Wednesday 21 November 2018

Tribesmen's goal blitz seals place in decider

Galway 3-13 Meath 2-9

Daniel Cox of Galway in action against Conor Farrelly of Meath during the Electric Ireland GAA Football All-Ireland Minor Championship semi-final match between Galway and Meath at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Daniel Cox of Galway in action against Conor Farrelly of Meath during the Electric Ireland GAA Football All-Ireland Minor Championship semi-final match between Galway and Meath at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

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Galway's inspired second-half display earned them a place in the All-Ireland MFC final as they blew Meath away at Croke Park.

Three goals in the space of seven minutes turned the game around in spectacular fashion as Aidan Halloran and Conor Raftery showed their class.

Galway's Tomo Culhane, left, and Cathal Sweeney celebrate after the Electric Ireland GAA Football All-Ireland Minor Championship semi-final match between Galway and Meath at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Galway's Tomo Culhane, left, and Cathal Sweeney celebrate after the Electric Ireland GAA Football All-Ireland Minor Championship semi-final match between Galway and Meath at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Galway's first three points came from attacking wing-back Cathal Sweeney, and he had just edged his side into a 0-3 to 0-2 lead when the Royals struck for a 14th-minute goal, opening up the opposition defence through clever movement from David Bell and Matthew Costello as Luke Mitchell finished off with a low finish past Donie Halloran.

Cian McBride drove the Leinster side's challenge, but the emergence of Galway's Paul Kelly as a key man in the middle helped them go level on 21 minutes, when Aidan O'Halloran smacked over two points in quick succession.

But a second Meath goal just before the break put them firmly in the driving seat, Luke Kelly darting in from the right to squeeze an angled shot past Halloran.

Bell's second converted free sent them in with a 2-4 to 0-6 interval lead, but Galway midfielders Kelly and Raftery combined to carve the opening for Eoghan Tinney to slide home a 39th-minute goal,

Colin Hawdon of Meath leaves the field after the Electric Ireland GAA Football All-Ireland Minor Championship semi-final match between Galway and Meath at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Colin Hawdon of Meath leaves the field after the Electric Ireland GAA Football All-Ireland Minor Championship semi-final match between Galway and Meath at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

It got even better for the Tribe when substitute Oisin McCormack smashed home a second goal three minutes later to put them back in front, and they never looked back after Raftery's clinical finish for a third three-pointer.

Halloran finished with four points to his name on an afternoon when it all came good for his side in the latter stages, out-scoring Meath by 3-7 to 0-3 in the final 20 minutes.

Scorers - Galway: C Raftery 1-1, E Tinney, O McCormack 1-0 each, A Halloran 0-4, C Sweeney 0-3, R Monahan 0-2 (2f), P Kelly, D Cox, T Culhane 0-1 each. Meath: L Mitchell 1-4 (0-2f), L Kelly 1-0, D Bell 0-2 (2f), B McCormack, M Costello, S Coffey 0-1 each

Galway: D Halloran; E Walsh, S Black, C Deane; R Monahan, T Gill, C Sweeney; P Kelly, C Raftery; L Judge, A Halloran, O Gormally; E Tinney, D Cox, M Cooley. Subs: O McCormack for Cox (h-t), C Hernon for Judge (BC 33), E McCormack for Gormally (39), T Culhane for Cooley (52), C Halbard for Tinney (55).

Meath: S Brennan; J O'Hare, H O'Higgins, C Hickey; C Farrelly, C Harford, S Coffey; A Reilly, C McBride; D Swaine, M Costello, B McCormack; D Bell, L Kelly, L Mitchell. Subs: C Hawdon for Costello (37), N Bennet for Reilly (49), O McCloskey for Farrelly (49), B O'Hanlon for Swaine (49), L Newe for McCloskey (BC 51).

Referee: N Mooney (Cavan).

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