash; N O’Leary, E Cadogan, C Spillane; B Cooper, T O’Mahony, S O’Leary-Hayes; M Coleman, D Fitzgibbon; R O’Flynn, S Harnedy, A Walsh; C Lehane, S Kingston, P Horgan.
Subs: C Cahalane for A Walsh (h-t); J O’Connor for C Lehane (71).
Referee: F Horgan (Tipperary)