GAA Football

Kingdom minors out to stretch unbeaten run against Galway

BIG INPUT: Kerry forward Dylan Geaney hit three points in their quarter-final win over Tyrone Picture: Philip Walsh
By Padraig Kelly

ALL-IRELAND MFC SEMI-FINAL

Galway v Kerry

(tomorrow, Croke Park, 1.30pm, live on TG4)

DONAL Ó'Fatharta's Galway will tomorrow attempt to do something that no county has managed since August 2013 – defeat Kerry in a Minor Championship game.

Since losing to Tyrone in the All-Ireland quarter-final six years ago, the Kingdom minors have collected an incredible five Tom Markham titles in a row and few would bet against them making it six this term as they aim to stretch their unbeaten run to 35 games.

The Tribesmen do bring quality to this Croke Park clash though as they chase a third final appearance in four years. They also bring plenty of character too.

A one-point Connacht final loss to rivals Mayo after extra-time would have been heart-breaking, but they bounced back with an impressive 2-17 to 0-15 All-Ireland quarter-final win over Kildare.

James McLaughlin set the tone when he won the throw-in and ran through the Kildare defence to goal after just 10 seconds and Nathan Grainger's second-half major sealed their progress.

Kerry, meanwhile, were four points behind at one stage in their quarter-final against Tyrone but they responded in excellent fashion to win 1-12 to 0-9.

Emmet O'Shea's goal was needed to break the resistance of the Red Hands, but the drive for six continues.

Seventeen players from the previous five years have already made their debuts for the Kerry seniors and the talent coming through the Munster county is incredible. That should be evident again tomorrow with James Costello's side set to secure another shot at the Tom Markham Cup.

ALL-IRELAND MFC SEMI-FINAL

Cork v Mayo

(today, Croke Park, 3pm, live on TG4)

MAYO may lie fifth in the All-Ireland Minor roll of honour but only Kerry have appeared in more finals than the Westerners, who will be aiming to secure another ‘big day' admission ticket when they face Cork at Croke Park this afternoon.

Final heartbreak does not belong exclusively to the county's seniors with the minors winning seven and losing 14 of their final appearances. The last of those came in 2013 when they defeated Tyrone and they'll be keen to have the opportunity to readdress the balance further.

They certainly took a giant step forward with a thrilling quarter-final win over Dublin. Tomás Morley's side scored five goals but still required a superb stop from Luke Jennings late on to secure their last-four spot.

Cork boss Bobbie O'Dwyer has kept faith with the same side that defeated Monaghan 3-19 to 2-10 in their quarter-final.

The Rebels were never behind in the contest and showed their class in the final stages when the Farney county had whittled the deficit down to just three points.

From there on it was all Cork as a Patrick Campbell goal and a string of point helped them to a 12-point success. Daniel Peet was sent off in the final moments but as it was for two yellow card offences, he is free to line out at Croke Park.

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