Preview: Electric Ireland All-Ireland MFC semi-finals
Saturday 10 August
All-Ireland MFC semi-final
Mayo v Cork, Croke Park, 3pm -_ TG4_
Both Mayo and Cork have shown a lot of quality en route to Saturday’s Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Football semi-final.
Mayo defeated a fancied Galway team after extra-time in the Connacht Final and then proved that was no fluke by defeating Dublin in the All-Ireland Quarter-Final.
They’ve scored 11 goals in their last three matches, and what’s most impressive about their attack is that they’re not reliant on one or two players to do the scoring.
They pose a range of threats from all areas of the park which is what makes them such a difficult proposition for opposition teams.
Ethan Henry is a driving force from the middle of the park, Owen McHale gives them great go forward ball from defence, and corner-forwards Ciaran Mylett and Frank Irwin are both natural finishers.
But as impressive as Mayo have been, Cork will no fear them.
The Rebels came within a whisker of handing Kerry their first defeat in the minor grade in 33 matches in the Munster Final, and have since dispatched Ulster Champions Monaghan in the All-Ireland Quarter-Final.
Forwards like Michael O’Neill, Conor Corbett, and Patrick Campbell are all seriously talented and will do damage given a good supply of ball.
This match has high-scoring thriller written all over it.
Cork: Cian O'Leary; Adam Walsh Murphy, Daniel Linehan, Daniel Peet; Darragh Cashman, Neil Lordan, Joseph O'Shea; Jack Lawton, Kelan SCannell; Hugh Murphy, Conor Corbett, Eoghan Nash; Michael O'Neill, Patrick Campbell, Jack Cahalane.
Sunday, August 11
All-Ireland MFC semi-final
Kerry v Galway, Croke Park, 1.30pm -_ TG4_
Kerry’s recent record in the Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Football Championship is nothing short of remarkable.
They’ve won five All-Ireland titles in a row and are unbeaten in their last 34 matches in the grade.
This year’s team are another classy outfit, and they’ve displayed plenty of character as well as skill during the campaign to date.
They were severely tested by Cork in the Munster Final and Tyrone in the All-Ireland Quarter-Final but their resolve never wavered and they found a way to come out on top in the end.
A Galway team that was unlucky to lose the Connacht Final to a high-quality Mayo team will provide another searching examination of Kerry’s credentials.
They defeated Leinster Champions Kildare in the quarter-finals and in players like Tom Culhane and Nathan Grainger have forwards of a very high calibre.
Kerry have serious shooters of their own like Jack O’Connor, Emmet O’Shea, and Dylan Geaney so the umpires will be busy at both ends.
Kerry probably have the greater all-round quality, but if they don’t curb the influence of Galway’s dynamic midfielder, James McLaughlin, then they could be in for another tricky test.
Galway: Donie Halloran; Jonathan McGrath, Ruairi King, Liam Tevnan; Cian Hernon, Ethan Fiorentini, Kyle O'Neill; James McLaughlin, Daniel O'Flaherty; Evan Nolan, Warren Seoige, Dylan Brady; Nathan Grainger, Tomo Culhane, Daniel Cox.