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Impressive Galway book All-Ireland minor final place as they see off Donegal

Kerry or Kildare await in the decider on 18 September.

Galway's Cein D'Arcy with Donegal's Seaghan Ferry.
Galway's Cein D'Arcy with Donegal's Seaghan Ferry.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Galway 2-12
Donegal 1-11

Fintan O’Toole reports from Croke Park

AFTER A NINE year absence, Galway will be a main figure on All-Ireland minor football final day again next month after today’s deserved semi-final success over Donegal in Croke Park.

Inside attacking pair Robert Finnerty and Desmond Conneely both caught the eye with fine scoring displays as they hit 2-7 between them. Captain Conneely claimed the man-of-the-match award and his 51st minute goal was the critical score in sealing this win.

They did have a nervy finale when Ulster champions Donegal received a lifeline in the 57th minute as Enda McCormick unleashed a terrific shot to the net that reduced the deficit to 2-10 to 1-10.

Donegal pounded the Galway rearguard in the closing stages but a defence spearheaded by full-back Seán Mulkerrin held firm and goalkeeper Cormac Haslam pulled off a couple of impressive saves.

Substitute Ross Murphy and centre-forward Evan Murphy kicked the insurance scores and a late Gary Molloy point was all Donegal could muster in response.

Finnerty was the star of the first-half with his 1-4 haul propelling Galway into an interval advantage of 1-6 to 0-6. The goal arrived in the 5th minute when he finished cleverly after being set up by Conneely.

Donegal stayed in the hunt with attackers Niall O’Donnell and Eoghan McGettigan both impressing as they got on the scoresheet.

Galway spurned several goal chances during the game. Barry Goldrick and Finian Ó Laoi both drilled shots wide but the Stephen Joyce managed side finally made the decisive breakthrough in the 51st minute.

Finnerty and Ó Laoi were the creators before Conneely planted the ball in the net for Galway’s second goal. It was the decisive score in settling this contest.

Scorers for Galway: Robert Finnerty 1-5 (0-4f), Desmond Conneely 1-2 (0-2f), Evan Murhpy 0-2 (0-1f), Fionnán Garvey, Ross Murphy, Barry Goldrick 0-1 each.

Scorers for Donegal: Enda McCormick 1-0, Peadar Mogan 0-3 (0-2f), Eoghan McGettigan, Niall O’Donnell (0-1f), Jason McGee 0-2 each, JD Boyle, Gary Molloy 0-1 each.

Galway

1. Cormac Haslam (Glenamaddy)

24. Céin D’Arcy (Caherlistrane)
3. Seán Mulkerrin (Aran Islands)
4. Eoin McFadden (Salthill-Knocknacarra)

5. Adam Quirke (Annaghdown)
6. Ernán McDonagh (Bearna)
7. Fionnán Garvey (Monivea-Abbey)

8. Seán Raftery (Glenamaddy)
9. John Maher  (Salthill-Knocknacarra)

10. Finian Ó’ Laoi (An Spidéal)
11. Evan Murphy (Salthill-Knocknacarra)
12. Ryan Forde (Annaghdown)

13. Robert Finnerty (Salthill-Knocknacarra)
14. Desmond Conneely (Moycullen)
15. Barry Goldrick (Claregalway)

Sub

17. Ross Murphy (Bearna) for Maher (53)

Donegal

1. Gavin Mulreany (Naomh Náille)

2. Seaghan Ferry (Gaoth Dobhair)
3. Aaron McCrea (Four Masters)
4. Mark Curran (Dungloe)

5. Odhrán Shiels (Fanad Gaels)
6. JD Boyle (Naomh Conaill)
7. Aidan McLaughlin (Maigh)

8. Jason McGee (Cloughaneely – captain)
9. Kieran Gallagher (Naomh Conaill)

10. Nathan Boyle (Aodh Ruadh)
11. Niall O’Donnell (St Eunan’s)
12. Enda McCormack (Termon)

13. Peadar Mogan (Naomh Náille)
14. Eoghan McGettigan (Naomh Conaill)
15. Odhrán McFadden-Ferry (Gaoth Dobhair)

Subs

18. Odhrán Shiels (Fanad Gaels) for McLaughlin (25)
17. Shane McGrath (Aodh Ruadh) for Boyle (38)
21. Brian O’Donnell (Kilcar) for Ferry (black card) (40)
20. Gary Molloy (Kilcar) for Boyle (44)
23. Daniel Lyons (Kilcar) for McCrea (52)

Referee: John Hickey (Carlow)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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