Michael Corry reporting live from Croke Park.
The Kingdom were gunning for a chance to go on and complete the six-in-a-row in this Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Football semi-final but it was the young Tribesmen who came out on top with a one-point win in Croke Park.
Kerry showed glimpses as to why they are five-in-a-row champions but Galway largely dominated proceedings in the opening half. However, it could have been the dream start for the Kingdom had they converted a goal-scoring opportunity with the first attack of the game.
As it transpired though, it was Galway who struck first blood through Dylan Brady before his opposite number Darragh Lynch stepped inside his man and equalised for Kerry. Seán O’Brien started well for Kerry showing excellent high-fielding skills to claim a Galway kick-out before nailing a beautiful individual score moments later to edge the Kingdom in front.
From here on out though it was Galway who looked the sharper of the two. Evan Nolan set-up Warren Seoige to equalise before Daniel Cox and Nathan Grainger got in on the action to give the Tribesmen the lead.
Kerry pulled one back through Emmet O’Shea following a fantastic catch by Cathal Ó Beaglaoich in midfield while Dylan Geaney started to get his engine running clipping over an excellent score to narrow the gap to one. Cian Heron ghosted up from wing-back to kick a great score for Galway before Tomo Culhane nailed his second free of the day to give them a 0-7 to 0-5 lead at half-time.
Kerry were behind but not out and it could have been a lot worse if not for a fantastic save by Devon Burns and some great full-back play throughout the half from Alan Dineen.
Kerry came out a different animal in the second half and within three minutes of the restart, the led following four-in-a-row from Colin Crowley, Darragh Lynch, Emmet O’Shea and Jack O’Connor.
Galway weren’t going away though with two points from Culhane either side of another O’Shea score leaving just the bare minimum between the sides. Darragh Lynch nailed his third from play to nudge Galway in front, however, two points from Brady and Seoige ensured that the game entered the final fifteen minutes with the sides deadlocked on 0-11 to 0-11.
Emmet O’Shea could have had a goal but had to settle for a third point as Kerry went in front once more heading down the home stretch. Culhane nailed another free to draw level once more before both goalkeepers were called into action within thirty seconds of each other.
First, it was Dylan Geaney who bore down on goal before forcing Donie Halleran into a smart save before his opposite number Devon Burns saved from Conall Gallagher. Galway eventually took the lead, however, when Culhane struck a beauty from play to leave the score at 0-13 to 0-12 with five minutes of normal time remaining.
James McLaughlin had a golden opportunity to clinch the game for Galway following a trademark lung-bursting run from the middle but shewed his shot wide. Kerry kept coming at the Galway defence put struggled to level the game up missing five opportunities in a row as their stranglehold in the Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Football Championship seemed to be slipping.
As the game entered injury time, substitute Darragh Kennedy showed great strength to shrug off the Kerry defence and score for Galway before Geaney struck another sweet score to set up a tense finale.
Galway hung on though to break the Kerry monopoly and set-up a mouthwatering final clash with Cork in three weeks time.
Devon Burns; Luke Chester, Alan Dineen, Kieran O’Sullivan; Eoghan O’Sullivan, Adam Curran, Seán O’Brien; Cathal Ó Beaglaoich, Ronan Collins; Colin Crowley, Jack O’Connor (c), Darragh Lynch; Dylan Geaney, Gearóid Hassett, Emmet O’Shea.
Dylan O’Callaghan for Colin Crowley, Joseph Linehan for Darragh Lynch, Kevin Goulding for Emmet O’Shea, Tomás Ó Hainiféin for Ronan Collins, Ryan O’Grady for Dylan Geaney.
Darragh Lynch 0-3, Emmet O’Shea 0-3, Jack O’Connor 0-2, Dylan Geaney 0-2, Gearóid Hassett 0-1, Colin Crowley 0-1, Seán O’Brien 0-1.
Donie Halleran; Jonathan McGrath (c), Ruairí King, Liam Tevnan; Cian Heron, Ethan Fiorentini, Kyle O’Neill; James McLaughlin, Daniel O’Flaherty; Evan Nolan, Warren Seoige, Dylan Brady; Nathan Grainger, Tomo Culhane, Daniel Cox.
Conall Gallagher for Daniel O’Flaherty, Niall Cunningham for Nathan Grainger, James Webb for Kyle O’Neill, Darragh Kennedy for Dylan Brady.
Tomo Culhane 0-6, Warren Seoige 0-2, Dylan Brady 0-2, Nathan Grainger 0-1, Daniel Cox 0-1, Cian Heron 0-1, Darragh Kennedy 0-1.