The Galway minor footballers will face either Kildare or Laois in the All-Ireland quarter-finals in two weeks time after an impressive 1-9 to 0-6 Connacht final victory over Mayo last Sunday in Pearse Stadium.
The Connacht champions will face the losers of the Leinster minor final which is on this Sunday at Croke Park.
Laois beat Offaly by 1-15 to 0-6, and Kildare defeated Meath by 0-19 to 0-15 AET in their respective semi-finals.
Stephen Joyce’s charges were full value for their success last weekend in what was their second provincial title in a row with Maigh Cuilinn’s young star Dessie Conneely playing a real captain’s part, hitting 1-4 from full-forward in an impressive overall display.
Galway had wind assistance in the first half and points by Conneely, Robert Finnerty, and Evan Murphy saw them lead by 0-4 to 0-2 at half-time with Mayo struggling to make headway.
The Galway defence with full-back Seán Mulkerrin in sparkling form and wing-backs Adam Quirke and Fionnán Garvey doing very well on Mayo’s danger men held Mayo at bay in the early stages of the second half and the red and green youngsters could not convert possession into much needed scores.
Finian Ó Laoi did a lot of good work too out the field for the team and can be pleased with his contribution.
Galway got in for a crucial goal heading into the last quarter when good work by two students at Coláiste Iognáid in the city, Ernán McDonagh and Robert Finnerty, who were coached by senior star Paul Conroy during the past school year, set up Conneely to flick the ball into the Mayo net.
Both those teenagers have extremely good DNA as regards inter-county football with both their dads having won senior provincial medals with Galway and Mayo in the past.
Galway then added another point as substitute John Maher fisted the ball over the bar and leading by 1-5 to 0-2, they were not going to be caught.
Mayo hit four points compared to Galway’s single effort in the last quarter, however Galway are provincial champions again and they will not fear either Kildare or Offaly.
That All-Ireland quarter-final will be played on the weekend of the July 30/August 1.
Galway: Cormac Haslem (Glenamaddy ), Eoghan Deeley (Salthill-Knocknacarra ), Seán Mulkerrin (Aran Islands ), Eoin McFadden (Salthill-Knocknacarra ) , Adam Quirke (Annaghdown ), Ernán McDonagh (Barna ), Fionnán Garvey (Monivea-Abbey ) , Seán Raftery (Glenamaddy ), Ross Murphy (Barna ), Barry Goldrick (Claregalway ), Evan Murphy (0-2 ) (Salthill-Knocknacarra ), Ryan Forde (0-1 ) (Annaghdown ), Robert Finnerty (0-1f ) (Salthill-Knocknacarra ), Desmond Conneely 1-4 (0-1f ) (C ) (Maigh Cuilinn ), Finian Ó Laoi (An Spidéal )
Subs used: John Maher (0-1 ) (Salthill-Knocknacarra ), Seán Thornton (Killanin ):