Minors face Meath in curtain-raiser

Galway captain Conor Raftery in action against Conor Carrig of Clare during the Electric Ireland GAA Football All-Ireland Minor Championship quarter-final against Clare in Tullamore, Co Offaly. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Galway captain Conor Raftery in action against Conor Carrig of Clare during the Electric Ireland GAA Football All-Ireland Minor Championship quarter-final against Clare in Tullamore, Co Offaly. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Galway minor footballers, under the guidance of Donal Ó Fatharta, will take on Leinster champions Meath in the All-Ireland semi-final at Croke Park in the curtain-raiser at 3pm before the Galway seniors challenge Dublin (5pm ).

Galway are the Connacht champions again this year and they beat Clare by 0-18 to 0-11 in the All-Ireland quarter-finals to qualify for the last four. Kerry will take on Monaghan in the other semi-final on Sunday.

Galway were rocky enough in their win over Clare, and they trailed 0-7 to no score until seven minutes before half-time when they won a few frees, scored by wing-back Ryan Monaghan.

On Saturday Galway will look to team captain Conor Raftery and Paul Kelly around the middle to lead the way for the side. The half-back line of Cathal Sweeney, Tony Gill and Ryan Monaghan have also caught the eye, and the open spaces of Croke Park should suit their attacking game.

Others who will be expected to have a big influence include corner back Cian Deane and the regular full forward line of Eoghan Tinney, Daniel Cox and Matthew Cooley.

Ó Fatharta and his management team have some difficult selection decisions to make this week as substitute Oisín Gormley (Barna ) did really well on his introduction against Clare and hit 0-3 from play, while midfielder James McLoughlin did well in the absence of Paul Kelly, who was on basketball duty.

Meath qualified for the semi-final by defeating Derry 1-15 to 1-10, with Luke Mitchell their top scorer with 1-06 (5fs ).

Hopefully all the Galway supporters travelling will make the effort to hit Croke Park in good time to support the minor team.

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