All Ireland SHC Quarter-Final Galway 2-19 Cork 1-21

Galway will face Limerick in the All-Ireland SHC semi-finals after they held off Cork at FBD Semple Stadium in Saturday’s quarter-final.

A pair of first-half goals ensured that the Tribesmen led throughout this game, giving them a fifth straight championship victory over the Rebels. The Munster side will reflect on the concession of those green flags as well as wastefulness at the other end, especially in the first half. Down by five points at half-time, they came back to within one on more than one occasion but an equaliser remained elusive.

The game wasn’t even a half-minute old when Galway corner-back Jack Grealish put them in front as his long ball wasn’t cleanly claimed by Cork goalkeeper Patrick Collins and ended up in the net. Cork almost replied immediately but Éanna Murphy saved from Alan Connolly and the goalkeeper was to make two more important saves in the first period, denying Robbie O’Flynn and Darragh Fitzibbon.

Though Cork did get up and running as Conor Lehane’s free cut the gap to a point, 1-1 to 0-3, Galway’s Conor Cooney replied with a free and then they had a goal as Conor Whelan beat Seán O’Donoghue to a Tom Monaghan delivery and produced a superb low finish across Collins and into the net.

Cork responded well to that and when Robbie O’Flynn landed a fine point on 27, it was 2-3 to 0-6 but Galway had scores from Whelan, David Burke and Joseph Cooney to give them a cushion again.

Shane Kingston’s free for Cork left five in it at the break and then, four minutes into the second half, the same player made it a two-point game when he seized possession as Galway came out of defence and kept his composure to finish well.

However, Henry Shefflin’s side weren’t knocked out of their stride and cancelled out the goal with points from Burke, Conor Cooney and an outrageous Whelan effort. Much of the half was like that as Cork would make a burst to come within touching distance only for Galway – with Joseph Cooney excelling after moving to centre-back – to push on again.

A Cathal Mannion point, awarded by Hawkeye just after a Mark Coleman sideline cut had been similarly adjudicated, made it 2-13 to 1-12, but Cork sub Patrick Horgan had two in a row before O’Flynn got his third. It left a point in it again but once more Galway tacked on a trio, through sub Johnny Coen, Monaghan and Joseph Cooney.

Horgan and another Cork sub, Alan Cadogan – who finished with three points – cut the deficit again but Cathal Mannion popped up with two big points to give him four and Conor Cooney made it 2-19 to 1-18 with 66 minutes on the clock.

Galway wouldn’t score again, but they would survive without needing to. They face Limerick in Croke Park on Sunday, July 3.

Scorers for Galway: Conor Whelan 1-2, Conor Cooney 0-5 (0-4 frees, 0-1 65), Cathal Mannion 0-4, Jack Grealish 1-0, David Burke 0-2, Joseph Cooney, Ronan Glennon, Tom Monaghan, Johnny Coen, Jason Flynn, Brian Concannon 0-1 each.

Scorers for Cork: Shane Kingston 1-2 (0-1 free), Patrick Horgan 0-4 (0-2 frees, 0-1 65), Mark Coleman (0-2 frees, 0-1 sideline), Robbie O’Flynn 0-3 each, Alan Cadogan, Darragh Fitzgibbon 0-3 each, Conor Lehane (0-1f), Luke Meade, Damien Cahalane 0-1 each.

GALWAY: Éanna Murphy; Jack Grealish, Daithí Burke, Darren Morrissey; Gearóid McInerney, Pádraic Mannion, Fintan Burke; Ronan Glennon, David Burke; Tom Monaghan, Conor Cooney, Joseph Cooney; Conor Whelan, Cianán Fahy, Cathal Mannion.

Subs: Brian Concannon for Fahy (30), Jason Flynn for McInerney (34, injured), Johnny Coen for Glennon (45), Evan Niland for David Burke (69), Gavin Lee for Monaghan (70).

CORK: Patrick Collins; Noel O’Leary, Damien Cahalane, Seán O’Donoghue; Robert Downey, Ciarán Joyce, Mark Coleman; Darragh Fitzgibbon, Luke Meade; Robbie O’Flynn, Séamus Harnedy, Shane Kingston; Tim O’Mahony, Alan Connolly, Conor Lehane.

Subs: Patrick Horgan for Lehane (half-time), Jack O’Connor for Connolly (47), Ger Millerick for Downey (51), Alan Cadogan for O’Mahony (63), Tommy O’Connell for Harnedy (67).

Referee: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow).