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Dublin: 6 °C Tuesday 21 January, 2020


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EirGrid All-Ireland U21 football semi-final
Kerry v Galway, Cusack Park, 4.30pm


So who’s going to join Dublin in this year’s All-Ireland U21 football decider? That’s the prize Kerry and Galway will be chasing this afternoon in Ennis.

Here’s the team Jack O’Connor has picked to start.


1. Shane Ryan (Rathmore)

2. Tom (Leo) O’Sullivan (Dingle)
3. Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue)
4. Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle)

5. Brian Ó Beaglaoich (An Ghaeltacht)
6. Andrew Barry (Na Gaeil)
7. Gavin White (Dr Crokes)

8. Brian Ó Seanacháin (Ballydonoghue)
9. Barry O’Sullivan (Dingle)

10. Brandon Barrett (Ardfert)
11. Sean O’Shea (Kenmare)
12. Matthew Flaherty (Dingle)

13. Killian Spillane (Templenoe)
14. Matthew O’Sullivan (St Michaels-Foilmore)
15. Conor Geaney (Dingle)

And here’s how Galway will start:


1. Ronan O Beolain (Micheal Breathnach)

2. Liam Kelly (An Spideal)
3. Sean Andy O Ceallaigh (Leitir Mor)
4. Ruairi Greene (Killannin)

5. Kieran Molloy (Corofin)
6. Dylan McHugh (Corofin)
7. Cillian McDaid (Monivea-Abbey)

8. Peter Cooke (Moycullen)
9. Cein D’Arcy (Caherlistrane)

10. Sean Kelly
11. Michael Daly (Mountbellew-Moylough)
12. Paul Mannion (Kilconly)

13. Robert Finnerty (Salthill-Knocknacarra)
14. Eoin Finnerty (Mountbellew-Moylough)
15. Dessie Conneely (Moycullen)

Close to throw-in at Cusack Park.

Game on.

Galway 1-0 Kerry 0-0
1 mins – What a start for Galway! 25 seconds in and Dessie Conneely billows the net. A swift counter-attack from Galway after Kerry’s Matthew Flaherty was blocked down around the middle.

Galway 1-1 Kerry 0-0
2 mins – Peter Cooke swings over a great free for Galway and they go four ahead.

Galway 1-1 Kerry 0-1
4 mins – Conor Geaney gets Kerry off the mark with a pointed free

Galway 1-3 Kerry 0-1
5 mins – Galway are in excellent form here. Peter Cooke and Michael Daly strike over brilliant points from distance.

Yellow card for Kerry midfielder Barry O’Sullivan.

Galway 1-4 Kerry 0-1
8 mins – Daly again and Galway are six clear. Another fine point.

Galway 1-5 Kerry 0-1
9 mins – Kerry looking shaky here, Robert Finnerty lobs over Galway’s latest point.

Galway 1-7 Kerry 0-1
10 mins – Kerry can’t get a foothold in this game. Galway backed by the wind are completely on top. Sean Kelly and Kieran Molloy supply the latest points.

Half a goal chance for Galway but Robert Finnerty drags his shot wide under pressure. Probably should have been satisfied with his point.

Galway are putting Kerry under huge pressure. Jack O’Connor’s side can’t get out of their own half.

Galway a little wasteful in their last few attacks in front of goal but they still have nine points to spare over Kerry at the moment.

Galway 1-8 Kerry 0-1
19 mins – Paul Mannion ends the impasse by cutting through for a point for Galway.

Galway 1-8 Kerry 0-2
20 mins – Kerry finally pull a point back, Sean O’Shea taps over a free.

Yellow card for Galway’s Michael Daly.

Galway 1-8 Kerry 0-3
21 mins – Kerry grab their first score from play, lovely bit of work by Killian Spillane to make the space for himself to point.

Four minutes left to the break, Galway still ahead by eight.

Couple chances for Galway but they don’t capitalise. Daly wide from play and then Robert Finnerty’s point attempt drops short.

Sub: Kerry spring their first change. Dr Crokes Micheál Burns in for Brandon Barrett.

Galway 1-8 Kerry 0-4
29 mins – Goalkeeper Shane Ryan comes upfield to bang over a free for Kerry.

Galway 1-9 Kerry 0-4
31 mins – Cooke slots over a close-range free for Galway.

The second half is under way.

Goal for Kerry!

Galway 1-9 Kerry 1-4
33 mins – What a start to the second half! A high ball is punted in by Kerry after they win the throw-in. The ball falls out of the grasp of Matthew O’Sullivan but he palms the ball to the net. Bit of confusion over whether the goal will stand but it does after the referee consults with his umpires.

Galway 1-10 Kerry 1-4
34 mins – Peter Cooke steadies Galway’s challenge with an expertly struck free and then Kerry have a great chance to point themselves but they miss a straightforward free.

Galway 1-10 Kerry 1-5
36 mins – Matthew O’Flaherty hooks over a point off his left and Kerry cut the gap to five.

Yellow card for Kerry’s Matthew O’Sullivan for a high challenge on Galway’s Michael Daly.

Galway 1-10 Kerry 1-6
39 mins – And now the gap is cut to four. Again Flaherty points after a move involving his Dingle colleagues Conor Geaney, Barry O’Sullivan and Tom O’Sullivan.

Galway 1-11 Kerry 1-6
40 mins – Great point by Peter Cooke for Galway to stem the Kerry tide.

Sub: Roibeard Ó Sé in for Kerry for Ó Seanacháin while Colin Brady replaces Mannion on the Galway team.

Brilliant save by Shane Ryan to deny Robert Finnerty! A Galway goal there could have been crucial.

The resultant ’45 for Galway by Cooke drifts wide. 42 minutes gone.

Wing-back Cillian McDaid with another wide for Galway.

Sub: Jordan Kiely comes in for Kerry for Sean O’Shea.

Galway 1-11 Kerry 1-7
45 mins – Goalkeeper Shane Ryan again with a point for Kerry, this time from a ’45. Four points between them again as we enter the final quarter.

Galway 1-11 Kerry 1-8
46 mins – Now the margin is down to three, Killian Spillane on target from a free for Kerry.

Galway 1-12 Kerry 1-8
47 mins – Brilliant run by Eoin Finnerty for Galway sets up Colin Brady to punch over a point.

Referee Brendan Cawley shows a second yellow card to O’Sullivan and he’s dismissed. That second yellow looked harsh.

Galway 1-13 Kerry 1-8
50 mins – Inspirational point by Cillian McDaid for Galway as he comes forward from defence to score.

Galway 1-14 Kerry 1-8
51 mins – Céin D’Arcy points for Galway and they go six clear.

Galway look to be in command here again.

Sub: Michael Boyle is on for Galway for Robert Finnerty.

Five minutes left here for Kerry to stage a comeback.

Sub: Jack Morgan is on for Kerry for Gavin White.

Galway 1-14 Kerry 1-9
56 mins – Spillane knocks over a free for Kerry.

Sub: Colm Brennan is on for Galway for Darcy.

Galway 2-14 Kerry 1-9
58 mins – That looks like the insurance score, Colin Brady drills the ball to the net after excellent play by Peter Cooke and Eoin Finnerty to set it up.

Subs: Eric Lee in for Galway for McDaid while Kerry bring on Cormac Coffey for Tom Leo O’Sullivan.

Goal for Kerry from Jordan Kiely!

Galway 2-14 Kerry 2-10
60 mins – A Spillane free and a blistering drive to the net by Jordan Kiely cuts the gap Kerry face to four.

Four minutes of additional time to be played.

So it’ll be Galway and Dublin in this year’s EirGrid All-Ireland U21 football final.

A four-point win for Galway and it’s richly deserved. The decider will take place on 29 April. Thanks for joining us this afternoon.

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole