Part one of the Rebel treble is complete, the Cork U20 hurlers delivering the county’s second All-Ireland crown at this age grade in the space of six weeks, A most sizable five days for Cork hurling – which concludes with All-Ireland minor and senior final appearances this weekend – began in perfect fashion this evening as the county’s U20s obliterated a tame Galway challenge to run out 11 point winners.
As the Irish Examiner reports, with Cork ahead by 10 at the interval, this All-Ireland U20 final was a contest for only a mere couple of minutes when Galway struck an unanswered 1-4 at the beginning of the second-half to move within three of their opponents.
The Cork response to Galway’s sole productive spell of the decider was to strike for their third goal, Padraig Power finding the net in the play after Donal O’Shea had done similarly at the other end for Galway.
Power was arguably Cork’s outstanding performer on the evening, his 1-5 from play following the 1-5 from play he hit in the Munster final.
Cork’s Jack Cahalane with Galway goalkeeper Paddy Rabbitte and Shane Morgan. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo
The five-point gap following a Gavin Lee point directly after the second water break was as close as Galway would come of Cork down the stretch.
Cork found an extra gear in the closing 10 minutes, the young Rebels mining 1-5 without reply to sail 15 clear, 4-19 to 1-13. On target during this sprint for the finish line were subs Luke Horgan and Ben Cunningham, with dual star Brian Hayes the provider of their fourth goal. Hayes’ first contribution on the scoresheet – a 55th-minute point – meant all six starting Cork forwards had now found the target.
Galway’s Eoghain Geraghty and Luke Horgan of Cork. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo
Galway sub Alex Connaire registered a consolation goal at the death for the vanquished Tribesmen, Cork very rarely troubled in securing back-to-back All-Ireland titles at this age-grade for the first time since 1998.
Cork had one hand on the silverware at half-time, but in truth, Pat Ryan’s charges should have had both. Ahead by 10 at the break (2-9 to 0-5), Galway’s interval advantage could easily have deen double that figure.
The writing was on the wall for Jeffrey Lynskey’s side from very early doors, Cork posting 1-5 without reply in the opening 12 minutes.
Cork’s Jack Cahalane and Eoghain Geraghty of Galway. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo
Cork’s opening green flag was also the opening score of this All-Ireland final, Darragh Flynn dispatching a fourth minute penalty to the bottom right corner of Paddy Rabbitte’s goal after Jack Cahalane had been fouled.
Power, Flynn (two frees), the lively Sam Quirke, and Cahalane delivered the white flags during this early burst as a cumbersome Galway outfit looked set to endure a torrid hour in Thurles.
Cahalane was provider turned finisher for Cork’s second green flag on 16 minutes, the dual star capitalising on a poor mistake in the Galway defence to leave Cork firmly in the driving seat at 2-5 to 0-2 in front at the first water break.
A brace from Power and one each from Robbie Cotter and Daniel Hogan pushed Cork’s lead into double-digit territory as a one-sided first-half drew to a close, but their advantage should have been so much greater as the breakneck speed to Cork’s play was matched by the frequency at which they were missing the target.
This wastefulness, bar a brief few minutes early in the second-half, was never in danger of being punished.
Scorers for Cork: D Flynn (1-0 pen, 0-4 frees), P Power (1-5 each); B Hayes (1-2); J Cahalane (1-1); B Cunningham (0-2); S Quirke, R Cotter, D Hogan, L Horgan (0-1 each).
Scorers for Galway: D O’Shea (1-7, 0-7 frees); S McDonagh (0-3, 0-1 sideline); A Connaire (1-0); G Lee (0-2); G Thomas, J Cooney (0-1 each).
CORK: C Wilson (Newcestown); E Downey (Glen Rovers), E Twomey (St Finbarr’s), C O’Brien (Newtownshandrum); K Moynihan (Na Piarsaigh), C Joyce (Castlemartyr), B O’Sullivan (Kanturk); S Quirke (Midleton), D Kearney (Cobh); J Cahalane (St Finbarrs), D Flynn (Ballygiblin), B Hayes (St Finbarr’s); R Cotter (Blackrock), P Power (Blarney), D Hogan (Sarsfields).
Subs: B Cunningham (St Finbarr’s) for Kearney (39); L Horgan (Glen Rovers) for Cotter (47); M Mullins (Whitechurch) for Hogan (55); C O’Donovan (Douglas) for Moynihan (57); C McCarthy (Sarsfields) for Quirke (60).
GALWAY: P Rabbitte (Athenry); C Brennan (Clarinbridge), E Geraghty (Oranmore-Maree), E Lawless (Athenry); E Duggan (St Thomas’), S Neary (Castlegar), S Quirke (Athenry); I McGlynn (Kilconieron), D Kilcommins (Annaghdown); G Thomas (Castlegar), S McDonagh (Skehana/Mountbellew-Moylough), J Cooney (Sarsfields); N Collins (Cappataggle), D O’Shea (Salthill-Knocknacarra), O Flannery (St Thomas’).
Subs: J O’Donoghue (Gort) for McGlynn (29); G Lee (Clarinbridge) for Collins (HT); L Collins (Cappataggle) for Flannery (45); A Connaire (Sarsfields) for Thomas, O Salmon (Clarinbridge) for Duggan (both 47).
Referee: J Murphy (Limerick).