O'Flaherty inspires Galway in surprise defeat of Kerry
Galway 0-14 Kerry 0-13
Galway caused an upset at Croke Park, where they inflicted a first defeat on Kerry minors since 2013 and halted the Kingdom's drive for a sixth successive All-Ireland MFC title.
The courage and character of the Tribesmen, inspired by the drive of midfielder Daniel O'Flaherty and the finishing power of Tomo Culhane, saw them squeeze home in a thriller.
However, the Kingdom will reflect on a game of missed chances, when they shot some bad wides. Kerry's attack failed to fire in the opening half as they shot a string of wides and dropped a few short, and it was Galway who held a two-point lead at the end of the opening quarter, with Dylan Brady, Warren Seoige and Culhane hitting fine scores.
The defending champions' kicking game saw them carve out scores for Emmet O'Shea and Dylan Geaney. However, their kick-outs were putting them under untold pressure, and almost cost them a goal, but goalkeeper Devon Burns made amends with a fine save from O'Flaherty.
The Connacht runners-up reached the break with a 0-7 to 0-5 lead, but a Kerry blitz saw them hit four points in the opening two minutes of the second half, Colin Crowley and Geaney with the pick of them.
But the westerners dug deep, with McLaughlin working wonders around the middle and Culhane finding his range from frees.
Kerry trailed by a point after Darragh Kennedy and Geaney swapped points, but couldn't find that vital score in a tense closing spell. Galway held on to face Cork in the final.
scorers - Galway: T Culhane 0-6 (4f); D Brady, W Seoige 0-2 each; N Grainger, D Cox, C Hernon, D Kennedy 0-1 each. Kerry: D Geaney, E O'Shea, D Lynch 0-3 each; J O'Connor 0-2, C Crowley, S O'Brien 0-1.
Kerry - D Burns; L Chester, A Dineen, K O'Sullivan; E O'Sullivan, A Curran, S O'Brien; C O Beaglaoich, R Collins; C Crowley, J O'Connor, D Lynch; D Geaney, G Hassett, E O'Shea. Subs: D O'Callaghan for Crowley (38), J Linehan for Lynch (44), K Goulding for O'Shea (54), T O Hainifein for Collins (57), R OGrady for Geaney (62).
Galway - D Halleran; J McGrath, R King, L Tevnan, C Hernon, E Fiorentini, K O'Neill; L McLaughlin, D O'Flaherty; E Nolan, W Seoige, D Brady; N Grainger, T Culhane, D Cox. Subs: C Gallagher for O'Flaherty, N Cunningham for Grainger (47), J Webb for O'Neill (50), D Kennedy for Brady (56)
Ref - M McNally (Monaghan).