Friday 3 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
James Crombie/INPHO Galway's Sean Kelly in action against Derry.
As it happened: Derry v Galway, All-Ireland senior football semi-final
All eyes on Croke Park this evening.

Result – All-Ireland senior football semi-final

Galway 2-8 Derry 1-6


Afternoon all and welcome along to our coverage of the first of this year’s All-Ireland senior football semi-finals.

And it’s a pretty novel pairing, would Derry v Galway have been forecast for this stage of the competition earlier in the year? Well the Ulster and Connacht champions have both certainly impressed, now a place in the All-Ireland final is within touching distance.

Throw-in is 5.30pm in Croke Park. 

Both teams have landed at the stadium.

chrissy-mckaigue-arrives Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO


Here are the teams named to start. We’ll let you know if there’s any late changes.


1. Connor Gleeson (Dunmore McHales).

2. Liam Silke (Corofin), 3. Sean Kelly (Moycullen), 4. Jack Glynn (Claregalway)

5. Dylan McHugh (Corofin), 6. John Daly (Mountbellew/Moylough), 7. Kieran Molloy (Corofin)

8. Paul Conroy (St James’), 9. Cillian McDaid (Monivea-Abbey)

10. Patrick Kelly (Mountbellew/Moylough), 11. Matthew Tierney (Oughterard), 12. Johnny Heaney (Killannin)

13. Rob Finnerty (Salthill-Knocknacarra), 14. Damien Comer (Annaghdown), 15. Shane Walsh (Kilkerrin-Clonberne)


1. Odhran Lynch (Magherafelt)

2. Chrissy McKaigue (Slaughtneil), 3. Brendan Rogers (Slaughtneil), 4. Conor McCluskey (Magherafelt)

5. Conor Doherty (Newbridge), 6. Gareth McKinless (Ballinderry), 7. Padraig McGrogan (Newbridge)

8. Conor Glass (Glen), 9. Emmett Bradley (Glen)

10. Paul Cassidy (Bellaghy), 11. Shea Downey (Lavey), 12. Ethan Doherty (Glen)

13. Benny Heron (Ballinascreen), 14. Shane McGuigan (Slaughtneil), 15. Niall Loughlin (Greenlough)

An expected late change to the Derry team that was announced, Niall Toner in for Emmett Bradley.

So this is a huge occasion for both counties. Galway’s first All-Ireland semi-final since they lost to Dublin in 2018, that was their first appearance at this stage in 17 years. Derry haven’t featured in the last four since they lost out to Kerry in 2004.

Galway’s last All-Ireland final qualification was in 2001, Derry’s was in 1993. The counties clashed in semi-finals in 1998 and 2001, both resulting in Galway wins.

When they met in March in Division 2 of the league in Owenbeg, Galway thumped Derry 4-11 to 0-12.

Add it all up and who’s your tip to win?

Brendan Cawley is the referee for this one.

Game on in Croke Park.

3 mins - Paul Conroy hoofs a shot in from distance for Galway and the ball flies wide into Hill 16.

4 mins – Derry 0-1 Galway 0-0

First score of the day arrives from Derry, Brendan Rodgers glides in on the right and swings over a fine point.

5 mins - Another Galway midfielder sizes up a shot as Cillian McDaid, the quarter-final hero, takes aim but he can’t find the target either.

6 mins – Derry 0-2 Galway 0-0

And Derry are efficient in their business at the other end. It’s a lovely shift in direction by Niall Loughlin and he pops over a point.

9 mins - Galway still waiting for their first score and they just had a brilliant chance but Patrick Kelly’s fisted effort struck the upright.

11 mins - Third wide of the day from Galway, McDaid on this occasion. They displayed good defending at the other end prior to that, Kieran Molloy blocking a goalbound shot from Shane McGuigan.

13 mins – Derry 0-3 Galway 0-0

It’s that man Rodgers again for Derry, skipping through to find space and finishing tidily over the bar.

16 mins - Derry fail to convert a free through McGuigan after Gareth McKinless was fouled but Galway lose their own kickout soon after. Nervy start for Padraic Joyce’s team.

gareth-mckinless-and-damien-comer James Crombie / INPHO Gareth McKinless and Damien Comer. James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

17 mins - Conor Glass launches a point attempt for Derry, he thinks it could be over, so do the Derry fans, but when it goes to Hawk-Eye it’s adjudged to be wide.

22 mins – Derry 0-3 Galway 0-1

And eventually Galway get off the mark. It’s the product of Damien Comer’s driving run as he cut through the Derry defence and clipped over his left.

Derry 0-3 Galway 0-1

28 mins - This is a difficult watch so far. McGuigan can’t find his range from play for Derry.

29 mins – Derry 0-3 Galway 0-2

A scoring breakthrough as John Daly lofts over a point for Galway.

32 mins - Another poor miss from Galway, this time from a mark in a good position from Patrick Kelly.

34 mins – Derry 0-4 Galway 0-2

Fine kick from the wing by Shane McGuigan from a free, the ball floating around to extend Derry’s lead to two points.

37 mins - Shane Walsh has a long wait over a ’45 as Comer receives treatment. He fires in a kick that sees the white flag raised for a point but then Hawk-Eye intervenes and it’s another Galway wide.

39 mins – Derry 0-4 Galway 0-3

John Daly punts in a nice kick, Comer gathers and swivels before clipping a point for Galway.

Half-Time: Derry 0-4 Galway 0-3

Huge element of controversy there before half-time, that Walsh kick from the ’45 was clearly between the posts when TV replays were shown. Should be 0-4 apiece at half-time. Will that be a critical moment come the second half?

shane-walsh-and-conor-mccluskey James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO


RTÉ have stated that they are hearing a technical error for Hawk-Eye is the explanation for that Walsh shot and it’s judged to be a point.

Derry 0-4 Galway 0-4

All square then as the second half begins. Uncertainty if Hawk-Eye will be used for the rest of the game.

First-Half Scorers:

  • Derry: Brendan Rodgers 0-2, Niall Loughlin 0-1, Shane McGuigan 0-1 (0-1f).
  • Galway: Damien Comer 0-2, John Daly 0-1, Shane Walsh 0-1 (0-1 ’45).

37 mins – Galway 0-5 Derry 0-4

First time in the game that Galway have hit the front, Walsh pops over a free off his left.

40 mins – Galway 0-6 Derry 0-4

Walsh clips over another free and Galway are in the ascendancy now.

44 mins – Galway 0-7 Derry 0-4

The toughest free of the half for Galway and it’s a superb kick with his left from Walsh. Another point and there’s three in it now.

Goal for Galway from Damien Comer!

47 mins – Galway 1-7 Derry 0-4

And now Galway are in a really strong position! Comer gets space as Rodgers slips and the Annaghdown man finishes coolly as he rolls a shot to the net. Six in it now!

49 mins – Galway 1-7 Derry 0-5

Derry badly need something to get them going. McGuigan converts a free to try to kickstart their revival.

Yellow card for Derry’s Gareth McKinless for feigning a foul, according to referee Brendan Cawley. The Galway defence holding firm and really frustrating Derry now.

55 mins – Galway 1-8 Derry 0-5

Conroy hangs a shot in high that drops just before the goal, Odhran Lynch palms away under pressure before Johnny Heaney charges in and palms over a point.

Lachlan Murray in for Derry for Niall Toner.

damien-comer-celebrates-scoring-the-first-goal Ryan Byrne / INPHO Damien Comer celebrates scoring his goal. Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

60 mins - One point so far in the half from Derry, it’s been hugely disappointing from them. Odhran Lynch attempted a shot from play but it was blocked by the retreating Shane Walsh.

Ben McCarron is in for Derry, Finian Ó Laoi comes on for Galway.

Goal for Galway from Damien Comer!

64 mins – Galway 2-8 Derry 0-6

And that should be that! Comer smashes home a goal from about 30 yards out into an unguarded net but it all came from Derry losing possession as John Daly turned over Conor Glass. With Odhran Lynch up in the Derry attack and caught out of position, Comer punishes him with a delightful finish. Shane McGuigan strikes over a point in response for Derry.

69 mins - Damien Comer comes off to a huge reception from the Galway faithful, Dessie Conneely  in.

Goal for Derry from Lachlann Murray!

Full-Time: Galway 2-8 Derry 1-6

All over and Galway win by five points to advance to the All-Ireland senior football final.

And that’s it from Croke Park, a five-point success for Galway at the expense of Derry. The Connnacht champions gained a grip on the game courtesy of two second-half goals from Damien Comer, they are back in the final for the first time in 21 years.

Thanks for joining our coverage today!

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