CORK'S U20 footballers are through to the final of the John Kerins Cup as they deservedly defeated Galway by six points in Mallow on Saturday evening.
Excellent displays from Blake Murphy and Eanna O’Hanlon ensured the Rebels followed up their impressive victory against Kerry last weekend with another triumph here to set up a showdown with the winners of Group A.
Galway kicked a couple of bad wides inside the opening minutes of this second-round clash and they were punished when Cork’s Eanna O’Hanlon opened the scoring from a free after four minutes.
The visitors hit back with a converted free of their own through corner forward Brian Mannion but Cork soon regained control of proceedings and split the uprights three times without reply by the end of the first quarter.
O’Hanlon from Kilshannig scored twice from frees before Gerry O’Sullivan got their first score from play with a superb strike from a difficult position.
Galway responded with two scores to reduce the deficit to the minimum but a quick-fire hat trick of points from the excellent right corner-forward Blake Murphy ensured Cork were in front at the half time break, 0-7 to 0-3.
The Tribesmen grabbed the first over of the second period thanks to Oisín Mac Donnacha but the hosts hit back with four unanswered points inspired by the clinical Blake Murphy of St Vincent’s, 0-11 to 0-4.
During that period, Galway had a great opportunity to get the first goal of the game but substitute Tomo Culhane saw his penalty saved by goalkeeper Cian O’Leary.
But the Douglas shot-stopper was beaten before the beginning of the final quarter as Aidan Halloran’s clever dummy created the space which allowed him to drill the ball into the net.
Their revival was short-lived though as Cork raised a green flag moments later when Eanna O’Hanlon expertly planted a penalty of his own past the opposition’s keeper, 1-11 to 1-5.
Galway were reduced to 14 when Macdara Gerathy was dismissed but the two sides would swap four scores each before full time as Cork hung on to the win.
Scorers for Cork: E O’Hanlon 1-4 (1-0 penalty, 0-3 frees), B Murphy 0-6 (0-1 frees), B Hayes 0-2, D Hayes, E Connolly and G O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
Galway: A Halloran 1-0, O Mac Donnacha 0-3 (0-3 frees), T Culhane 0-3 (0-2 frees), B Mannion 0-2 (0-2 frees), N Grainger 0-1.
CORK: C O’Leary (Douglas); C O’Shea (Kilshannig), D O’Mahony (Knocknagree), E Lehane (Canovee); B Lynch (Douglas), D Buckley (Newcestown), D Cashman (Millstreet); E O’Hanlon (Kilshannig), C Nyhan (Ballinascarthy); G O’Sullivan (Boherbue), A Ó’Luasa (Naomh Aban), B Hayes (St Finbarrs); B Murphy (St Vincent’s), D Hayes (Carbery Rangers), R O’Donovan (Barryroe).
Subs: E Connolly (O Donovan Rossa) for R O’Donovan (ht), S Desmond (Clondrohid) for D Cashman (ht), J Murphy (Éire Óg) for C Nyhan (43), M Lenihan (Buttevant) for G O’Sullivan (43), C O’Sullivan (Urhan) for A Ó’Luasa (54).
GALWAY: C Flaherty; J McGrath, S Fitzgerald, J Glynn; C O’Neill, M Gerathy, J Kirrane; P Kelly, J McLaughlin; C Sweeney, A Halloran, B Harlowe; A Greene, O Mac Donnacha, B Mannion.
Subs: T Culhane for O Mac Donnacha (37), N Grainger for A Halloran (41), D Whelan for C O’Neill (44), O Gormally for B Harlowe (46), J Reilly for A Greene (51).
Referee: John Hayes (Limerick).