Galway 4-21 Cork 2-18, Semple Stadium
Extra-time goals from Barry Hanley and Kerril Wade steered Galway through the All-Ireland Under-21 hurling final on September 9 following a blistering semi-final win over Cork at Semple Stadium this afternoon.
Managed by Vincent Mullins, Galway made the perfect start and held a 0-3 to 0-0 lead within the opening five minutes.
Despite allowing Galway get the better start, the Munster champions responded strongly with points from Patrick Cronin and an excellent score from Kevin Canty to cut the deficit to a point after seven minutes.
A Pat Horgan goal then sprung Cork into a two-point lead after the corner forward had done well to rifle the ball to the back of the Galway net.
Galway retook the lead but Cork's forwards were hungry for goals and a clever pass set up Colm O'Neill for his second major and the Rebels were 2-2 to 0-6 ahead.
But once again Galway hit back to take control. A fisted pass from Sean Glynn found his fellow half-forward Finian Coone and Coone clinically blasted to the net to nudge the Tribesmen in front.
Cork had the better of the closing stages of the half to lead 2-8 to 1-9 at the interval but the introduction of Conor Kavanagh geed up Galway as a Joe Canning point on the resumption, a superbly-taken sideline cut, was quickly followed by a goal from Kavanagh.
The teams were soon level for the fourth time thanks to the resourcefulness of Patrick Cronin and Cathal Naughton but Galway continued to remain strong and held a 2-13 to 2-11 advantage as the game entered the final quarter.
In front of an official attendance of 2,375, Cork came bounding back into the game and points from senior panellists Naughton and Cronin squared up the game for the fifth time, with as many minutes remaining.
Galway goalkeeper James Skehill continued to show his brilliance between the posts, pulling off a fine save from a John Halbert shot.
A third point from Naughton saw Cork hit the front with two minutes remaining but Galway senior star Wade managed to equalise with 30 seconds left on the clock.
Although Cork's Stephen White looked like he had scored the winner right on 60 minutes, a sixth point of the day followed for Wade to force extra-time with the sides tied at 2-16 apiece.
Using all their experience from previous All-Ireland campaigns, Galway were strongest in extra-time and first half goals from Barry Hanley and Wade set them on their way to gaining a coveted All-Ireland final spot.
GALWAY: J Skehill; A Leech, P Loughnane, C O'Donovan; M Ryan, J Lee, G Mahon; K Kilkenny (0-1), A Harte; S Glynn (0-2), K Hynes (0-2), F Coone (1-0); N Kelly (0-1), J Canning (0-7, 0-1f, 1 sl), K Wade (1-6, 0-4f, 1 '65').
Subs used: D Kennedy for Loughnane (29 mins), C Kavanagh (1-2) for Kelly (half-time), J Greene for Coone (45), B Hanley (1-0) for Harte (48), E Collins for Glynn (59), F Coone for Hynes (79).
CORK: K O'Halloran; J O'Callaghan, E Dillon, C O'Driscoll; S O'Neill (0-1), E Cadogan, A Ryan; L Desmond (0-1), A Mannix; P Cronin (0-7, 0-7f), K Canty (0-1), C Naughton (0-3); P Horgan (1-3), E Murphy (0-1), C O'Neill (1-0).
Subs used: J Halbert for Mannix (23 mins), F O'Leary for O'Neill (43), S White (0-1) for Desmond (52), S Moylan for O'Leary (60), L Desmond for Halbert (70, extra-time), B Moylan for Desmond (half-time, extra-time), M Walsh for Ryan (77).
Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath)