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Galway defeat EirGrid U21 holders Mayo in the west

Peter Cooke was outstanding for Galway at Tuam Stadium.

Peter Cooke was outstanding for Galway at Tuam Stadium.

EirGrid Connacht Under 21 Football Championship Semi-Final

GALWAY 2-13 MAYO 1-10

By Cian O'Connell at Tuam Stadium

Second half goals from Dessie Conneely and susbtitute Eoin Finnerty sealed a hugely satisfying Galway win at Tuam Stadium.

The 2016 All Ireland champions Mayo were well beaten by Gerry Fahy's stylish Galway outfit, who eventually pulled clear in the closing stages.

Holders Mayo were resilient throughout, but Galway, inspired by Peter Cooke and Michael Daly, closed out the deal effectively to set-up a provincial decider with Sligo at Markievicz Park next Saturday.

Though Galway dominated vast chunks of the opening period the locals only led by 0-10 to 1-5 at the break.

That was chiefly due to the clinical efficiency of Mayo, who converted 1-5 from seven attempts.

At the opposite end Galway were squandering chances hitting 10 out of 19 shots.

Galway, with Paul Mannion prominent, accumulated an 0-8 to 0-2 advantage by the 20th minute before Mayo struck for a goal.

Brian Reape palmed the ball to the back of the Galway net and by the time the interval rolled around the deficit was trimmed to two points.

After the restart Connelly fisted a Galway goal in the 36th minute following smart approach play by Robert Finnerty and the influential Daly.

Mountbellew-Moylough's Eoin Finnerty announced his arrival by netting the insurance major in the 49th minute.

Mayo's James Kelly was sent off in the dying moments as Galway held out.

Scorers for Galway: Paul Mannion 0-4, Peter Cooke 0-3 (2fs, 145), Dessie Connelly and Eoin Finnerty 1-0 each, Michael Daly 0-2, Robert Finnerty 0-2 (1f), Cillian McDaid 0-1 and Colin Brady 0-1 each.

Scorers for Mayo: Brian Reape 1-6 (5fs), Mikey Murray, Matthew Ruane, James Lyons, Matthew Flanagan (45) 0-1 each.

GALWAY: Ronan O'Beolain; Liam Kelly, Sean Andy O'Ceallaigh, Ruairi Greene; Kieran Molloy, Dylan McHugh, Cillian McDaid; Peter Cooke, Colm O'Braonain; Antaine O'Laoi, Michael Daly, Colin Brady; Robert Finnerty, Paul Mannion, Dessie Conneely.

Subs: Sean Kelly for Cillian McDaid (41), Eoin Finnerty for Colin Brady (47), Cein D'arcy for Colm O'Braonain (51), Eric Lee for Dylan McHugh (60), Colm Mannion for Antaine O'Laoi (60), Michael Boyle for Dessie Conneely (60).

MAYO: Matthew Flanagan; Marcus Park, Sean Conlon, Stephen Brennan; Shairoze Akram, Eoin O'Donoghue, James Kelly; Matthew Ruane, Mikey Murray; Fionn McDonagh, Dylan Cannon, Ryan O'Donoghue; James Lyons, Brian Reape, James Carr.

Subs: James McCormack for Fionn McDonagh (47), Jason Forkan for Eoin O'Donoghue (50), TJ Byrne for Ryan O'Donoghue (53), Gerry Canavan for Dylan Cannon (57), Jordan Flynn for Mikey Murray (60).

REFEREE: John Gilmartin (Sligo).