Cork’s rehabilitation continues with a controlled victory over Galway


Cork’s rehabilitation from an embarrassing final defeat by All-Ireland Hurling continued at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, where that win over Galway secured qualification for the knockout stages of the Allianz Hurling League for the first time in five seasons.

Top shooter Patrick Horgan’s 1-13 contribution allowed them to comfortably move into the last four of the competition with a game to go. The Rebels have not been involved in a league knockout game since losing to Limerick in the 2017 quarter-finals.

Now, after their fourth win in the spin, they’re guaranteed a spot in the semifinals in three weeks’ time.

Remarkably, Cork have not won a league title since 1998 and although their priority is the first-round league game against Limerick in mid-April, the opportunity to secure the national title is also welcome.

Along with Wexford, they were the form team in 2022. So much so that they won four league games in the top flight since 2005 for the first time since 2005. For Galway, this defeat was a reminder that there is much work to be done. This was the first time they suffered back-to-back defeats this season but they will now turn their attention to the Leinster Championship.

The full Galway squad and backroom staff folded their arms on the touchline before the throw-in for a minute’s silence in memory of Paul Shefflin, the younger brother of Galway manager Henry, who died suddenly while running on Friday.

There was hardly a breeze on the pitch side as Cork dominated the early exchanges. Despite leading 0-4 to 0-1, Galway caught up to them as teams went point by point. But the visitors were guilty of the unpredictable finish, hitting six wides in the first 15 minutes. At the break it was 8:7 for the guests.

Cork full-backs looked far from safe under the high ball and Conor Whelan’s strength gave them trouble, while the crowd didn’t like the referee’s strict interpretation of the hand-pass rule, with some decisions going against Cork.

Eight minutes before the break, Patrick Horgan’s persistence was well rewarded when he blocked Daithí Burke before running clean and beating Eanna Murphy from close range for the game’s opening score.

The Cork forwards’ pace of work was a notable feature of the first half, yielding a 1-2 dividend as they converted turnovers into points. They were in control at halftime, leading 1:13 to 0:11, despite the visitors scoring the last two points of the half.

The goal tally dropped after the break as teams started running off the bench, but Cork’s pace of work was again rewarded with two points from the game.

They managed to keep the visitors at bay and it took a brilliant save from Galway goalkeeper Éanna Murphy to prevent substitute Sean Twomey from scoring in the 56th minute. The visitors went for the next four points, with Ronan Glennon claiming his fifth of the night to reduce the deficit to four with ten minutes to go.

But Galway never seemed able to break through the Cork rearguard and were without a shot on goal at the business end of the competition. As in the first half, their finish let them down as they hit eight wides compared to three for the home side.

With Patrick Horgan deadly accurate with his frees, Cork weathered the competition easily and the hundreds of kids who rushed onto the pitch afterwards were mainly chasing Cork’s top scorer.

scorers Cork: PHorgan 1-13 (9f, 1-65); S Harnedy 0-4; S Barrett, R O’Flynn, M Coleman 0-2 each; G Millerick, D Fitzgibbon, T O’Mahony each 0-1. Galway: C. Cooney 0-6 (5f); R Glennon 0-5; T Monaghan 0-4; G Lee J Cooney 0-2 each; C Mannion C Whelan, J Hastings, T Killeen 0-1 each.

Cork: P Collins; D Cahalane, D O’Leary, S O’Donoghue; T O’Mahony, M Coleman, R Downey; D Fitzgibbon, G Millerick; R O’Flynn, S Barrett, J O’Connor; P Horgan, A Connolly, S Harnedy. Substitutions: C Lehane for O’Connor (43′), S Twomey for Connolly (49′), L Meade for Downey (53′), C Cahalane for Barrett (63′), B Roche for Harnedy ( 70.+2)

Galway: E Murphy; J Grealish, D Burke, A Tuohey; T Killeen, P Mannion, F Burke; J Coen, R Glennon; T Monaghan, C Cooney, J Hastings; Mannion C, Whelan C, Lee G. Substitutes: J. Cooney for Grealish (43 m), D. Morrissey for Tuohey (45), K. Cooney for Lee (67), G. Thomas for Monaghan (70)

Referee: Thomas Walsh (Waterford). Cork’s rehabilitation continues with a controlled victory over Galway

Fry Electronics Team

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