Galway hurricane blows Cork to the four winds in Thurles
Tribesmen showing form reminiscent of 2012 as they set up Tipperary semi-final
Jonathan Glynn gathers the ball from his tap over before scoring Galway’s first goal in the All-Ireland hurling quarter-final at Semple Stadium in Thurles. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Galway 2-28 Cork 0-22
So not for the first time Galway hurling shows up in an unlikely disguise. Only not in the often half-dressed fashion of late, but in near full blooming maroon, which at times seemed to surprise themselves as much as it did Cork.
It’s certainly been a long time since Joe Canning was either equalled or out-scored by three other Galway forwards. In what has fast become the post-match quote of the summer, Johnny Glynn politely described that as simply answering some of their cursed critics, and which he certainly did anyway.
Glynn helped himself to 1-2 and that only begins to describe his performance. Cathal Mannion scored seven points, all from play, each as impressive as the next, and Conor Whelan also hit 1-2. In the end there were 11 different Galway scorers, and Canning, who did hit 0-5, was arguably the least impressive of them.
He also hit eight wides: that’s not being harsh on him, but simply conveying the fact Galway were in no way reliant on him this time.
Indeed manager Anthony Cunningham had forecast before this game that Galway were finally coming closer to being the sum of their parts, and so it proved. He’s also forecast meeting Kilkenny again in the All-Ireland final, and although Tipperary will definitely have something too about that in next month’s All-Ireland semi-final, there’s no denying Galway are rounding back into their 2012 form, when they came so close to winning the title outright.
Glynn, even with his 1-2, probably added up to even more than the sum of his parts on the day, immediately setting the tone for what proved to be a comprehensive defeat for Cork.
Jimmy Barry-Murphy later described that goal as setting the trend for the game and in every sense it did, Cork never fully recovering. They were instead left chasing the game with an ever increasing deficit.
Cork’s defence was in virtual shreds by the end, and Galway’s 2-28 – a brilliant 2-24 of which came from play – could have been substantially more had they not also helped themselves to 23 wides.
All six Galway forwards, plus midfielders Andy Smith and David Burke, had scored by half-time, and even if Cork were still in the game by then – trailing by just four, 1-15 to 0-14 – everything for them went from bad to worse in the second half.
Cooney and Niall Healy both scored after coming off the bench, while Aidan Harte also chipped in two superb scores in the second half from wing back. If anything it became a contest for the best Galway score, the late efforts from Jason Flynn and Glynn certainly worthy of the top prize.
Then, just as Cork were sinking to the knees, Glynn set up Galway’s second goal, five minutes from time. Despite losing his hurl in the possession, Glynn simply stepped back and allowed Whelan to complete the move with a thundering shot to the net. And with that Cork hearts sank too.
The wilting of Cork’s effort in the end will be the subject of some debate, although Barry-Murphy simply conceded they were no match for Galway’s intensity and work rate, at least not for the full 70 minutes
Patrick Horgan made the most of the few frees that came Cork’s way, but it wasn’t until late in the second half before they presented any sort of goal threat, and while Horgan did draw one save from Colm Callanan, Paudie O’Sullivan putting the rebound over the bar, that was about the best of the slim pickings.
Yet Galway’s smart reading and writing of the defence meant the likes of Lehane and Harnedy were allowed precious little time of the ball. Daithí Burke displayed great versatility and John Hanbury held down the full back berth with considerable confidence.
Both teams adopted more traditional line-ups as well, and while Cork played the first half with the benefit of a stiff breeze blowing into the town end, they lacked some of the spark shown in their last two outings against Wexford and Clare. Patrick Cronin and Brian Lawton were both replaced as Barry-Murphy looked to rekindle some of that spark in the attack, and while Alan Cadogan and O’Sullivan both scored a point each coming off the bench, it was still completely insufficient.
Once Cork lost Cahalane (who had also been booked on eight minutes) it was all about Galway running down the clock and running up more scores. They outscored Cork 1-6 to 0-2 in the final 10 minutes, during which time they also hit several more wides. In the end Canning’s 0-5 (two frees, one 65, one sideline and one from play) looked pretty paltry and yet it hardly mattered.
So, Galway left Thurles after their first victory at Semple Stadium since 2009, and with a fourth successive championship victory over Cork, looking increasingly like that sum of their parts, only with Canning not quite playing his part, as unlikely as that would have sounded beforehand.
GALWAY: 1 C Callanan; 2 J Coen, 3 J Hanbury, 4 P Mannion; 7 Daithí Burke, 6 I Tannion, 5 A Harte (0-2); 8 S Smith (0-1) (capt), 9 David Burke (0-2); 13 J Flynn (0-3), 14 J Canning (0-5, one free, one sideline, one 65), 11 C Donnellan (0-2); 15 C Mannion (0-7), 12 J Glynn (1-2), 10 C Whelan (1-2.)
Subs: 17 J Cooney (0-1) for David Burke (34 mins, inj), 17 D Collins for Donnellan (57 mins), 20 G Lally for Tannian (60 mins), 24 N Healy (0-1) for Glynn.
CORK: 1 A Nash; 4 S McDonnell, 3 B Murphy, 2 S O’Neill; 5 A Walsh (0-1), 6 M Ellis, 7 C Murphy (0-1); 8 D Cahalane, 9 D Kearney (0-2); 10 B Lawton (0-1), 11 P Cronin, 12 B Cooper; 15 P Horgan (0-9, seven frees, one 65), 14 S Harnedy (0-3), 13 C Lehane (0-3).
Subs: 25 J Coughlan for Cronin (half time), 19 L Mc Loughlin for C Murphy (44 mins, inj), 24 A Cadogan (0-1) for Lawton (46 mins), 22 P O’Sullivan (0-1) for Cooper (56 mins).