U21 footballers favourites to seal Connacht final

Galway's Paul Mannion is chased by Mayo's Stephen Brennan in action from the EirGrid All-Ireland Under 21 Football Championship semi- final at Tuam Stadium on Saturday.
				Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Galway's Paul Mannion is chased by Mayo's Stephen Brennan in action from the EirGrid All-Ireland Under 21 Football Championship semi- final at Tuam Stadium on Saturday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

The Galway U21 footballers head to Markievicz Park in Sligo this Saturday (6pm ) to take on the home side in the 2017 EirGrid Connacht final.

Gerry Fahy's charges produced an impressive 2-13 to 1-10 win over Mayo last weekend in Tuam Stadium, and they are 1/4 favourites to seal the deal and win the provincial title in two days' time.

However, with Sligo having beaten a good Roscommon side in their semi-final in Kiltoom, the Galway management team and squad will be on red alert to face a big challenge from the Yeats men.

Galway will not be taking anything for granted.

It took two well-worked second half goals last weekend by Dessie Conneely and Mountbellew's Eoin Finnerty to put the gloss on what was a solid and workman-like performance by the Galway youngsters over a highly rated Mayo, who are the current All Ireland champions.

Galway had good displays by team captain Michael Daly, who hit two good points, and took a fair bit of timber during the game, Liam Kelly and Ruairi Greene in the corner back slots, Dylan McHugh at centre-back, and man-of-the-match Peter Cooke at midfield.

The forwards looked lively throughout the game and created chances, but they could have been more clinical at times, especially in the first half.

Kilconly's Paul Mannion hit some good points in that first period, and ended the game with 0-4 after an impressive outing.

Corner forward Robert Finnerty from Salthill/Knocknacarra also showed some nice touches and hit one really sweet point in the first half with his weaker right foot after a super dummy to set up the scoring opportunity. A minor last year, he was also heavily involved in creating Galway's first goal and showed good peripheral vision to lay off the pass to Conneely.

The Galway management team is blessed with a strong panel and they have some genuine impact players such as Sean Kelly, Eoin Finnerty, Céin Darcy and a few others to come in and make a difference when they are needed - if they are not given a starting slot on Saturday.

It is an exciting weekend for Galway GAA at many levels and hopefully the weekend will start with a provincial title on Saturday evening.

Galway: R O'Beolain, L Kelly, S O'Ceallaigh, R Greene. K Molloy, D McHugh, C McDaid 0-1, P Cooke 0-3 (2fs, 145 ), C O'Braonain; A O'Laoi, M Daly (Cpt ) 0-2, C Brady 0-1, R Finnerty 0-2 (1f ), P Mannion 0-4, D Conneely 1-0. Subs used: S Kelly for K McDaid, E Finnerty 1-0 for C Brady, C D'arcy for O'Braonain, E Lee for Dy McHugh, C Mannion for O'Laoi.

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