Three reasons the Cork hurlers beat Antrim to set up Galway quarter-final

Rebels will meet Henry Shefflin's side at 1.45pm next Saturday in Thurles
Three reasons the Cork hurlers beat Antrim to set up Galway quarter-final

Darragh Fitzgibbon of Cork and Gerard Walsh of Antrim after the game at Corrigan Park. Picture: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile


It would have been unlikely for Antrim to maintain the upper hand in the second half given the strength of the wind, but they could certainly have asked more questions of Cork.

Ten first-half wides was too high a tally for the underdogs to be able to afford, especially as some of those opportunities were very scoreable as Cork allowed Antrim the latitude to create such chances.

In the second half, Antrim were only able to manage three points from play and no goal chances materialised.


Cork struggled to get to grips with Antrim in this area in the first half, something best exemplified by the fact that the Saffrons’ midfielder Keelan Molloy scored 1-3 from play before half-time.

After the break, Darragh Fitzgibbon began to win more of contested puck-outs while the introduction of Tommy O’Connell was another boost for Cork and Robbie O’Flynn remained a valuable outlet.


All things being equal, Cork were expected to win by 10 or 15 points and they had 11 to spare at the end – that is masked slightly by the fact that Séamus Harnedy’s goal was the second-last puck but, even so, a third Cork goal had a greater probability than a third Antrim one.

Trailing at half-time might have been a cause for mild panic and if Antrim had been able to stay ahead on the resumption, more anxiety would have set in. What Cork did was expected, but it was not an absolute inevitability.

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