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Galway's title defence gathers momentum with deserved win over Kilkenny

Donal O’Shea scored 10 points for the Tribesmen in Thurles.

Galway's Evan Duggan with William Halpin of Kilkenny.
Galway's Evan Duggan with William Halpin of Kilkenny.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Galway 1-21

Kilkenny 2-11

Daragh Small reports from Semple Stadium

DONAL O’SHEA SCORED 10 points as reigning champions Galway advanced to the All-Ireland minor semi-finals with victory over Kilkenny at Semple Stadium in Thurles.

Galway were massively impressive in their 1-20 to 0-12 win over beaten Munster finalists Limerick last weekend and they did enough to see off the Leinster kingpins here.

Galway pulled clear at the end of the first-half and held a 1-14 to 2-3 advantage at the break. Dean Reilly’s goal cancelled out the effort from Cathal O’Leary and Ciarán Brennan.

Kilkenny had their chances in the second-half, but Galway were always in charge and advanced to the final four.

Galway captain Seán Neary won the toss and his side dominated the first-half, despite the concession of two Kilkenny goals.

O’Shea was accurate from the placed ball and he scored five frees, his and Galway’s first came after just 36 seconds.

Kilkenny equalised through O’Leary, but he never got enough ball into his hand and when he did he was often crowded out by a brilliant Galway defence.

Galway scored five in a row between the fourth and 15th minutes with O’Shea, Keelan Creaven, Jason O’Donoghue, Diarmuid Kilcommins and Reilly all on target.

They were 0-6 to 0-1 clear with a quarter of the game played but O’Leary profited from an error by Galway goalkeeper Patrick Rabbitte, who failed to clear his lines and Jack Morrissey put his fellow corner forward in for goal.

Oisin Flannery with Jamie Harkin Galway's Oisin Flannery with Jamie Harkin of Kilkenny in Thurles. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

That goal arrived in the 20th minute and points from Conor Kelly and George Murphy meant Kilkenny only trailed by 0-7 to 1-3.

The teams traded goals in the 24th minute when Reilly and Ciarán Brennan both found the net.

But Galway scored seven points in a row before the interval and held a big 1-14 to 2-3 lead at half-time.

Kilkenny started the second-half with points from Jamie Young and Kelly but half-time substitute Dan Coogan had a goal disallowed for a foul on goalkeeper Rabbitte in the 41st minute.

Kilkenny stayed in the game with free from Kelly but when Rabbitte saved a 56th minute Kelly free brilliantly with his leg Galway had done enough.

Scorers for Galway: Donal O’Shea 0-10 (0-9f, 0-1 65), Dean Reilly 1-4, O Flannery (Padraig Pearses) 0-2, Jason O’Donoghue 0-2, Diarmuid Kilcommins 0-2, Keelan Creaven 0-1

Scorers for Kilkenny: Conor Kelly 0-7 (0-4f, 0-2 65), Cathal O’Leary 1-1, Ciarán Brennan 1-0, George Murphy 0-2, Jamie Young 0-1.

Galway:

1. Patrick Rabbitte (Athenry)

2. Michael Flynn (Ballygar)
3. Shane Jennings (Bllinasloe)
4. Ian McGlynn (Kilconieron)

5. Shane Quirke (Athenry)
6. Séan Neary (Castlegar) (captain)
7. Evan Duggan (St Thomas)
8. Oisín Flannery (St Thomas)
9. Jason O’Donoghue (Gort)

10. Diarmuid Kilcommins (Annaghdown)
11. Sean McDonagh (Mountbellew/Moylough)
12. Oisín Flannery (Pádraig Pearses)

13. Keelan Creaven (Sylane)
14. Donal O’Shea (Salthill/Knocknacarra)
15. Dean Reilly (Pádraig Pearses)

Subs:

21. Adam Brett (Killimordaly) for McDonagh (40)
18. Conor Flahery (Carnmore) for McGlynn (43)
19. Niall Collins (Cappataggle) for O’Donoghue (54)
20. Colm Cunningham (Moycullen) for Creaven (56)

Kilkenny:

1. Jason Brennan (Young Irelands)

2. Pádraig Dempsey (Mullinavat)
3. Jamie Young (O’Loughlin Gaels)
4. Chris Korff (Erin’s Own)

5. Jamie Harklin (Bennettsbridge)
6. Shane Staunton (Clara)
7. Darragh Maher (St Lachtain’s)

8. Cillian Rudkins (Barrow Rangers)
9. Conor Kelly (O’Loughlin Gaels) (captain)

10. William Halpin (Slieverue)
11. Cian Kenny (James Stephens)
12. George Murphy (Rower Inistioge)

13. Cathal O’Leary (St Lachtain’s)
14. Ciarán Brennan (Bennettsbridge)
15. Jack Morrissey (St Patrick’s)

Subs used:

21. Jack Buggy (Erin’s Own) for Halpin (30)
20. Dylan Crehan (Dunnamaggin) for Korff (HT)
24. Dan Coogan (Erin’s Own) for Rudkins (HT)
22. Killian Hogan (Mooncoin) for Murphy (56)

Referee: Colum Canning (Antrim).

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About the author:

Daragh Small

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