EirGrid All Ireland U21 SF: Galway advance to decider
EirGrid All Ireland Under 21 Football Semi-Final
GALWAY 2-14 KERRY 2-10
By Cian O'Connell at Cusack Park, Ennis
Galway stunned Kerry producing a dynamic display in Ennis to secure a deserved EirGrid All Ireland Under 21 Semi-Final victory.
Prompted by the excellent Cein D’arcy and Peter Cooke, Galway seized the initiative and were able to deal with a third quarter Kerry rally.
Having hit 37 shots during a fast and frenetic match Galway could have prevailed by a greater margin, but they still did enough to take a prized scalp.
Galway commenced the game in blistering fashion scoring 1-7 from nine attempts in the first 10 minutes.
It was a purposeful patch from Gerry Fahy’s charges, who thundered into the contest netting a sweet goal after only 24 seconds.
Cein D’arcy, Eoin Finnerty, Robert Finnerty, and Sean Kelly were all involved in a swift build up with Dessie Conneely rattling the Kerry net.
Buoyed up by that major Galway continued to pour forward in search of further scores with Peter Cooke, Michael Daly, Robert Finnerty, Sean Kelly, and Kieran Molloy landing splendid points.
Kerry were in deep trouble, but the relocation, for a spell, of the pacy Matthew Flahety to a sweeper role was critical, while Galway, initially clinically, started to waste opportunities.
The fact that Kerry, fielding 14 All Ireland minor winners, could only muster one point from play before the break, courtesy of Killian Spillane, proved just how diligent Galway were defensively.
At the interval Galway led 1-9 to 0-4 against the raging hot favourites and an interesting second period beckoned.
Within a minute of the restart Matthew O’Sullivan bundled a Kerry goal over the line and Jack O’Connor’s team were firmly back in the reckoning.
Flaherty was back operating at wing forward kicking a couple of points which narrowed the gap down to 1-10 to 1-6.
Crucially Galway landed four of the next six points with Cooke, McDaid, and D’arcy contributing handsomely edging the Tribesmen 1-14 to 1-8 in front.
Kerry’s Barry O’Sullivan was sent off in the 48th minute for a second bookable offence and Galway confidently closed out the deal.
Eoin Finnerty fashioned an opportunity which substitute Colin Brady converted for the insurance goal and while Jordan Kiely responded with a Kerry major it was merely a consolation. Galway’s decider with Dublin in a fortnight should be tasty.
Scorers for Galway: Peter Cooke 0-5 (3fs), Dessie Conneely and Colin Brady 1-0 each, Michael Daly and Sean Kelly 0-2 each, Cillian McDaid, Cein D’arcy, Kieran Molloy, Paul Mannion, and Robert Finnerty 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kerry: Killian Spillane 0-4 (3fs), Matthew O’Sullivan and Jordan Kiely 1-0 each, Matthew Flaherty and Shane Ryan (1f, 145) 0-2 each, Conor Geaney (f) and Sean O’Shea (f) 0-1 each.
GALWAY: Ronan O’Beolain; Ruairi Greene, Sean Andy O’Ceallaigh, Liam Kelly; Cillian McDaid, Dylan McHugh, Kieran Molloy; Peter Cooke, Cein D’arcy; Sean Kelly, Michael Daly, Paul Mannion; Robert Finnerty, Eoin Finnerty, Dessie Conneely.
Subs: Colin Brady for Paul Mannion (41), Michael Boyle for Robert Finnerty (53), Colm O’Braonain for Cein D’arcy (57), Eric Lee for Cillian McDaid (60).
KERRY: Shane Ryan; Tom Leo O’Sullivan, Jason Foley, Tom O’Sullivan; Brian O’Beaglaoich, Brian O’Seanachain, Gavin White; Andrew Barry, Barry O’Sullivan; Matthew Flaherty, Sean O’Shea, Brandon Barrett; Killian Spillane, Matthew O’Sullivan, Conor Geaney.
Subs: Michael Burns for Brandon Barrett (29), Roibeard O Se for Brian O’Seanachain (41), Jordan Kiely for Sean O’Shea (45), Jack Morgan for Gavin White (56), Robert Coffey for Tom Leo O’Sullivan (59), Daniel O'Brien for Brian O'Beaglaoich (60).
REFEREE: Brendan Cawley (Kildare).