JBM: Despite defeat, Rebels are making progress
Galway 0-22, Cork 0-17
By Noel Horgan
CORK hurling manager Jimmy Barry-Murphy insists that his side are making progress despite Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Galway in Croke Park.
‘It’s still a learning process for us, and, while it doesn’t feel like it at the moment, I believe we are making progress, but we still have a lot to do to get up to the standard we want to be at, and we just fell a bit short today, there is no doubt about that,’ Barry-Murphy said.
While it produced the result that had been widely predicted, this game didn’t exactly proceed along anticipated lines.
It was felt, for instance, that Cork would be hard-pressed to contain a Galway attack that had been scoring goals more or less for fun all summer, and that their prospects of upsetting the odds would be greatly enhanced if they could stay in the game in the first half.
It was also suggested that if the Rebels were still in contention coming down the home stretch there was every chance they would drive on to victory, given the penchant they displayed for finishing strongly in all of their four previous championship outings.
Yet, the Cork rearguard performed most creditably on the day, and the team generally measured up in the first half, at the end of which they weren’t flattered to be on level terms, 0-11 to 0-11.Galway did gain the upper-hand in the third quarter, forging three points ahead before keeper Anthony Nash prevented disaster for Cork when deflecting a rasper from Niall Burke outside the posts in the 52nd minute.
Joe Canning converted the resultant 65 to make it 0-17 to 0-13, but Cork responded to cut the margin to two points inside the last ten minutes.
There was to be no decisive push late on from the Rebels this time, however, although, after falling three points in arrears, Anthony Nash, from a long-range free, and substitute Niall McCarthy, were off target with a couple of chances to increase the pressure on Galway.
Cork manager Jimmy Barry-Murphy cited those two missed opportunities as having a vital bearing on the outcome, plus the fact that Patrick Cronin shot narrowly over the bar with a goal chance in the 56th minute.
‘Other than that, we didn’t create any goal chances, which was disappointing, and I thought we showed our inexperience at crucial times in the second half,’ JBM remarked.
‘We fought very hard to get back into it after Galway got on top of us early in the second half, and I couldn’t fault the players for what was a magnificent effort.
‘But the Galway defence was very strong, and we weren’t in a position of dominance out the field to be able to pinpoint the deliveries into our full-forward line in the manner they would have liked.
‘That was the key thing really, but I thought we performed very well, and our defence was outstanding, even if Galway, with the superb forwards they have, found scores a little easier to come by than we did.’
Scorers — Galway: J Canning (7f) 0-11, D Hayes 0-4, J Regan, D Burke, N Burke 0-2 each, A Smith 0-1. Cork: P Horgan (6f) 0-7, P O’Sullivan 0-3, J Coughlan, C McCarthy, L O’Farrell, D Sweetnam, P Cronin, C Naughton, A Nash (free) 0-1 each.
Galway: J Skehill, F Moore, K Hynes, J Coen, D Collins. T Og O’Regan, N Donoghue, I Tannian, A Smith, D Burke, J Regan, N Burke, D Hayes, J Canning, C Cooney. Subs used: D Glennon for Cooney; C Donnellan for Regan; J Glynn for N Burke.
Cork: A Nash; S O’Neill, B Murphy, S McDonnell, T Kenny, E Cadogan, S Óg Ó hÁilpin, P Cronin, L McLoughlin, C McCarthy, J Coughlan, C Lehane, P O’Sullivan, L O’Farrell, P Horgan. Subs used: C Naughton for McCarthy; D Sweetnam for Lehane, S Moylan for O’Farrell, N McCarthy for Coughlan, D Kearney for McLoughlin.
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