Galway deliver late telling blows

Galway 1-15 Cork 0-14

The victory marked Galway’s first appearance in the championship while Cork were playing their third game and chasing their third All-Ireland title in a row.

Cork looked to be on course when John Hughes’ magnificent point from midfield put his side three clear with eight minutes to go. But a lively Galway side were level for the seventh time with a minute to go, and scored 1-1 without reply in injury time for a victory they just about deserved.

For winning coach Kieran Rabbitte it was a special victory. A member of the backroom team with the county seniors, Rabbitte said it was a win for his side’s never say die attitude.

“We could so easily have folded when Cork went three points in front and we had lost our way, but the work rate of our lads was phenomenal, particularly in the closing minutes.

“All over the field every player worked his socks off and for effort and commitment alone, I’m absolutely delighted to have won it. It certainly makes up for the trouncing we got from Cork at the same stage two years ago. With the game at 14 points each, Enna Ryan got a great lead point and Trevor Kavanagh’s goal in injury time clinched it for us.

“It’s always a huge step for us to get over the semi-final as we don’t have any games leading up to it, but I said to the lads in the building up to the match to take a leaf out of our senior’s book and go for it. We had nothing to loose and all to gain, and thankfully get for the result.

“We went a long time without a score on the change over and thoughts began to creep into my mind that we had blown our chance, but again I cannot over emphasise our work rate. I cannot praise the players enough.”

Conditions were against good hurling with both sides struggling to hold their feet, and with both defences on top, scores were at a premium. Cork were way below par in the opening quarter at the end of which Galway held a slender lead at 0-5 to 0-4.

Will Twomey thundered into the game at full back and with half backs Vincent Hurley and James Hughes driving forward at every opportunity, Cork led 0-7 to 0-6 at the break, and it would have been more but for a wonder save by Galway keeper Mark Herlihy from Rory O’Dwyer.

Cork maintained their dominance on the changeover and stretched their lead to three points. But the loss of Kieran Morrisson and Vincent Hurley to injury proved costly as the fresher Galway side finished strongly and set up a final against Wexford.

Cork coach John Keane conceded that Galway were worthy winners, but will forever wonder how the game would have panned out had Morrisson and Hurley being able to stay on.

“I thought we had when James Hughes landed that great long range point, but losing the two lads at the same time was a killer and we couldn’t recover once Galway took the lead late in the game.

“I’m not making any excuses, Galway deserved their victory, but we had four players who were involved in a highly charged Munster U21 final 48 hours ago, and that took its toll.”

Scorers: Galway: K. Burke 0-8 (0-4 frees); T. Kavanagh 1-0; B. Gantley, E. Ryan 0-2 each; N. Kelly, K. Hoban, B. Lawless 0-1 each. Cork: M. O’Sullivan 0-7 (frees); K. Morrisson, K. Hartnett 0-2 each; J. Murphy, K. Canty, J. Hughes 0-1 each.

GALWAY: M. Herlihy; R. Whyte, N. Corcoran, P. Flynn; N. Earls, E. Tannian, J. Fordham; B. Gantley, D. McEvoy; K. Burke, K. Hoban, E. Ryan; B. Lawless, N. Kenny, B. Lucas.

Subs: A. Garvey for Fordham; T. Kavanagh for Gantley; D. Kelly for Ryan.

CORK: S. Barry; B. Coleman, W. Twomey, S. O’Neill; J. Hughes, S. O’Leary, V. Hurley; S. Dineen, K. Hartnett; S. Kearney, K. Morrisson, R., O’Dwyer; M. O’Sullivan, K. Canty, J. Murphy.

Subs: B. Coleman for Kearney; M. Fitzgerald for Morrisson; F. Sheehan for Hurley.

Referee: J. Guinan (Kilkenny).

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