Minor footballers will need to be their best to defeat Donegal

Galway minor footballers will face impressive Ulster champions Donegal this Sunday in Croke Park (1.30pm ) in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Stephen Joyce's charges had a seven-point win over Laois in their All-Ireland quarter-final game to follow up on their solid march through Connacht.

However, the margin of the win over Laois hides the fact that the Leinster side had a good few goal chances and only for the brilliance of Galway goalkeeper Cormac Haslam from Glenamaddy the margin would have been a lot tighter.

Galway will be looking to team captain and Maigh Cuillinn senior Dessie Conneely, Salthill's Robert Finnerty and Evan Murphy to provide the scoring threat up front.

Another forward Claregalway's Barry Goldrick is back from injury since the Laois game and he provides another option for the management team up front.

Defensively Galway have the imposing Sean Mulkerrin from the Aran Islands at full-back, and Barna's Earnán McDonagh at number six, to try to keep the middle closed off to Donegal raiders, however corner back Eoin Deeley is still out injured and is a loss.

It is at midfield that Galway will be looking to improve their work-rate and intensity and get a real foothold in order to supply their forward division. Three players have been utilised in the engine room this season, with Seán Raftery and Ross Murphy usually starting, and John Maher coming on in most games.

Donegal hit 2-13 against Cork in their All-Ireland quarter-final and are rated a very good side and as team manager Stephen Joyce acknowledged, his side must produce a top performance if they are going to advance to an All-Ireland final against either Kerry or Kildare on the third Sunday in September which is a big prize.

"We are looking forward to the game and we know that we will need to be at our best to beat Donegal. They play typical Donegal football with a lot of bodies behind the ball and they try to break at speed. We will be looking to the lads to go out and express themselves and play at a very high tempo and give everything they have for the cause. Our objective at the start of the year was to get to Croke Park, and do ourselves justice, and that is what we intend to do in three days' time."

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