By Jackie Cahill at the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick
Cork 1-12 Galway 1-10
Eamonn Ryan’s Cork remain on course for a tenth TG4 All-Ireland ladies senior football crown in eleven seasons.
The Rebelettes held off a spirited second half fightback from Galway at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick to secure a place in the semi-finals against Kerry on August 29, a clash that will be a repeat of last month’s Munster final.
Cork were seven points up at half-time against Galway in today’s quarter-final, 1-6 to 0-2, but the Westerners fought back to within a point twice in the second half.
But the Tribeswomen couldn’t get close enough to the champions, suffering another big-game defeat against their opponents after Cork won the Tesco National League Division 1 final replay between the counties in May.
Cork could have had a couple of second half goals too but Áine O’Sullivan rolled an effort just wide before the Beara forward, who scored 3-5 against Meath on her championship debut, saw another effort brilliantly saved by Tina Hughes.
Despite the best efforts of Geraldine Conneally and Roisín Leonard, Galway couldn’t reel in the Leesiders, who kept their heads against the breeze in the second half to keep their Brendan Martin Cup hopes alive.
And after Munster champions Kerry secured their passage to the semi-finals earlier in the evening, the scene is now set for Cork to potentially gain revenge for their provincial final defeat against the Kingdom.
At half-time, Cork had looked well on course for a comfortable victory over Galway.
They netted with just 20 seconds on the clock as leading scorer Ciara O’Sullivan finished a flowing move for the opening score of the game.
At the break, Cork were seven points clear as Galway were held to just two first half points, scored by Aoibheann Daly and Patricia Gleeson.
Both of Galway’s scoring forwards were later substituted and as Ryan emptied the bench in the second half, Cork withdrew five of their six starting forwards, including free-taker Valerie Mulcahy.
Conneally’s goal five minutes into the second half provided Galway with some renewed hope but Cork used their bench well to keep their opponents at bay, with All-Ireland minor winner Eimear Scally and Doireann O’Sullivan both contributing points after coming on.
Cork’s leaders came to the fore at crucial times as dual star Briege Corkery roared forward for a point after Galway got to within one.
Similarly, when Galway responded to Corkery’s score, Ciara O’Sullivan hit back to keep some breathing space between the sides.
Down the home straight, Cork had the wherewithal to ensure progress to a fifth straight All-Ireland semi-final.
And after claiming the last four titles, the Rebelettes have the scent of five-in-a-row in their nostrils as they march forward.
Scorers for Cork: C O’Sullivan 1-3, V Mulcahy 0-4 (3f), D O’Reilly, B Corkery, A Hutchings, E Scally (f) & D O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Galway: G Conneally 1-1, R Leonard 0-3, T Leonard 0-2f, N Ward, A Daly, O Divilly & P Gleeson 0-1 each.
CORK: M O’Brien; M Ambrose, B Stack, A Barrett; V Foley, D O’Reilly, G O’Flynn; R Buckley, B Corkery; C O’Sullivan, A Hutchings, A Walsh; V Mulcahy, Á O’Sullivan, R Ní Bhuachalla.
Subs: E Scally for Mulcahy (41), D O’Sullivan for Walsh (46), O Farmer for Hutchings (49), O Finn for Ní Bhuachalla (56), E Farmer for Á O’Sullivan (60+2).
GALWAY: T Hughes; M Coyne, E Flaherty, Á Seoighe; S Gormelly, N Ward, S Burke; M Hoey, G Conneally; A Daly, L Ward, O Divilly; R Leonard, P Gleeson, T Leonard.
Subs: A Clarke for Gleeson (30+1), B Hannon for Daly (h.t.), C Cormican for Hoey (55).
Referee: G Corrigan (Down)