Kildare can survive Galway test, while Cork’s firepower should see them though
All-Ireland under-21 FC semi-final previews
Kildare’s Daniel Flynn will be looking to impress. Photograph: Getty
Galway v Kildare, O’Connor Park, Tullamore, 2.0
The removal of All-Ireland champions Dublin by Longford helped to clear the road for Kildare but the team was impressive in winning Leinster. A number of the players have gained valuable experience in manager Kieran McGeeney’s senior team during the league and six started last week’s semi-final against Tyrone. Galway have had a tough passage defeating Mayo and holders Roscommon. They retain the All-Ireland winning centrefield of two years ago and the battle between Fintan Ó Curraoin and Thomas Flynn and Kildare’s Seán Hurley and Tommy Moolick will be pivotal. The Leinster champions, with Daniel Flynn, Niall Kelly and Paddy Brophy in attack, have a well seasoned outfit and although Galway’s pace and forwards will test them, Kildare can qualify for a first final in five years.
Cork v Cavan, O’Connor Park, Tullamore, 3.45
Both counties have just completed three-in-a-row provincial runs but neither have added an All-Ireland. There’s better balance to Cavan, who won Ulster against a rated Donegal, as Cork have undoubted quality in attack but farther back, are improvising. Damien Cahalane has been shuttled around the central positions and plays full back today with fellow senior Tom Clancy at centre back. Centrefield was a major struggle in Munster against a strong Kerry unit. Cavan's pairing of Michael Argue and Brian Sankey have been impressive both in winning ball and using it. They'll have an important defensive function together with captain Fergal Flanagan's half backs to stop Cork launching attacks. However, Cork’s menacing forwards will be able to write sufficient cheques to cover any damage at the other end of the field.