Donal O’Fatharta’s Galway U20 side cruised into the Connacht final with a facile victory over a limited Leitrim side.
After the postponement of the game the previous week, Galway faced another trip to Leitrim, this time the game to Elphin as Carrick on Shannon’s pitch was still unplayable.
Leading 0-4 to 0-1 at half-time, thanks to two points from Alan Greene, one from captain Jack Glynn and a free from Matthew Tierney, the poor elements surely played their part. However, Galway’s class shone in the second half after Conor Raftery opened the Tribesmen’s account.
Leitrim replied quickly to reduce the arrears back to three, but this was Leitrim’s final score of the game with 25 minutes still to play.
Galway continued scoring, managing a further 1-7, ensuring the visitors finished with a 1-12 to 0-2 win. The impressive Cathal Sweeney added three points, with Cian and Ryan Monaghan getting on the score sheet, along with Paul Kelly and Eoin Mannion, while Corofin’s Matthew Cooley added the major to put the result beyond doubt.
Galway will now face Roscommon in the Connacht final.
The Connacht final, originally pencilled in for Saturday February 22, has been pushed out by two weeks to March 7. With the All-Ireland final to be played on St Patrick’s Day, this will mean that either Galway or Roscommon might have to play a provincial final, an All-Ireland semi-final, and All-Ireland final in the space of 10 days, and many are curious why the Connacht final could not have been played this weekend.
However, Roscommon will come to Tuam Stadium on March 7 full of confidence, having beaten Sligo in the semi-final. Just like all Roscommon teams, they will be tough to crack. Having lost out to this Galway side at minor level, they will be gunning for revenge.
That three of the starters in 2019 are on the bench in 2020 indicates the strength of this year's Galway team.
St Michael's Brian Harlowe and the Milltown pair of Jack Kirrane and Eoin Mannion have yet to break into the team. Even with these three players not starting, there is plenty of experience on the team. Jack Glynn, Tony Gill and Matthew Tierney are the survivors from 2019, while wing back Cathal Sweeney and wing forward Paul Kelly are both influential players for their senior sides. Added to this strong pair are the Monahan brothers, Cian and Ryan, who were both impressive in Oughterard’s intermediate winning campaign. The rest of the players will be well known to O’Fatharta, who was the Galway minor manager for the last two years.