Galway’s Jason Donoghue celebrates winning. Evan Treacy/INPHO
Young Guns

Galway overcome Kilkenny to set up decider with Dublin

A super first-half showing from Jeffrey Lynskey’s men meant that, try as they might, Kilkenny were just unable to recover.

Galway 1-18

Kilkenny 1-13

David Connors reports from O’Connor Park

LAST YEAR’S provincial runners-up Galway will have the chance to avenge that final defeat to Dublin in next week’s decider after defeating Kilkenny in tonight’s Leinster U20 semi-final.

A super first-half showing from Jeffrey Lynskey’s men meant that, try as they might, Kilkenny were just unable to reel in the men from Connacht down the home straight.

It wasn’t quite a comeback of Limerick proportions from last weekend’s Munster final, but a gallant Kilkenny, who trailed by double digits at half-time, pushed Galway all the way to the finishing line in a highly entertaining second half.

Aided by a decent breeze in the first half Galway, backboned by a squad from their history-making four in a row All-Ireland minor winning teams from 2018, ’19 and ’20, exploded out of the traps and four points from Man of the Match Donal O’Shea and a point each from Diarmuid Kilcommins, Niall Collins, John Cooney and Seán McDonagh saw Galway 0-8 to 0-1 to the good at the first water break.

A seven-point lead first quarter was extended to 13 by half-time with O’Shea, son of current Tipperary senior coach Eamon, bagging a goal on 20 minutes with a pair of long-range points from former All-Ireland winning captain Seán Neary the highlight scores of that segment of the game.

Kilkenny, who have lost the last three All-Ireland minor finals to the Tribesmen, to their immense credit somehow managed to work and hurl themselves back into the game thanks to the accuracy of Eoin Guilfoyle and a goal from substitute Tomás Dunne, who was on hand to finish a rebound from a Conor Kelly penalty, that was saved by Galway ‘keeper Paddy Rabbitte, to the net.

Incredibly as the clock ticked towards stoppage time, Kilkenny, who outscored Galway 1-10 to 0-5 in the second period, found themselves only four points down with Rabbitte again called into action to twice deny the Noresiders as well as teammates denying a goalbound close-range free from Kilkenny custodian Aidan Tallis.

However, a Conor Flaherty boomer from distance ultimately proved to be his side’s insurance score as finally Galway sealed victory in the third minute of stoppage time but not before a serious scare from the Cats.

Scorers for Galway: Donal O’Shea 1-7 (0-3f, 0-1 65); Seán McDonagh (0-2 sidelines) 0-3, John Cooney, Seán Neary 0-2 each, Diarmuid Kilcommins, Niall Collins, Paddy Commins, Conor Flaherty 0-1 each.

Scores for Kilkenny: Eoin Guilfoyle 0-7 (0-5f, 0-1 65), Tomás Dunne 1-0, Peter McDonald, Conor Kelly, Cian Kenny, Aidan Tallis (0-1f), Shane Staunton, Billy Drennan 0-1 each.


1. Paddy Rabbitte (Athenry)

2. Eoin Lawless (Athenry), 3. Eoghan Geraghty (Oranmore-Maree), 4. Christy Brennan (Clarinbridge)

5. Shane Quirke (Athenry), 6. Seán Neary (Castlegar), 7. Evan Duggan (St Thomas’)

8. Ian McGlynn (Kilconieron), 9. Jason O’Donoghue (Gort)

10. Diarmuid Kilcommins (Annaghdown), 11. Seán McDonagh (Skehana-Mountbellew/Moylough), 12. John Cooney (Sarsfields)

14. Donal O’Shea (Salthill-Knocknacarra), 13. Niall Collins (Cappataggle), 15. Oisín Flannery (St Thomas’).


23. A. Connaire (Sarsfields) for McGlynn (33)

24. Paddy Commins (Gort) for Flannery (40)

18. Conor Flaherty (Carnmore) for Duggan (47)

20. Oisín Slevin (Ardrahan) for Cooney (53)

21. Tiernan Killeen (Loughrea) for McDonagh (56)


1. Adam Tallis (Lisdowney)

2. David Fogarty (O’Loughlin Gaels), 3. Jamie Young (O’Loughlin Gaels), 4. Peter McDonald (Thomastown)

5. Shane Staunton (Clara), 19. Cathal Beirne (Glenmore), 7. Padraig Dempsey (Mullinavat)

8. Cian Kenny (James Stephens), 9. Pádraig Moylan (Dicksboro)

13. Ciarán Brennan (Bennettsbridge), 11. Conor Kelly (O’Loughlin Gaels), 12. Jack Morrissey (St Patrick’s)

14. Timmy Clifford (Dicksboro), 10. Liam Moore (Dicksboro), 15. Eoin Guilfoyle (James Stephens)


23. Paul Cody (Clara) for Moore (20)

20. Ian Byrne (Glenmore) for Brennan (25)

18. Tomás Dunne (Tullaroan) for Dempsey (HT)

24. Billy Drennan (Galmoy) for Morrissey (38)

21. George Murphy (Rower-Instioge) for Kelly (55)

Referee: Patrick Murphy (Carlow).

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