Galway 0-15 Cork 1-8
GALWAY got the upper hand on Cork and ensured they made it to the quarter-finals as they qualify with Cork for the latter stages of the Littlewoods Division 2 League.
However, Cork top the group on scoring difference, sealing a home venue next weekend.
Galway were full value for their victory in a tough physical encounter in Gort GAA grounds on Saturday as they put Cork under constant pressure. They led by four points at the interval and were full value for their lead.
Playing with the aid of the slight breeze the home sides trailed from the throw-in as Kate Wall hit the first score, pointing inside 40 seconds. Cliona O’Callaghan converted a free to give Cork a two-point advantage but Galway came storming into the game and they settled with Molly Mannion pointing before the water break and on the resumption they began to gain a grip.
Ava Lynskey was unlucky not to grab the opening goal on 19 minutes as her pile-driving shot flew across the face of the goal and wide but five points without reply saw them finish the half stronger Cork’s sole reply a Cliona O'Callaghan point as Galway led 0-8 to 0-3 at the interval.
Galway kept the pressure on from the start of the second half with points from the excellent Cora Kenny (2) and Niamh Kenny, Cork having introduced four substitutes at the break worked hard and points from Finola Neville and Ali Smith cut the deficit to six points by the second water break.
Applying pressure Cork won a penalty for a foul on Aoife Hurley and with Finola Neville confidently finishing to the net just three points separated the sides.
Cork needed to find a second gear but it was Galway who dug deep, three points in a row from Elisha Broderick, Mairead Dillon and Niamh Horan swung the game back in their favour. Ali Smith (2) and Rachel Harty found the range for a hard-working Cork who never gave up trying but a Cora Kenny point gave Galway a four-point cushion they held to the finish.
In the other game in the group, Kerry had a superb 3-10 to 0-11 victory over Tipperary but while they finished level with Cork and Galway they lose out on qualifying on scoring difference.
S Ahern; E Flanagan, N O’Leary, A Crowley; H Sexton, A Moloney, C Kingston; L Callanan, M Murphy: M Barrett, J O’Leary, K O’Keeffe; C O’Callaghan, K Wall, K Walsh.
F Neville for J O’Leary (h-t), K Kilcommins for H Sexton (h-t), D Carroll for N O’Leary (h-t), R Harty for M Murphy (h-t), A Smith for M Barrett (43), A Hurley for K Walsh (43), H Ryan for C O’Callaghan (48), A O’Callaghan for C Kingston (55).