Wednesday 20 September 2017

O'Sullivan on target as Rebels rally for vital point

Galway 2-12 Cork 2-12 John Fallon allianz NHL div 1a

Cork boss Jimmy Barry-Murphy lamented 10 bad wides in the opening half at Pearse Stadium but he was pleased with the way his men came from behind to salvage a draw in an exciting finish.

They looked set for defeat when Galway surged four points clear in the final quarter, but Cork rallied and got back in contention when Cian McCarthy set up Paudie O'Sullivan for a fine goal.

"I was worried at half-time as well because we hadn't played well and we took a lot of bad options and hit some bad wides," said Barry-Murphy. "When Galway pulled ahead it didn't look good for us but our lads showed plenty of spirit.

"And that's the one aspect of the game that I am pleased about, we were very poor in the second half against Clare last week, whereas today we showed plenty of spirit and that's very encouraging.

"But in the first half some of the options for shot-taking weren't very good and that's something we need to work on.

"We need to work harder in general when the ball is in and around our full-forwards, we have got to work harder to try and create more goal-scoring opportunities, I think," said Barry-Murphy, whose side will head to Kilkenny for the final round, while Galway travel to take on Waterford next Sunday with everything to play for in what has turned out to be a very tight league.

Galway boss Anthony Cunningham has not given up hope of making the semi-finals even though they are still bottom of the table. And he was far from happy at the way they let a winning hand slip from their grasp.

"There was a lack of concentration there in the finish really," he said. "It is something we will talk to the players about and go through it in detail, you can't allow a good team like Cork into it and take your foot off the pedal because they'll come back with a sucker punch of a goal.

"We paid the price for that there. This league is extremely competitive, I don't think there is any team qualified and definitely we have everything to play for on the last day."

Joe Canning was superb for the Tribesmen, shooting 0-10 in another awesome display but Cunningham will be looking for a bigger return from some of the other forwards in their final game against Waterford next week.

"We'd always be looking for more scores, and that we get scores easily, and maybe a bit more easily than we are getting them at the moment.

"That's what we'll be back on the coaching field on Tuesday night with," he added.

His side hurled well in the opening half and it took a goal from a penalty by goalkeeper Anthony Nash to give the Rebels a 1-7 to 1-6 interval lead having played with the wind, but they shot 10 wides.

A sublime overhead handpass from Canning sent Davy Glennon through for the opening goal after 20 minutes. But with Lorcan McLoughlin, who finished with 0-3 from midfield, in good form, Cork rallied before the break and again after half-time, when points from Conor Lehane and McLoughlin put them 1-9 to 1-8 in front following a superb point from a sideline ball by Canning.

Galway got moving and Cyril Donnellan levelled the match after 46 minutes and then Canning edged them in front from distance. Galway looked set for victory when Donnellan blasted to the net after taking a delivery from Glennon but the Cork was response was good.

Cian McCarthy and Stephen Moylan pointed before McCarthy picked out Paudie O'Sullivan with a great crossfield pass and the Cloyne man found the net to tie the game at 2-11 apiece 10 minutes from the end.

Canning restored Galway's lead with a free but McCarthy secured a deserved draw five minutes from time, with neither side looking like carving out a winner in as the game entered the dying moments.

Man of the match: J Canning (Galway)

Scorers – Galway: J Canning 0-10 (7fs, 1sl), C Donnellan 1-2, D Glennon 1-0. Cork: P O'Sullivan 1-1, A Nash 1-0 (1-0 pen), L McLoughlin 0-3, C McCarthy 0-2 (2fs), P Horgan (1f), P Cronin, W Egan, S Moylan, C Lehane, L O'Farrell 0-1 each.

Galway – C Callanan 7; F Moore 6, K Hynes 6, J Coen 6; A Harte 7, D Collins 7, N Donoghue 6; I Tannian 6, A Smith 6; J Cooney 6, J Canning 8, J Glynn 6; C Donnellan 8, D Hayes 7, D Glennon 7. Subs: T Haran 6 for Glennon (65), B Flaherty 6 for Smith (68).

Cork – A Nash 7; S O'Neill 6, B Murphy 6, C O'Sullivan 7; C Joyce 7, P Cronin 7, W Egan 7; T Kenny 7, L McLoughlin 8; C Lehane 6, P O'Sullivan 7, S Harnedy 6; A Mannix 6, L O'Farrell 7, P Horgan 6. Subs: C McCarthy 7 for Harnedy (h-t), M Cussen 6 for Horgan (45), S Moylan 7 for Mannix (53), F O'Leary 6 for Lehane (62), S White 6 for Egan (65).

Ref – J Owens (Wexford)

Irish Independent

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