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Allianz NFL Division 1 – Cork 1-19 Galway 1-17
In-form Rebels forced to dig deep to edge out Galway
Cork 1-19 Galway 1-17
By Bob Lester for the Irish Examiner newspaper
Monday, March 08, 2010
THOSE looking for entertainment at sandy Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday got plenty of it. With some fine open play, lots of energy and 38 scores, it was manna for spectators. However, numerous mistakes and ball errors by both sides would not have impressed either Cork coach Conor Counihan or Galway counterpart Joe Kernan. Cork, under the cosh in the second-half despite holding a nine-point advantage at one stage, held out against gritty Galway for their third league victory in-a-row. But Counihan couldn’t have been too impressed. “In the second-half we gave them far too much space, didn’t close them down. But we had a lot of young players out there and we only played well in patches. There’s lots of bottle in this Galway side, Joe (Kernan) has given them steel and a new spirit. We got the points, but Galway will take a lot more out of the game than we will.”
Certainly Cork nearly paid for their complacency, though it was not evident in the opening half. It was a point apiece after the opening five minutes, the hard-working Paudie Kissane for Cork and the nifty Nicky Joyce replying for Galway. However, the Tribesmen were looking sharper and more composed early on and it was no surprise when Sean Armstrong put them ahead with a 45. But the centre-forward was then forced out of the contest with a hamstring injury to be replaced by Cillian De Paor and the Galway attack missed the big centre-forward’s presence.
With Ken O’Halloran making a good debut between the posts and Ray Carey and new boy Eoin Cotter solid in the full back line, Cork again took command as a couple of points from Paddy Kelly, who had an excellent outing, and one apiece from Paul O’Flynn and Donncha O’Connor put them 0-5 to 0-2 clear after 17 minutes. Despite Barry Cullinane and Paul Conroy winning some good ball around midfield, Cork still looked comfortable. The supply of quick ball to the dangerous Michael Meehan and Joyce wasn’t great and Galway struggled for scores. Two Meehan points left the minimum between the sides after 21 minutes, but Cork cut loose again and finished the half in super fashion with some sublime scores.
Paul Kerrigan could have had a goal, settled for a point. But a goal did come in the 29th minute and it was a beauty. It started with Alan O’Connor, who found Colm O’Neill in space. He put the flying Pearse O’Neill motoring and the big midfielder showed composure in smashing the ball high to the net. Said Galway boss Kernan: “We dominated the early exchanges, but that goal cost us. It was annoying the way the red sea just split us wide open and let O’Neill in though, in fairness, he took it beautifully. We were very naive in the opening half and gave too much ball away.” Cork drove on from O’Neill’s goal, all the forwards bar Daniel Goulding finding the target. Indeed Cork should have had a second goal in injury time only for excellent Galway full-back Finian Hanley taking Kerrigan’s shot off the line.
Cork led 1-10 to 0-6 at the break and looked comfortable. And the lead got even better after the restart. It took Paul O’Flynn just eight seconds to stretch the advantage with a super point and when Pearse O’Neill drove on for another the game looked done and dusted. With a nine-point cushion all Cork needed was to stay composed and keep possession. Instead they were sloppy, gave away far too many frees and how Joyce and Meehan, who was torturing Michael Shields, punished the transgressions as Cork’s lead was whittled down to just four points, 1-13 to 0-12, by the 51st minute. Fine points from Colm and Pearse O’Neill again gave the hosts a seven-point cushion after 58 minutes but Galway struck again, making it an uncomfortable ride to the finish. Cork were caught with a sucker punch on the hour when another Galway raid opened up a now fragile defence and, as Ken O’Halloran watched Meehan’s goal attempt come back off the upright, he could do nothing to prevent sub Gary Sice gleefully putting the rebound into the net. Just four behind now, Galway were sniffing an unlikely win as mistakes began to unlock a now shaky Cork defence. Point for point now, but when sub John Hayes saw red following a second booking Cork began to look real edgy. Wing back David Reilly made it even nervier for Cork with a fine point and Galway even had a chance to win it at the death only for substitute Danny Cummins to blast his shot over the bar with a goal on.
Scorers for Cork: P. O’Neill 1-2, D. O’Connor and C. O’Neill (0-3 frees) 0-4 each, P. Kelly 0-3 (frees), P. O’Flynn and D. Goulding 0-2 each, P. Kissane and P. Kerrigan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Galway : N. Joyce 0-7 (0-5 frees), M. Meehan 0-6 (0-3 frees), G. Sice 1-0, S. Armstrong (45), C. De Paor, D. Reilly, D. Cummins 0-1 each.
Subs for Cork: J. Hayes for O’Flynn (47); C. O’Driscoll for O’Leary (58); F. Goold for A. O’Connor (66) J. Masters for C. O’Neill (70).
Subs for Galway: C. De Paor for Armstrong (inj 10m); G. Sice for Dunleacy (41); M. Clancy for Healy (55); D. Cummin for Joyce (65).
Referee: M. Condon (Waterford).
Cork hang on for narrow win
From the GAA.ie web site
Mar 06, 2010
Cork maintained their 100 percent record in Allianz GAA Football National League Division One with a 1-19 to 1-17 defeat of Joe Kernan’s Galway at Páirc Úi Rinn on Saturday night. The Rebels led by 1-10 to 0-6 at the break and appeared to be cruising to a comfortable win when they extended their advantage to nine points in the 38th minute. However, the Tribesmen, with the aid of a lucky Gary Sice goal, staged a comeback in the final ten minutes and might even have salvaged a draw had Danny Cummins not wasted a glorious goal chance deep into injury time.
Cork started the game with great intent as wing-back Paudie Kissane moved forward from defence to slot over the first point of the game after four minutes. Nicky Joyce and Sean Armstrong hit back to give the Tribesmen the lead, but manager Kernan’s plans were thrown into disarray just ten minutes into the game when Armstrong was forced off the field with a hamstrung injury. Cork’s forwards then clicked into gear after a stuttering start, as their midfield began to take over and supply a slick attack with quality ball. Paul O’Flynn’s free was the first of four successive points for the home side, while Donncha O’Connor struck points off both feet to leave the Rebels 0-5 to 0-2 ahead after 17 minutes. Michael Meehan stopped the rot for Galway with a brace of points, before the Caltra man had a fisted effort on goal saved by Cork’s debutant goalkeeper, Ken O’Halloran. Cork broke straight up the field and Paul Kerrigan pitched in with his first score of the night after a scorching run.
Cork’s goal after 29 minutes bore all the hallmarks of the football Conor Counihan has encouraged his team to play during his two fruitful years in charge. Alan O’Connor’s long ball into the full-forward line was collected by corner forward Colm O’Neill, who offloaded first time to the onrushing Pearse O’Neill. The giant Aghada man barely broke stride as he launched a rocket into the top corner of the Galway net. Nicky Joyce, who started the game despite picking up a shoulder injury in training on Tuesday, kicked two points from placed balls just before the break, but Donncha O’Connor had the last say as his third point of the night and a further Colm O’Neill effort gave the Rebels a 1-10 to 0-6 half-time lead.
Cork started the second half with a bang. The buccaneering Pearse O’Neill again found space in attack and fed Paul O’Flynn through on goal, but the late addition to the Rebels’ attack blazed over when the goal was at his mercy. Pearse O’Neill added another point a minute to give Cork a nine-point lead. Credit to Galway, however, as they kicked four points without reply to fight their way back into the game. Joyce hit three of those scores, with the first of that purple patch a real beauty after he had beaten his marker, Eoin Cotter, to the ball. Daniel Goulding halted Galway’s revival when he lashed over the bar after the ball had broken somewhat fortuitously for him in the full-forward line. The Éire Óg man had a similar opportunity nine minutes later, but again he opted to kick over the bar after he had raced clear of the Galway defence. In between Goulding’s efforts, Joyce kicked his seventh of the night, while Michael Meehan kicked a brilliant score after substitute Sice had picked him out with a precise pass.
Again, Cork seemed to find an extra gear with ease and hit three points in a row – including another trademark Pearse O’Neill effort – before Galway hit back with a lucky goal in the 60th minute. Michael Meehan’s fisted effort struck a post and fell into the path of the unmarked Sice, who prodded the ball into the empty net to leave his side trailing by four points. Cillian de Paor then struck his first of the night to further reduce the gap. Donncha O’Connor, the experienced Ballydesmond man, hit a vital point for Cork and Paddy Kelly added another to extend their lead to five. Cork’s John Hayes, a second half substitute, was sent off following a second yellow card for a late tackle. However, Galway set up a grandstand finish when Michael Meehan and David Reilly kicked injury time points. Trailing by two points in the third minute of injury time, Cummins had a great chance to level the game, but he blazed over the bar from a tight angle after Sice had played him in with a clever pass.
Cork will look to maintain their winning ways in Division One when they entertain Joe Kernan’s Galway under the lights at Páirc Úi Rinn on Saturday night. The Rebels have made an impressive start to the league, beating Monaghan and Kerry to move to the top of the table alongside Mayo and Dublin. However, Conor Counihan, as is his wont, will not be getting carried away with the early season success just yet. Cork were were lucky to escape from Scotstown, Monaghan with two points after a decidedly rusty performance, and although their forward play against Kerry was slick for this time of the year, it should be noted that the Kingdom were missing most of the team that played in last year’s All-Ireland final.
Eoin Cadogan is suspended following his sending off against Kerry with his place going to his clubmate, Eoin Cotter, who will make his National League debut at corner back. The defensive trio of Anthony Lynch, Graham Canty and John Miskella remain sidelined through injury. Bishopstown’s Ken O’Halloran is another league newcomer between the posts with Alan Quirke still out injured, despite reports to the contrary. In attack, Nicholas Murphy continues at number 14, where he will have Colm O’Neill and the in-form Daniel Goulding for company in the full-forward line. Galway boss Kernan will hope to continue his side’s recovery from the jolt they received on the opening day against Mayo. The Tribesmen were considerably better in beating Monaghan the following week, but Cork will provide another stern test of exactly where the Tribesmen stand in the current pecking order.
Kernan has made five changes from the side that beat Monaghan. Nicky Joyce has overcome a shoulder injury he picked up in training on Tuesday night to start in the full-forward line, but Tomás Fahy is ruled out with an ankle injury and is replaced by David Reilly in defence. Fiachra Breathnach is also ruled out with a calf injury while Cormac Bane is another to miss out, with Damien Dunleavy and Conor Healy coming into the half-forward line. Eoin O Conghaile, from the Leitir Mór club, starts between the posts ahead of Adrian Faherty. Barry Cullinane comes back into the team to partner Paul Conroy at midfield in the final change from the side that beat Monaghan, with Joe Bergin moving into full-forward. Galway are without their Corofin contingent who have been given another week off to recover after the defeat to St Gall’s in the All-Ireland Cub semi-final last week, while Pádraic Joyce won’t appear in the league as he continues his rehabilitation from an Achilles injury.
Cork: K O’Halloran; R Carey, M Shields; E Cotter, P Kissane, G Spillane, N O’Leary; A O’Connor, P O’Neill; P Kerrigan, D O’Connor, P Kelly; D Goulding, N Murphy, C O’Neill.
Galway: E O Conghaile;; D O’Neill, F Hanley; G Bradhshaw, D Reilly, D Blake, G O’Donnell; B Cullinane, P Conroy; C Healy, S Armstrong, D Dunleavy; M Meehan, J Bergin, N Joyce.