Galway defeated Cork by 0-15 to 0-12 on Sunday to secure a semi-final berth in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship, but victorious manager Cathal Murray had plenty of praise for the vanquished opponents.
The reigning champions recovered from a slow start that saw them fall two points behind and needed Sarah Healy to save Chloe Sigerson's third-minute penalty to establish a five-point interval lead and keep their noses in front in a low-scoring but intense second half.
"Cork started really well, got the penalty and Sarah made a great save," Murray noted.
"Up to the water break we were struggling, they were 0-03-0-01 up, but the second quarter we played really well and that’s the reason we won."
Given the margin, the four points accumulated by Rebecca Hennelly from two converted sideline pucks in that second quarter were hugely significant.
"It’s a serious skill, and from both sides of the field as well," Murray added. "They were four points we really needed. She’s able to take them. She scored a goal in the county final as well from a line ball.
"Cork aren't gone. We know they have players to come back in."
"We needed to get to a semi-final. It would be a long journey down to Cork next Saturday evening if we lost today, only a six-day turnaround. So it was really important, to get straight through to the semi-final and avoid Kilkenny.
"Cork aren’t gone. We know they have players to come back in. They’re a serious team and gave a massive performance out there. It could have gone either way to be straight about it and they could be meeting us later in the year, you’d never know."
Cork counterpart Paudie Murray was far from downbeat after the reverse.
"I’m very proud of them," the Cork boss said.
"I’m disappointed with some of the stuff that went on out there, players taking eight or nine steps, dropping the hurley. But from our own display, I’m very proud of them, they’re a young team and they’re developing. They showed massive character out there.
"In the second quarter we lost our way a small bit. But I’m very proud the way this team has gone about it and they’re going to give us a lot of promise."
Cork will play Clare in the first of next Saturday’s two quarter-finals, which will be televised live from Páirc Uí Chaoimh on RTÉ.
"We’ve a couple of injuries, one or two that will worry us for the week," Murray admitted.
"The main thing is that we try to get back one or two players and build from there.
"It’s winner-take-all. The pressure is on us to perform, the same as it is for Clare, and we look forward to the challenge."
The second Quarter-Final will involve Waterford and Tipperary, after Beth Carton scored 1-14 in the Déise’s 2-17 to 0-10 victory over Westmeath at Cusack Park to secure the vital runner-up spot in Group 2 behind Kilkenny, who accounted for Limerick by 2-16 to 0-8 at UPMC Nowlan Park.