Saturday 22 July 2017

Galway advance to U21 All-Ireland final after seeing off resurgent Kerry

Galway 2-14 Kerry 2-10

Liam Kelly, left, and Cein D'Arcy of Galway celebrate after the EirGrid GAA Football All-Ireland U21 Championship Semi-Final match between Galway and Kerry at Cusack Park in Ennis, Co Clare. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Liam Kelly, left, and Cein D'Arcy of Galway celebrate after the EirGrid GAA Football All-Ireland U21 Championship Semi-Final match between Galway and Kerry at Cusack Park in Ennis, Co Clare. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

John Fallon

Midfielder Peter Cooke led the way as Galway outclassed Kerry to book a date with Dublin in the All-Ireland U-21 final.

The Tribsmen built on a superb start to dispatch the red-hot favourites, and while Kerry rallied in the second-half, they were unable to deny an impressive Galway team.

Galway hit the net after just 20 seconds through Dessie Conneely and led by 1-7 to 0-1 after just ten minutes as they sliced the Kerry defence with some excellent flowing football.

Cooke dominated midfield and Michael Daly led an attack which moved at pace and proved too hot to handle.

Indeed, Galway would have been out of sight had they not fluffed three good goal chances.

Killian Spillane got Kerry’s first point from play eight minutes from half-time and goalkeeper Shane Ryan went forward to convert a free from 45 metres to leave it 1-9 to 0-4 at the break.

Kerry made a superb start to the second-half when Matthew O’Sullivan forced home a goal.

But Galway responded with a point from Cooke and it was the Galway midfielder who again hit back after Matthew Flaherty scored a couple of points.

Goalkeeper Ryan went forward to shoot his second point, and Spillane, son of Kerry star Tom, also scored point to cut the gap to three.

But Sean Kelly hit back for Galway and then midfielder Barry O’Sullivan picked up a second yellow and Kerry had to play the final 12 minutes with 14 men.

Galway killed the game off with three points in rapid succession and then substitute Colin Brady sealed it with a goal, although Jordan Kiely got a consolation goal for Kerry.

Scorers – Galway: P Cooke 0-5 (3f), C Brady 1-0, D Conneely 1-0, S Kelly 0-2, M Daly 0-2, K Molloy 0-1, C McDaid 0-1, C D’Arcy 0-1, R Finnerty 0-1, P Mannion 0-1.

Kerry: K Spillane 0-4 (3f), M O’Sullivan 1-0, J Kiely 1-0, S Ryan 0-2 (2f), M Flaherty 0-2, C Geaney 0-1 (1f), S O’Shea 0-1 (1f)

 

Galway – R O Beolain; L Kelly, S O Ceallaigh, R Greene; K Molloy, D McHugh, C McDaid; P Cooke, C D’Arcy; S Kelly, M Daly, P Mannion; R Finnerty, E Finnerty, D Conneely.

 

Subs: C Brady for Mannion (41), M Boyle for R Finnerty (54), C Brennan for D’Arcy (56), E Lee for McDaid (60).

 

Kerry – S Ryan; Tom Leo O’Sullivan, J Foley, Tom O’Sullivan; B O Beaglaoich, B O Seanachain, G White; A Barry, B O’Sullivan; B Barrett, S O’Shea, M Flaherty; K Spillane, M O’Sullivan, C Geaney.

 

Subs: M Burns for Barrett (29), R O Se for O Seanachain (41), J Kiely for S O’Shea (45), J Morgan for White (55), D O’Brien for O Beaglaoich (60).

 

Ref – B Cawley (Kildare).

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