Galway are through to the All-Ireland minor football championship after holding off Kerry’s challenge this afternoon at Croke Park.
Darragh Kennedy kicked what proved the winning point for the young Connacht men as they pushed on in the final quarter after surrendering their two-point half-time lead against the defending champions.
Tomo Culhane weighed in with 0-6 for the victors over the hour as the westerners handed Kerry a first loss in this competition since 2013.
Culhane, Nathan Grainger and Warren Seoige sailed over points during the opening half-four which saw the would-be winners leading by 0-7 to 0-5 at the break.
However, the holders soon levelled matters early in the restart with points from Colin Crowley and Darragh Lynch and soared in front after Emmet O’Shea and Jack O’Connor each raised white flags.
Culhane’s free narrowed the margin back to the minimum on 38 minutes and the sides would be squared again (0-10 each) after Dylan Brady ripped through and blazed over.
Lynch and Seoige cancelled each other out as the game crept towards its final quarter prior to O’Shea handing the Munster side their last lead with a sublime individual effort.
Galway accelerated from there however, landing back-to-back points via Culhane (one a free) to take back the lead with eight minutes left on the clock.
Kerry had chances to level and even take the lead in that time but couldn’t hit the target and when the opportunity presented itself to Kennedy at the other end he’s make no mistake in cushioning the Tribesmen’s advantage to two.
Dylan Geaney pulled back one for Kerry right on the hour mark but it left the champions one short in the end and Galway with a decider date against Cork to savour on September 1st, avenging last year’s final loss to this opposition in the process.
Galway - D Halleran; J McGrath, R King, L Tevnan; C Hernon (0-1), E Fiorentini, K O’Neill; L McLaughlin, D O’Flaherty; E Nolan, W Seoige (0-2), D Brady (0-2); N Grainger (0-1), T Culhane (0-6, 4f), D Cox (0-1). Subs: C Gallagher for D O’Flaherty, N Cunningham for N Grainger, J Webb for K O’Neill, D Kennedy (0-1) for D Brady.
Kerry - D Burns; L Chester, A Dineen, K O’Sullivan; E O’Sullivan, A Curran, S O’Brien (0-1); C O Beaglaoich, R Collins; C Crowley (0-1), J O’Connor (0-2), D Lynch (0-3); D Geaney (0-3), G Hassett, E O’Shea (0-3). Subs: D O’Callaghan for C Crowley, J Linehan for D Lynch, K Goulding for E O’Shea, T O Hainifein for R Collins, R O'Grady for D Geaney.
Referee - M McNally.Tweet