Nathan Grainger goal seals Galway a last four spot at Kildare’s expense
Strong start to the second half helps Tribesmen secure minor semi-final slot
Nathan Grainger scored a crucial goal for Galway in the 51st minute. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho
Galway 2-17 Kildare 0-15
Galway are through to the final four of this year’s All-Ireland MFC after a brilliant win over Kildare at Pearse Park in Longford.
Galway made the perfect start when James McLaughlin claimed the throw-in, burst forward and rifled his shot into the Kildare net after 10 seconds.
Kildare held their nerve and despite efforts from Nathan Grainger, Daniel Cox and Tomo Culhane Galway couldn’t create a sufficient gap.
Culhane scored an outstanding free and Evan Nolan tagged on another point. Browne’s second was a thing of beauty. Bagnell’s third point brought the difference back to two and Kildare’s third point in a row arrived from the boot of Ciarán O’Brien.
Grainger scored Galway’s first point in seven minutes and Culhane scored the final point of the half after Bagnall finished off his fourth point.
Galway scored the first four points of the second half through Warren Seoige (two), Cox and Nolan. Kildare scored three points-in-a-row but Galway scored two points and then Kildare fought back again.
Aedan Boyle’s first point left Kildare trailing 1-13 to 0-14 with 13 minutes remaining. But Grainger scored the crucial goal in the 51st minute.
GALWAY: D Halleran; J McGrath, R King, L Tevnan; C Hernon, E Fiorentini, K O’Neill; J McLaughlin (1-1), D O’Flaherty; E Nolan (0-2), W Seoige (0-2), D Brady; N Grainger (1-2), T Culhane (0-6, five frees), D Cox (0-3) .
Subs: C Gallagher for Brady (40 mins), M Colleran for O’Flaherty (51), N Cunningham (0-1) for Grainger (54), J Webb for O’Neill (61), A Naughton for Nolan (61).
KILDARE: C Burke; M Maguire, C Boran, T Gill; PJ Cullen (0-1), O O’Rourke, J Quinn; S Flynn, K Eustace; E Bagnell (0-5, four frees), C O’Brien (0-1), A Browne (0-5); E Meehan, A Boyle (0-1), A Conneely (0-2).
Subs: D Woulfe for O’Brien (31 mins, inj), M Delahunty for Meehan (36), R Comeou for O’Rourke (40) O Milmoe for Boyle (53), M Whelan for Quinn (54), J Kavanagh for Maguire (59).
Referee: Seán Lonergan (Tipperary).