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)
Kevin Walsh’s Galway cruised to victory over Donegal to book an All Ireland Quarter-Final date against Kerry.
Galway bounced back emphatically as Johnny Heaney kicked 2-2 and Liam Silke and Danny Cummins scored their other goals in a massive win at Markievicz Park in Sligo.
They advance to face Kerry now after beating a poor Donegal side despite having Declan Kyne sent-off in the second-half. Donegal had three of their players black carded and it was a disastrous outing for them as they finished up their campaign.
Galway made a brilliant start and two quick points from Sean Armstrong and Shane Walsh gave them the early ascendency.
Michael Murphy kicked two points in the fourth and sixth minutes to tie the game up before Armstrong cancelled those out with two more of his own – the Salthill/Knocknacarra clubman was a late inclusion instead of Eamonn Brannigan for Galway.
Donegal took the lead for the first time after three points in a row by Paddy McBrearty (twice), and Michael Murphy, but Galway came alive in the second-quarter.
Galway hit 3-5 before the break while Micheal Murphy and substitute Martin McElhinney had the only reprieve for Donegal. Meanwhile Galway blitzed their opponents with Heaney fisting their first goal in the 18th minute.
Galway got their second goal in the 26th minute and it was a massive turning point when Liam Silke fired home their penalty.
Donegal goalkeeper Marc Anthony McGinley got a black card when he tripped Tom Flynn and the Corofin clubman made no mistake from the resultant penalty.
Donegal were down and out at that stage and Galway got their third goal before half-time when Heaney fisted home his second.
It was 3-9 to 0-7 in favour of Galway at the break and they kicked three quick points through Heaney, Armstrong and Gary O’Donnell at the start of the second-half.
That killed off any chance of a fight back and Donegal had Michael Murphy and Martin McElhinney black card as their challenge faded.
Having used their full complement of substitutes already Donegal finished with 13 players.
Paddy McBrearty tried to take the fight to Galway, but he missed a penalty and the rebound when Cathal Sweeney got Galway’s black card after fouling Martin O’Reilly with 11 minutes remaining.
Galway kicked on again, Micheal Meehan made his reappearance in the latter stages and then fellow substitute Danny Cummins kicked their fourth goal.
FINAL SCORE: GALWAY 4-17 DONEGAL 0-14
Scorers for Galway: Johnny Heaney 2-2, Sean Armstrong 0-6 (4fs), Liam Silke 1-0 (1-0 pen), Danny Cummins 1-0, Gary O’Donnell 0-2, Shane Walsh 0-1, Paul Conroy 0-1, Ian Burke 0-1, Damien Comer 0-1, Eamonn Brannigan 0-2, Michael Daly 0-1.
Scorers for Donegal: Paddy McBrearty 0-6 (2fs), Michael Murphy 0-4 (3fs, 145), Martin O’Reilly 0-2, Martin McElhinney 0-1, Michael Langan 0-1.
GALWAY: Bernard Power, Eoghan Kerin, Declan Kyne, Cathal Sweeney; Gary O’Donnell, Gareth Bradshaw, Liam Silke; Paul Conroy, Tom Flynn; Johnny Heaney, Micheal Daly, Sean Armstrong; Ian Burke, Damien Comer, Shane Walsh.
Subs: David Wynne for Sweeney (60, black card), Eamonn Branningan for Walsh (60), Danny Cummins for Daly (63), Michael Meehan for Comer (68), David Walsh for Bradshaw (72), Cillian McDaid for O’Donnell (72).
DONEGAL: Mark Anthony McGinley; Caolan Ward, Kieran Gillespie, Neil McGee; Eoghan Ban Gallagher, Ryan McHugh, Paddy McGrath; Jason McGee, Michael Murphy; Mark McHugh, Eoin McHugh, Frank McGlynn; Jamie Brennan, Hugh McFadden, Patrick McBrearty.
Subs: Peter Boyle for McGinley (25, black card), Michael Langan for Brennan (35), Martin McElhinney for McGlynn (36), Karl Lacey for Gillespie (half-time), Ciaran Thompson for McFadden (42), Martin O’Reilly for E McHugh (42).
REFEREE: Anthony Nolan (Wicklow).