Galway minor footballers on championship path after easy win

Stephen Joyce's county minor football squad enjoyed an easy 13-point victory over a lacklustre Mayo on Sunday at McHale Park.

Two goals just before half-time knocked the stuffing out of the Mayo players, and they went down rather tamely on a final scoreline of 3-15 to 0-11.

Clonbur's Martin Kerrigan hit Galway's first major when showing good pace and direct running for a fine individual goal after 10 minutes

Big Daniel Kenny then got in on the act with a fine finish from a lovely pass from Evan Murphy, and the Oughterard man was on hand again a few minutes later when he palmed the ball to the back of the Mayo net after some terrific build-up play.

At 3-7 to 0-7 down at half-time, the home side were unlikely to stage a recovery in the second period unless Galway hit the self-destruct button.

Galway now have an eight-week break before they face Roscommon in the semi-final on June 28 which allows players on all panels to focus on their Leaving Cert exams before recommencing championship football. Sligo face Leitrim in the other semi-final on the same date.

High quality players

Galway have some high quality footballers in their squad, including team captain Seán Mulkerrin who turns 18 tomorrow. The Aran Islands man is a fine full-back and leads the team with great gusto and is well able to go on a few fine sallies up the field.

Salthill's Evan Murphy is another an impressive performer, and he hit some lovely passes from midfield and scored 0-5 (4fs ) in a striking performance. It must be noted, however, that he was put under little, if any pressure, as he sent missile after missile into the Galway full-forward line.

Others who caught the eye included goal-keeper Oran Burke, who is a fine big man, and he excelled in high catching throughout the contest, and varied his kick-outs to good effect.

Gavin Burke was lively at corner back. He reads the game well and has good pace, while Eoin McFadden was solid in the other corner.

Barna's Séan Fitzgerald slotted in reasonably well at centre-back and held the middle in place of Ciarán Potter (Annaghdown ) who was unavailable.

Matthias Barrett is a big unit at midfield, and the Leitir Mór man contested the kick-outs well and got through a good bit of work in the engine room beside Murphy, who lined out around the middle, in a direct swap with Daniel Kenny, who played on the edge of the square.

Corner forwards Rory Cunningham and Padraic Costello are both lively and accurate, hitting 0-5 between them from play which is solid shooting.

Darragh Silke, who was unavailable for last year's championship due to injury, linked well in the first half and hit two points from frees before being replaced by Oughterard's Matthew Tierney, who stroked over a gorgeous free with his left foot in the last quarter.

Brian Harlowe from St Michael's also worked hard at wing-forward and has a good work ethic.

Based on this display and avoiding injuries over the coming weeks, Galway should be well placed to give a good account of themselves in the semi-final and hopefully qualify for a consecutive Connacht final.

However, there is a good bit of study to be done before that game, and a lot of hours spent with pen in hand for a good few of the panel.

Galway: O Burke (Corofin ), E McFadden (Salthill-Knocknacarra ), S Mulkerin (Cpt ) (Oiléan Arainn ), G Burke (Corofin ), J Glynn (Claregalway ), S Fitzgerald (Barna ), L Boyle (Killkerrin/Clonberne ), M Barrett (Leitir Mór ) (0-1 ), E Murphy (Salthill-Knocknacarra ) (0-5, 4f ), B Harlowe (St Michael's ), D Silke (Corofin ) (0-2, 2f ), M Kerrigan (Clonbur ) (1-0 ), R Cunningham (St Brendan's ) (0-3 ), D Kenny (Oughterard ) (2-0 ), P Costello (Dunmore ) (0-2 ). Subs used: C Campbell (Claregalway ) (0-1 ) for Kerrigan (inj ), M Tierney (Oughterard ) (0-1, 1f ) for Silke, C Walsh (Claregalway ) for Harlowe, M McGeraghty (Glenamaddy ) for Barrett, C Murray (Mountbellew ) for Boyle, J Mulrooney (St Brendan's ) for Kenny.

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