Cork ambush gallant Galway to advance
Cork 1-17 Galway 1-16
NOT even a wonder-goal from a Michael Meehan 20m deep into injury-time could steal this All-Ireland qualifier from Cork who used all their experience and nous to battle back and reach their ninth consecutive All-Ireland SFC quarter-final.
Just beforehand Cork fullback Michael Shields was allowed run the length of the field to bag a point and that, ultimately, proved to be all that seperated them.
But Galway, on their first visit to Croke Park in five years, left wondering how they left this one behind them.
They were a point up at half-time (0-8 to 0-7) and went five ahead in the third quarter when they had wind advantage and even after Cork had pulled the gap back to a minimum then went two ahead again with Michael Meehan and Sean Armstrong pulling all the strings.
But the Rebels, who unusually lined out exactly as named beforehand, had a dozen goal chances throughout and when Aidan Walsh finally got one after 65 minutes to level it.
Cork then kicked on immediately with points from Pearse O'Neill, Daniel Goulding, Brian Hurley and Shields to suddenly swung the game their way and they somehow held on despite Meehan's late heroics.
For most of the game Galway played a better brand of off-loading, running football with Gary O'Donnell, Armstrong and Meehan leading the charge and Meehan had scored four of his 1-6 (4f) by half-time.
But a raft of second-half changes, especially the introduction of Paul Kerrigan and Paddy Kelly, ultimately saw Cork pulling through and using all their experience in a frenetic final quarter.
Scorers - Cork - D Goulding 0-5 (4f), A Walsh 1-1, P O'Neill and C Sheehan 0-2 each, B Hurley 0-2 (2f), M Shields, J Loughrey, M Collins and J O'Rourke 0-1 each, D Cahalane 0-1 ('45). Galway - M Meehan 1-6 (4f), S Armstrong 0-4 (1f), P Conroy 0-2, G Sice, C Doherty, M Martin and D Cummins 0-1 each.
Cork - A Quirke; E Cadogan, M Shields, T Clancy; D Cahalane, G Canty (Capt), J Loughrey; A O'Connor, P O'Neill; J O,Rourke, A Walsh, M Collins; D Goulding, C Sheehan, B Hurley. Subs - P Kerrigan for O'Rourke (44), P Kissane for Loughrey (47), D O'Connor for Hurley (53), P Kelly for A O'Connor (58), J O'Sullivan for Clancy (60).
Galway - M Breathnach; D O'Neill, D Hanley (Capt), J Duane; S Denvir, G O'Donnell, G Sice; P Conroy, T Flynn; J O'Brien, S Armstrong, C Doherty; M Martin, M Meehan, D Cummins. Subs - S Walsh for Cummins (inj, 23), M Farragher for O'Brien (53), F O Curraoin for Flynn (54), A Varley for Martin (58),
Referee - D Gough (Meath).