Division Two: Galway and Cork share the spoils in Salthill
Meath well beaten at home by Kildare as James Kielt rescues a draw for Derry
Conor Dorman of Cork and Séan Armstrong of Galway. Photograph: Mike Shaughnessy/Inpho
A draw was probably the fairest result as Cork and Galway both took a point apiece from their Division Two league opener at Pearse Stadium in Salthill.
With the two counties hopeful of gaining promotion to the top tier this year, Cork and Galway both enjoyed dominant spells but will certainly be left with plenty to improve on if they are to turn those hopes into reality.
A Paul Kerrigan goal on 17 minutes had Cork slightly ahead throughout the first half - the scoreboard reading Cork 1-3 Galway 0-5 at the interval.
Four points without reply though saw Galway surge three clear but Cork responded with three-in-a-row themselves to level matters with 20 minutes remaining.
Colm O’Neill scored one of those after coming into the action early in the second half, one of five points (four from play) for him.
But the Cork sharpshooter went from hero to zero when he missed a free with the last kick of the game to snatch a victory for the rebels.
Meanwhile Kildare took two away points from their trip to Navan - after a 3-17 to 0-16 victory over Meath.
Niall Kelly struck two goals for Cian O’Neill’s side who were deserving of their win which could have been even greater if they were as tight defensively as they were clinical down the other end.
Despite scoring the last four points of the first half Meath still trailed at the interval 0-7 to 2-7. The teams went point for point in the second period, but Kelly’s second goal put real daylight between the teams again and Kildare went on to go 10 ahead with 53 minutes gone.
The teams then went point for point again to see out the encounter. A statement of intent for the visitors who could well meet the Royals again this year in a Leinster semi-final.
Meanwhile Clare edged Derry 1-8 to 0-11 with Jamie Malone’s 43rd minute goal the highlight of a rather stale encounter.
Before the goal Derry were a point ahead - 0-6 to 0-5 - with neither team having scored in the 13 minutes since the interval.