UNBEATEN Galway maintained their promotion push with a third straight win in Division 2, whereas winless Cork are edging closer and closer to relegation following this third defeat of the campaign.
With proceedings tied at 1-12 apiece, it was the visitors who found an extra gear upon the change of ends and crucial to their coming out on top was two goals in the space of two minutes midway through the second-half.
The Galway lead went from two to five on 52 minutes when a Paul Conroy long ball found Damien Comer, the full-forward volleying to the net after getting around Kevin Flahive.
And although Steven Sherlock posted an immediate Cork response at the Blackrock End to pare the margin to four, the electric Shane Walsh delivered Galway’s third goal shortly after to extend their lead to seven (3-16 to 1-15) and make certain of the two points on offer.
Indeed, Walsh followed his goal with three points in-a-row to help bring his final tally for the evening to 2-7.
Cork managed only 1-5 in the second period, 1-1 of which arrived in second-half stoppages.
The first half was a most open and enjoyable game of football, play oscillating up and down the field at a rate of knots – 26 scores testament to such.
Shane Walsh had the visitors off the mark inside 15 seconds, but such was the ever-fluctuating nature of who held momentum, and the lead, Galway found themselves four behind less than three minutes later.
Included in this unanswered Cork 1-2 that sent Ricken’s charges four clear early doors was a superbly taken Blake Murphy goal on two minutes.
Galway’s answer to this early burst of Cork scores and dominance was to kick 1-5 without reply and open up a four-point lead of their own by the 16th minute. On target forJoyce’s troops here were Robert Finnerty, who kicked three first-half points in total, Dylan McHugh, Matthew Tierney, Dessie Conneely, and Shane Walsh (free), with the latter also coolly dispatching an eighth-minute penalty.
Cork, to their credit, wrestled back momentum and succeeded to reel off five white flags on the bounce between the 23rd minute and half-hour mark to edge 1-10 to 1-9 in front. All bar one of these efforts were Steven Sherlock frees, the outlier being a booming Blake Murphy point.
But as was the recurring theme of the half, whatever one side produced, the other crowd then went and immediately bettered it.
So while Owen Gallagher, Shane Walsh, and Finnerty returned Galway in front, Tadhg Corkery and John O’Rourke split the posts at the City End deep in first-half stoppages to leave the scoreboard tied at 1-12 apiece.
Much different was the second period, Galway not once led in the second 35 minutes. For Cork, their next three outings in Division 2 are against the three counties – Down, Meath, and Offaly – beside them in the bottom half of the table. Each is a must-win if relegation is to be