Tribesmen show spirit but Goulding's class guides Rebels home
Allianz Football League Div 1
Galway produced a spirited display at Pearse Stadium but it was not enough to thwart the All-Ireland champions, and the Tribesmen now seem destined for relegation.
Tomas O Flatharta's side went in two points ahead at half-time, but, led by the inspirational Daniel Goulding, Cork powered to their fourth win of the campaign, which keeps them in prime position to defend their title.
Goulding kicked seven of his side's points in a team missing many regulars, but a 16th-minute knee injury to Colm O'Neill will concern manager Conor Counihan.
Cork raced ahead early on into a 0-5 to 0-1 lead thanks to three points from Goulding and one each from Fintan Goold and Paddy Kelly.
But Galway rallied until the break to stop the rot, which disappointed Counihan.
"We started well enough, but when Colm O'Neill went off we lost our rhythm and found it hard to get hold of the ball around the middle of the field," said the Cork boss.
"If you don't get hold of the ball you don't get to dominate the game. It is all about getting two points, but in terms of the level of performance, particularly in the first half, we'd have been very disappointed. You wouldn't get away with it on another day."
After getting to grips with the Rebels attack, Galway kicked eight points before the turnaround as Matthew Clancy (2) and Cormac Bane (4) began to turn on the style, with Joe Bergin and Finian Hanley to the fore at centrefield.
"Galway came back into it and the lads worked very hard," said O Flatharta.
"We put up some good scores, which put us in front at half-time 0-9 to 0-7.
"We have been trying out a new midfield partnership in the last few weeks. They started off in Killarney last week and I thought it was better again today so that is encouraging.
"We probably ran out of time and we had a few opportunities and they didn't go our way.
"But overall I felt it was a good performance and some good spirit shown by the Galway lads."
But their 0-9 to 0-7 advantage at the break could have been so much more as some wayward shooting -- especially from Fiachra Breathnach, who spurned a golden goal chance after 20 minutes -- cost Galway dear.
Three minutes after the restart Cork were level thanks to a free from Goulding and a point from play from substitute James Fitzpatrick.
Galway responded with Paul Conroy and Hanley both kicking fine scores.
However, Cork's superior fitness and know-how came to the fore in the final quarter as they outscored their hosts 0-7 to 0-2.
Substitute Sean Kiely was sublime and his two points on the run between the 51st and 53rd minutes were superbly taken as Cork cruised towards the finish line.
Galway goalkeeper Adrian Flaherty kicked a late '45' to reduce the gap to three points but Cork held on for a win earned at nowhere near their September best.
Man of the Match: Daniel Goulding (Cork)
Scorers -- Cork: D Goulding 0-7 (3f), F Goold, S Keily, P Kelly (1f) 0-2 , A O'Connor, K O'Driscoll, J Fitzpatrick 0-1 each.
Galway: C Bane 0-5 (2f), M Clancy, P Conroy 0-2 each, E Concannon (1f), F Breathnach, F Hanley, A Flaherty (1 '45') 0-1 each.
Cork -- K O'Halloran 7; E Cadogan 6, M Shields 6, R Carey 6; D O'Sullivan 6, N O'Leary 8, P Kissane 7; A O'Connor 6, N Murphy 6; F Goold 6, P Kelly 6, P O'Neill 6; D Goulding 9, C O'Neill 6, F Lynch 6. Subs: D Goold 6 for O'Neill (16), J Fitzpatrick 7 for Murphy (h-t), S Kiely 8 for O'Sullivan (h-t), K O'Driscoll 7 for O'Neill (63), C O'Driscoll 6 for Kelly (70).
Galway -- A Flaherty 7; A Burke 6, C Forde 7, J Duane 7; G O'Donnell 6, G Sice 8, G Higgins 7; J Bergin 7, F Hanley 8; F Breachnach 6, E Concannon 6, C Kenny 6; M Clancy 8, P Conroy 7, C Bane 6. Subs: J Ryan 6 for Conroy (52), D Blake 6 for Breathnach (63).
Ref -- E Kinsella (Laois)