Galway produced a superb display to stun favourites Kerry in an exciting All-Ireland U-21 football semi-final at Cusack Park, Ennis.
The Tribesmen led from start to finish and never allowed the Kingdom take control, with Gerry Fahy’s men responding well when Kerry threatened a comeback in the second-half.
Galway opened up a 1-07 to 0-01 lead after just ten minutes as they used the strong wind from the outset.
They got off to a great start when a string of passes set Dessie Conneely up to crack home a goal after just 21 seconds and stun Kerry.
Galway built on that with Peter Cooke dominating at midfield and Michael Daly leading an attack which moved at pace.
Kerry struggled to get into the game, although Conor Geaney got them off the mark with a free in a rare attack.
Wing-back Kieran Molloy went forward to score and make it 1-07 to 0-01 after ten minutes, but then Galway fluffed a couple of great goal-scoring chances with Robert Finnerty shooting wide and Eoin Finnerty unable to hold possession with just goalkeeper Shane Ryan to beat.
Kerry, boosted by those let-offs, hit back with a free from Sean O’Shea before Killian Spillane got their first point from play eight minutes from the interval.
Kerry stopper Ryan went forward to convert a free from 45 metres but Galway had the final say of the opening half when Cooke got his third point of the match with a free to lead by 1-09 to 0-04 at the interval.
Kerry started the second half as Galway did the first with Matthew O’Sullivan forcing home a goal.
But Galway responded with a point from Cooke and it was the Galway midfielder who again hit back after a couple of Matthew Flaherty points.
Ryan went forward again to shoot his second point and Spillane, son of Kerry star Tom, also pointed to cut the gap to three.
But Sean Kelly hit back for Galway and then midfielder Barry O’Sullivan picked up a second yellow and Kerry had to play the final 12 minutes with 14 men.
Galway killed the game with three points in rapid succession and then sub Colin Brady sealed it with a goal, although there was time for Jordan Kiely to shoot a consolation effort for Kerry.
Final score: Galway 2-14 Kerry 2-10
Galway: R O Beolain; L Kelly, S O Ceallaigh, R Greene; K Molloy (0-01), D McHugh, C McDaid (0-01); P Cooke (0-05, 0-03f), C D’Arcy (0-01); S Kelly (0-02), M Daly (0-02), P Mannion (0-01); R Finnerty (0-01), E Finnerty, D Conneely (1-00).
Subs used: C Brady (1-00) for Mannion (41), M Boyle for R Finnerty (54), C Brennan for D’Arcy (56), E Lee for McDaid (60).
Kerry: S Ryan (0-02, 0-02f); Tom Leo O’Sullivan, J Foley, Tom O’Sullivan; B O Beaglaoich, B O Seanachain, G White; A Barry, B O’Sullivan; B Barrett, S O’Shea (0-01, 0-01f), M Flaherty (0-02); K Spillane (0-04, 0-03f), M O’Sullivan (1-00), C Geaney (0-01, 0-01f).
Subs used: M Burns for Barrett (29), R O Se for O Seanachain (41), J Kiely (1-00) for S O’Shea (45), J Morgan for White (55), D O’Brien for O Beaglaoich (60).
Referee: B Cawley (Kildare)
League champions Galway got their championship campaign up and running with an emphatic 2-28 to 1-17 win over Dublin at O’Connor Park in Tullamore.
The dismissal early in the second-half of Dublin defender Cian O’Callaghan minimised any chance of an upset as Galway advanced to a Leinster SHC semi-final meeting with Offaly next month.
It was only Galway’s second ever senior championship win over Dublin in seven meetings.
Galway led by 1-10 to 1-07 at the end of the opening half with seven different scorers contributing to their tally in front of a crowd of 14,316 in a game played in excellent conditions.
The Tribesmen seemed poised for a big interval lead but Dublin struck for a goal on the stroke of half-time to give themselves real hope.
Indeed, Dublin started and finished the half in a flourish, with Chris Crummey getting them off the mark after three minutes with a good point from the right.
Galway took over from there and shot four in a row in a six-minute spell with Joe Canning, Jason Flynn, David Burke and Conor Whelan hitting good scores for the League champions.
Ben Quinn had a Dublin goal disallowed when he was adjudged to have over-carried the ball. But Ger Cunningham’s men enjoyed their best spell of the opening half after that.
Eamon Dillon reduced the margin and then Shane Barrett landed one from distance before Donal Burke tied the match at 0-04 each after 16 minutes.
Dublin continued to press forward and David Treacy edged them in front but they were also guilty of some wayward shooting, hitting 10 wides to Galway’s seven in the first half.
Galway responded to the challenge with four points without reply, with Cathal Mannion, David Burke, Canning and Conor Cooney pushing them 0-08 to 0-05 in the lead.
Treacy hit back with a Dublin free which was quickly cancelled out when Joseph Cooney ensured all Galway forwards were on the mark in the opening half.
Another Treacy point left just two between them but then Galway, who lost corner-back Paul Killeen to a knee injury, struck a major blow with the opening goal.
Dublin goalkeeper Conor Dooley did well to block an effort from Joseph Cooney but Flynn finished the rebound to the net with a ground strike.
He should have added another three minutes from the break after being set up by a superb pass from Canning but his effort flew over the bar.
And then, just before the break, Donal Burke set up Quinn for a goal for Dublin to leave just three between them at the interval.
Galway doubled that lead in the opening five minutes of the second half with three points from play and Dublin then suffered a massive blow when corner-back O’Callaghan was dismissed after picking up a second yellow card.
That left the Dubs with a mountain to climb and they never looked like mounting a challenge from there as Galway used their numerical advantage to pull away.
They wrapped up the issue when Conor Cooney got Galway’s second goal after 53 minutes, with Dublin unable to mount a rally after that and will now need to regroup for the qualifiers.
Galway: C Callanan; A Touhy, Daithi Burke, P Killeen; P Mannion, G McInerney, A Harte; J Coen, J Canning (0-9, 0-5f); J Flynn (1-02), David Burke (0-03), C Whelan (0-05); J Cooney (0-01), C Cooney (1-03), C Mannion (0-01).
Subs: J Hanbury for Killeen (25), N Burke (0-02) for C Cooney (57), S Loftus for Coen (62), T Monaghan (0-01) for C Mannion (62), E Burke (0-01) for David Burke (67).
Dublin: C Dooley; C O’Callaghan, E O’Donnell, O Gough; C Crummey (0-02), L Rushe, S Barrett (0-01); N McMorrow, S Moran; D Treacy (0-05, 0-04f), B Quinn (1-00), E Conroy; R O’Dwyer, E Dillon (0-02), D Burke (0-03, 0-02f).
Subs: R McBride (0-01) for Conroy (36), F Whitely (0-01) for Treacy (51), J Malone for McMorrow (60), J Hetherton (0-02, 0-01f) for O’Dwyer (65), D O’Callaghan for Burke (65).