All-Ireland MFC: Galway complete semi-final line-up
Connacht champions recover from a slow start to see off Clare and reach last four
Galway saw off Clare at Bord na Móna O’Connor Park in Tullamore. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho
Galway 0-18 Clare 0-11
Galway became the fourth provincial minor football champion to secure their place in this year’s All-Ireland semi-final line-up on Sunday afternoon, but only after they recovered from a desperately slow start against Clare at Bord na Móna O’Connor Park in Tullamore.
Clare played with the aid of a deceptively strong breeze in the first half but they also showed far more zest and intensity in the middle third, quickly realising that they were in with a glorious chance of really testing one of the favourites for this competition.
Keelan Guyler and Thomas Kelly kicked two points from play each as Emmet McMahon and Chibby Okoye controlled midfield, helping Clare to an 0-7 to no score lead after 25 minutes.
However three Ryan Monaghan frees cut that deficit by the interval and after half time Galway were transformed. Conor Raftery fired over a magnificent kick to ignite their comeback in the second minute and they were also well served by half-time substitute Oisín Gormley, who wasted no time in kicking the first of his three points on the next attack
Centre back Tony Gill drew them level with a superb point after 45 minutes and the Tribesmen continued to improve as the game went on, with Cathal Sweeney, Raftery, Gormley and Eoghan Tinney all prominent in a dominant final quarter.
Galway: D Halloran; E Walsh, S Black, C Deane; R Monaghan (0-6f), T Gill (0-1), C Sweeney; C Raftery (0-2), J McLoughlin; L Judge, A Halloran (0-1), É McCormack; E Tinney (0-2), D Cox (0-1), M Cooley. Subs: C Halbard for Black (24), O Gormley (0-3) for McCormack (HT), T Culhane (0-1) for Cooley (59), N Cunningham (0-1) for A Halloran (60), S Horkan for McLoughlin (60).
Clare: M Garrihy; J Reidy, D Connelly, J Murphy; G D’Auria, C Rouine, A O’Connor; C Okoye, E McMahon (0-1f); T Kelly (0-2), C McDonough, C Carrig; K Guyler (0-2), S Meehan (0-4f), J Droney (0-1). Subs: G O’Grady for O’Connor (33, BC), T Lillis (0-1) for Carrig (41), P O’Donoghue for D’Auria (50), K Keane for Guyler (57), R Mounsey for Droney (59), D Lynch for McDonough (60)
Referee: P O’Sullivan (Kerry)