Cork 2-17 Galway 3-22
CORK slipped to an eight-point defeat against a Shane Walsh-inspired Galway in a high-scoring division 2 league encounter before an attendance of 3,174 at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Saturday night.
It was Cork’s third loss from four outings and leaves them in a relegation dog-fight with three games remaining.
Galway inflicted most of the damage in the second-half, scoring two goals inside 90 seconds to take a firm grip.
Damien Comer slammed in the first after 52 minutes, fielding Paul Conroy’s long punt and rounding Kevin Flahive before lashing the loose ball high into the net.
Moments later the irresistible Walsh swept through the Cork defence to bury an unstoppable shot deep in to the home goal for a 3-16 to 1-15 lead.
And but for a couple of brilliant Chris Kelly saves after half-time Galway’s margin of victory would have been greater though Cork were also denied a goal by the crossbar following a rasping John O’Rourke drive.
Galway were now heading for a third successive victory to maintain their promotion drive and they could afford the luxury of replacing both Walsh and Conroy before the finish.
Cork struggled for scores in the second-half with Steven Sherlock adding 0-4 for a 0-10 contribution though the home side bagged a late 1-1.
Substitute Daniel O’Connell finished off a brilliant move to score Cork’s second goal in injury-time before Kevin O’Donovan completed a night of 44 scores.
Despite falling behind to a point after only 10 seconds, Cork responded immediately with a cracking Blake Murphy goal off the underside of the crossbar.
Sherlock added a couple of quick-fire points to get Cork up and running only for Galway to hit back themselves by claiming the next six scores, including a goal from a penalty by Walsh in the seventh minute.
He thundered through the Cork defence with a scorching run only to be upended by Tadhg Corkery and Walsh duly dispatched the penalty low to the left of keeper Kelly to level matters.
Galway then swept 1-6 to 1-2 clear inside 15 minutes before Ian Maguire answered though it didn’t stem the trend as the visitors maintained a four-point advantage.
However, Cork underlined the topsy-turvy nature of the tie by adding on 0-5 of their own without response as visiting keeper Conor Flaherty got himself into a pickle, when wandering out from goal.
Twice, he was penalized for touching the ball on ground and Sherlock made him pay before Murphy fired-on-sight once more to edge Cork 1-9 to 1-8 in front after half-an-hour.
Galway ended a 10-minute barren period with Owen Gallagher’s point, parity restored for a third time and they couldn’t be separated at the interval either, 1-12 apiece.
Cork’s defiance was shown in the manner in which Corkery anT Gill 0-1 and O’Rourke popped up with the last two points to end a very entertaining half.
Scorers for Cork: S Sherlock 0-10, 6f, B Murphy 1-2, D O’Connell 1-0, K O’Donovan 0-2, I Maguire, J O’Rourke 0-1 each.
Scorers for Galway: S Walsh 2-7, 1-0 pen, 4f, R Finnerty 0-4, D Comer 1-1, D McHugh, D Conneely, M Tierney 0-2 each, K Molloy, P Conroy, O Gallagher, T Gill 0-1 each.
TEAMS: CORK: C Kelly (Eire Og); B Hennessy (St Finbarr’s), K Flahive (Douglas), T Corkery (Cill Na Martra); K O’Donovan (Nemo Rangers), S Meehan (Kiskeam), captain, M Taylor (Mallow); I Maguire (St Finbarr’s), R Maguire (Castlehaven); D O Duinnin (Cill na Martra), F Herlihy (Dohenys), C O’Callaghan (Eire Og); B Murphy (St Vincent’s), S Sherlock (St Finbarr’s), J O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers).
Subs: C Kiely (Ballincollig) for Meehan injured 43, P Allen (Newmarket) for Corkery injured 57, E McSweeney (Knocknagree) for Hennessy 61, D O’Connell (Kanturk) for O’Rourke 64, MA Martin (Nemo Rangers) for Kelly injured 65.
GALWAY: C Flaherty; K Molloy, S Kelly, captain, L Silke; D McHugh, J Daly, J Heaney; P Conroy, P Kelly; M Tierney, S Walsh, O Gallagher; R Finnerty, D Comer, D Conneely.
Subs: C Sweeney for Gallagher 39, T Gill for Kelly 55, F O Laoi for Heaney 62, D Silke for Walsh 64, N Daly for Conroy 68.
Referee. C Reilly (Meath).