Cork v Galway: Rebel minors beaten in All-Ireland hurling semi-final

Second-half fightback curtailed by Leinster champions, who face Clare in final
Cork v Galway: Rebel minors beaten in All-Ireland hurling semi-final

Jason Rabbitte scored Galway's first goal in the Electric Ireland All-Ireland MHC semi-final against Cork at FBD Semple Stadium in Thurles. Picture: Stephen Marken/Sportsfile

Galway 3-18 Cork 1-10

CORK'S Electric Ireland All-Ireland MHC campaign came to a disappointing end on Saturday as Galway advanced to meet Clare in the final.

Strong scoring bursts in each half were central to the victory for the Tribesboys at FBD Semple Stadium. Trailing by nine points at half-time, Cork battled back well to trail by just three but that was as close they came before Galway pulled away to win by 14.

The Leinster champions had taken control in a blistering second quarter – from the 16th minute until half-time, they outscored Cork by 2-4 to 0-1 to take a commanding 2-8 to 0-5 lead in at half-time.

Cork had started brightly – with David O’Leary impressing in defence – and they led in the opening stages, some good scoring chances were not capitalised upon. While Barry O’Flynn’s good long-range point had them 0-4 to 0-3 in front, they would only add one more point to their first-half tally.

Cork's David O'Leary gets a pass away under pressure from Brian Callanan of Galway. Picture: Stephen Marken/Sportsfile
Cork's David O'Leary gets a pass away under pressure from Brian Callanan of Galway. Picture: Stephen Marken/Sportsfile

After Galway’s Aaron Niland levelled with this third point of an eventual 1-11, they hit the front for the first time as Jason Rabbitte – son of the legendary Joe – won a delivery by Seán Murphy and did well to create space before firing a low shot to the net.

Niland had them four ahead and though Ben Walsh replied with a big Cork point, the second Galway goal, scored by Niland, left it 2-5 to 0-5. From there they reeled off three straight points to lead by nine at the break.

Despite the deficit, Cork showed endeavour on the resumption. Early points from Barry Walsh and Barry O’Flynn sandwiched one by Conor Gilligan for Galway before a superbly crafted goal had the young Rebels back in contention.

The ball was worked through Ronan Dooley, Conor McCarthy – influential at midfield after coming on at half-time – Barry Walsh and Finn O’Brien. While O’Brien’s low shot was blocked on the line by Thomas Blake, O’Flynn was there to deposit the ball to the net.

With Cork’s tails up, Barry Walsh sent over two points, one a free, to leave just a goal in it, 1-9 to 0-9, with 18 minutes left.

As in the first half, though, Galway pieced together a scoring run that put the outcome beyond doubt. Five consecutive points made it 2-14 to 1-9, to almost fully wipe out the inroads Cork had since half-time, before Ed O’Reilly set up sub Harry Holmes for their third goal and they augmented the advantage further in the dying stages.

Scorers for Galway: A Niland 1-11 (0-10 f), J Rabbitte, H Holmes 1-1 each, C Gilligan 0-2, C Killeen, C Burke, M Fallon 0-1 each.

Cork: Barry Walsh 0-5 (0-3 f), B O’Flynn 1-2, Ben Walsh, J Casey, F O’Brien 0-1 each.

GALWAY: S Murray; T Blake, S Murphy, G King; D Quirke, D Campbell, E O’Reilly; M Burke, C Killeen; C Gilligan, C Burke, J Rabbitte; B Callanan, D Counihan, A Niland.

Subs: H Holmes for Callanan (40), M Fallon for Campbell (50), S Keane for Burke (56), J Donnellan for Blake (58), E Mulleady for Killeen (60).

CORK: F Murphy (Killeagh); C O’Callaghan (Dungourney), D McCarthy (Passage), C Cronin (Midleton); J Galvin (Éire Óg), Ben Walsh (Killeagh), D O’Leary (Ballincollig); J O’Leary (Lisgoold), B O’Flynn (Sarsfields); J Murphy (Dromina), J Casey (Youghal), Z Biggane (Charleville); R Dooley (Douglas), Barry Walsh (Killeagh), F O’Brien (Erin’s Own).

Subs: S O’Callaghan (Aghada) for Galvin, Conor McCarthy (Glen Rovers) for Murphy (both half-time), O O’Callaghan (Liscarroll/Chruchtown Gaels) for J O’Leary (49), P Walsh (Carrigtwohill) for Dooley (52), B Lynch (Youghal) for O’Flynn (54).

Referee: T Gleeson (Dublin).

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