| 10.5°C Dublin

Rebels fall as Tribesmen in ruthless form

RUMOURS that Galway hurlers were kidnapped and replaced with imposters for last month's Leinster semi-final against Dublin are assuming more substance by the day.

After blowing away Clare the last day, the Tribesmen ran out 2-23 to 1-14 winners over Cork at the Gaelic Grounds.

When Cork's Paudie O'Sullivan helped himself to an unanswered 1-3 in the opening 10 minutes, it looked as if Galway were in for another horrible experience -- especially as goalkeeper James Skehill gifted the Rebels the goal.

"We just knuckled down after the bad start. We didn't want James to be made a scapegoat so we got down to hard work. Cork scored 1-3 early on but we missed quite a bit, so we felt we'd get back into it once we tidied things up," said Galway centre-back Tony óg Regan.

Galway did a whole lot more than that. Andy Smith's opening point in the 11th minute settled them into a routine that grew increasingly coherent as the game progressed. In the end, they had scored 25 times while also shooting 16 wides, a clear indication of the dominance they enjoyed all over the pitch.

"If the backbone in this Galway team was as weak as some people thought it was three weeks ago, they could have very easily collapsed and fallen away. But they dug in, they played some great hurling to come back into the game," said Galway manager John McIntyre (inset).

Galway had big-game performers in every line while, in attack, Damien Hayes, Joe Canning and Ger Farragher tormented their opponents.

They scored 1-12 from open play between them while also shooting 10 wides, an indication of just how much possession they won.