Galway 2-28 Cork 0-22
By John Fogarty
A weekend of misery for Cork GAA was topped by this dismal showing as the hurlers went down to Galway by 12 points.
Not even the victors' incredible 23 wides could deprive them of victory as they were by far the better side in this All-Ireland quarter-final played in front of a 33,150 crowd at Semple Stadium.
With Jonathan Glynn and Cathal Mannion starring, Galway never looked in much difficulty but starlet Conor Whelan put the lid on this win with a 66th minute goal to widen the gap to eight points. Cork's lack of a real goal threat was glaringly obvious as they never looked like troubling Colm Callanan apart from a Patrick Horgan shot in the 58th minute which the goalkeeper was level to.
Jettisoning the sweeper system after the break, Cork made far too many unforced errors coming out of defence, Aidan Walsh and Mark Ellis in particular finding the going tough. Damien Cahalane was sent off for a second yellow card in the 50th minute when he fouled Joseph Cooney after receiving a poor attempt of a pass from Walsh.
A Shane O'Neill slip in the first minute had allowed Jonathan Glynn solo freely towards the Cork goal from just after the 65 metre line. When Walsh attempted to stop him he lifted the ball over his head before sticking the ball past Anthony Nash.
That goal gave Galway an advantage they never lost in the first half as their lead wavered from one to five points. Cork recovered from the goal, cutting the gap to one in the sixth minute but Galway were soon on the march again and lead 1-8 to 0-6 11 minutes later.
Cork's sweeper system was proving to be less effective than their recent qualifier game although Galway could have been so much further ahead but for their nine first half wides, four of them coming from Joe Canning.
David Burke was excellent for Galway in the centre but had to retire with suspected concussion following a clash with Bill Cooper just before half-time. By the first minute of first half injury, all of Galway's six forwards had scored from play. Cork were more accurate via Seamus Harnedy and Conor Lehane but their chances weren't as plentiful.
After the final whistle, Cork manager Jimmy Barry Murphy said the gap between the two sides was simply too great.
"Very, very few players played up to the standard we'd expect from them today," he said. "We were outplayed."
JBM paid tribute to the strong performance of the Galway side, admitting the Cork wasn't on the same level in the second half. "It was fighting a lost cause ... maybe we are [that far behind Galway]."
"On the bigger days, we've fallen short. It's as simple as that. We're just not good enough."
However, quizzed about his own future, JBM replied with an unqualified desire to stay in the job. "I can't wait for next year," he said. "I can't wait."
His Galway counterpart, Anthony Cunningham, admitted that the match had been a little easier then anticipated, but said his team "had a huge amount of improvement" ahead of them citing their 23 wides.
"We're happy with the forwards in general in the championship, but we need to tidy up on the shooting ... we need to get a little better up front."
Scorers for Galway: C Mannion (0-7); J Glynn, C Whelan (1-2 each); J Canning (0-5, 2 frees, 1 sideline, 1 65); J Flynn (0-3); A Harte (0-2); David Burke, C Donnellan (0-2 each); A Smith, J Cooney, N Healy (0-1 each).
Scorers for Cork: P Horgan (0-9, 6 frees, 1 65); C Lehane, S Harnedy (0-3 each); D Kearney (0-2); C Murphy, B Lawton, P O'Sullivan, A Cadogan, A Walsh (0-1 each)
Subs for Galway: J Cooney for David Burke (inj 35+1); D Collins for C Donnellan (57); G Lally for I Tannian (62); F Moore for A Smith (65); N Healy for J Glynn (67).
Subs for Cork: J Coughlan for P Cronin (38); L McLoughlin for C Murphy (inj 44); A Cadogan for B Lawton (47); P O'Sullivan for B Cooper (56).
GALWAY: C Callanan; J Coen, J Hanbury, P Mannion; Daithi Burke, I Tannian, A Harte; A Smith, David Burke; J Canning, C Donnellan, J Flynn; C Whelan, J Glynn, C Mannion.
CORK: A Nash; S McDonnell, B Murphy, S O'Neill; C Murphy, M Ellis, A Walsh; D Cahalane, D Kearney; B Lawton, P Cronin, B Cooper; P Horgan, S Harnedy, C Lehane.
Referee: J Owens (Wexford)