Galway 2-23 Cork 1-14
Galway cruised into the All-Ireland senior hurling quarter-finals with a comprehensive victory over Cork at the Gaelic Grounds this afternoon.
The Tribesmen are now guaranteed to play the losers of tomorrow’s Munster SHC final and they will prove stiff opposition for anybody judging by this latest impressive display.
Galway were desperately poor in the Leinster semi-final against Dublin but have bounced back impressively with successive victories against Munster opponents Clare and Cork.
Galway racked up 6-48 in their last two matches and for the first time in hurling history, the Westerners have beaten Cork in two consecutive championship games.
And for the second successive season, the Rebels bowed out of the championship on the end of a 12-point defeat.
Despite this crushing loss, Cork boss Denis Walsh intimated afterwards that he is interested in seeing out the remaining year of his contract.
Magnificent Galway forward Joe Canning was the undoubted start turn on a sweltering afternoon in Limerick.
Some 18,900 spectators witnessed an attacking masterclass from the Portumna superstar, who bagged 0-10, including five from play.
Five of Galway’s six starting forwards registered scores from play while midfielders Andy Smith and David Burke helped themselves to a brace of points each.
And with eight minutes remaining, Galway boss John McIntyre’s inspired substitution worked a treat as Cyril Donnellan netted with his first touch of the game to kill the tie stone dead.
But Galway had to fight back from a shocking start as Cork raced 1-3 to 0-0 ahead with just eight minutes on the watch – all scores courtesy of full-forward Paudie O’Sullivan.
Galway’s first point, 11 minutes into the game, sparked a scoring spree and the winners outscored Cork by 1-12 to 0-4 for the remainder of the half.
With less than a minute on the watch, O’Sullivan netted following a mistake by Galway goalkeeper James Skehill, who failed to find a team-mate with a short pass.
But Galway were scintillating when they got going and were level at 1-7 to 0-10 on the half hour, despite missing a penalty, one of a total tally of 16 wides for the game.
After Alan Kerins was hauled down by Stephen McDonnell in the 23rd minute, Canning’s blistering drive was well stopped by Cork full-back Eoin Cadogan on the line.
But Galway did find their breakthrough goal two minutes before half-time when Damien Hayes picked up a pass from Iarla Tannian in acres of space, rounded Donal Óg Cusack and tapped the ball into an empty net.
Leading by 1-12 to 1-7 at half-time, Galway were in control and they picked off the opening score of the second half, when Ger Farragher pointed.
Cork hit back to within three points with 47 minutes on the watch when Cian McCarthy, who was curiously substituted later, popped over a quickfire brace.
Points from Farragher and Iarla Tannian pushed Galway five points clear before Paudie O’Sullivan threatened in the 52nd minute but was kept out by a superb block by Tribes defender David Collins.
A Pat Horgan free reduced the deficit to four points but that was as good as it got for the Leesiders, who were crushed under the ferocious weight of a late Galway scoring blitz.
With 10 minutes remaining, Canning had a superb goal ruled but referee James McGrath whistled back for an earlier infringement, much to Galway’s fury.
But two minutes later, Donnellan gained possession just seconds after coming on, put the head down and went for goal.
The burly forward left Stephen McDonnell trailing in his wake and cracked a rising drive past Cusack to put Galway 2-20 to 1-13 clear.
CORK: D Óg Cusack; S McDonnell, E Cadogan, B Murphy; J Gardiner, R Curran, S O’Neill; J O’Connor, W Egan; B O’Connor (0-1), C McCarthy (0-3), N McCarthy (0-1); L O’Farrell, P O’Sullivan (1-3), P Horgan (0-4, 2f).
Subs: J Coughlan for O’Farrell (half-time), C Naughton for O’Neill (50), L McLoughlin for J O’Connor (57), B Cooper (0-1) for C McCarthy (57), C Lehane (0-1) for N McCarthy (66).
GALWAY: J Skehill; F Moore, S Kavanagh, D Collins; D Barry, T Óg Regan, A Cullinane; A Smith (0-2), D Burke (0-2); J Gantley (0-1), G Farragher (0-4), I Tannian (0-1); D Hayes (1-3), J Canning (0-10, 4f, 1 65), A Kerins.
Subs: B Daly for Smith (58), C Donnellan (1-0) for Kerins (61), K Hynes for Tannian (66), J Coen for Gantley (67), D Joyce for Collins (67).
Referee: J McGrath (Westmeath).