Galway 0-13 Cork 0-16
Daniel Goulding led the scoring with 0-7 as Cork overturned a half-time deficit to beat Galway in Salthill this afternoon.
Goulding helped Cork into an early lead, but Matthew Clancy, Cormac Bane and Paul Conroy all contributed handsomely as Galway foraged into a 0-9 to 0-7 interval lead.
However, the All-Ireland champions controlled the third quarter to regain the initiative and two splendid scores from Paddy Kelly and substitute Kevin O’Driscoll confirmed a win which keeps them second in the table.
Tomas O'Flatharta's Galway side delivered a much-improved performance at Pearse Stadium, but they were still defeated in what turned out to be a somewhat controversial Allianz Football League clash.
Referee Eddie Kinsella incensed the home support with several strange decisions during a second half in which the Rebels offered glimpses of their quality.
Corner forward Goulding was in sparkling form for the visitors on an afternoon that will have provided Galway with some encouragement. Nonetheless, the result marks their fifth straight defeat in Division 1 and leaves them hanging over the jaws of relegation.
The Tribesmen overcame a shaky start to take a two-point advantage into half-time, but Cork controlled the third quarter and hit five points without reply during a crucial burst to seize the initiative.
Cork settled impressively with Goulding effective in the corner and they built up a 0-5 to 0-1 buffer by the 16th minute.
Galway, though, with Gary Sice and Gary O'Donnell outstanding in defence, and Finian Hanley working his socks off at centre-field came storming back.
Clancy, Bane and Conroy showed off their finishing skills, with Bane accumulating 0-4. Fiachra Breathnach was also inches away from registering a goal for the home side.
After the restart, Cork moved the ball forward sharply with substitute Sean Kiely excelling upon his introduction at wing back. Kiely ventured forward to support the attack at every opportunity as Goulding continued to pose plenty of problems for a stretched Galway defence.
Kinsella awarded Cork some much-disputed frees which disgusted the small Salthill crowd and allowed Conor Counihan's men to move 0-14 to 0-12 clear with 10 minutes remaining.
The visitors remained calm under pressure and Kelly and substitute Kevin O'Driscoll split the posts in stunning fashion to give them further momentum.
Galway kept battling and a pointed '45' from goalkeeper Adrian Faherty trimmed the deficit to a goal. But Cork held on for a satisfying success which keeps them in the hunt to retain the league title.
Scorers - Galway: C Bane 0-05 (0-2f), M Clancy, P Conroy 0-2 each, F Hanley, F Breathnach, A Faherty (0-1 '45'), O Concannon 0-1 each.
Cork: D Goulding 0-7 (0-4f), F Goold, S Kiely P Kelly (0-1f) 0-02 each, K O'Driscoll, J Fitzpatrick, A O'Connor 0-1 each
GALWAY: A Faherty; A Burke, C Forde, J Duane; G Higgins, G Sice, G O’Donnell; F Hanley, J Bergin; C Bane, O Concannon, C Kenny; F Breathnach, P Conroy, M Clancy.
Subs used: J Ryan for Conroy (51 mins), D Blake for Breathnach (62).
CORK: K O’Halloran; R Carey, E Cadogan, M Shields; N O’Leary, P Kissane, D O’Sullivan; A O’Connor, N Murphy; F Goold, P Kelly, P O’Neill; D Goulding, C O’Neill, F Lynch.
Subs used: D Goold for O’Neill (15 mins), S Kiely for D O’Sullivan, J Fitzpatrick for Murphy (both 31), K O’Driscoll for O’Neill (62), C O’Driscoll for Kelly (70).
Referee: Eddie Kinsella (Laois).