Valiant minors’ character to be tested again 

This Sunday at noon Jeffrey Lynskey's gallant Galway minors will take on Kilkenny in their All-Ireland minor replay as part of a triple-header at Croke Park with the second minor semi-final, between Tipperary and Dublin (2pm ), and the senior All-Ireland semi-final between Galway and Tipperary (4pm ).

Last Sunday's drawn game was an exciting encounter which ended all square, Galway 2-20, to Kilkenny's 0-26, after extra time.

The Galway players - many of whom are minor next year - showed tremendous character to keep on battling when a Kilkenny victory looked the more likely outcome in the last quarter of normal time, and in the second period of extra time. However two goals at vital stages gave them a second bite of the cherry.

The first came after 49 minutes of the second half, and it was badly needed as Galway had not scored for almost 20 minutes while the Cats had notched five points on the trot when centre-forward Thomas Monaghan found the net to bring the sides level.

The second, which came from substitute Cian Salmon towards the end of the second extra period, was needed even more. Galway were four points adrift with just two minutes left thanks to a half-dozen points landed by Kilkenny in the opening stages of extra time. Ironically, only for a late dubious free to Kilkenny,  Galway would have jumped the black and amber fence last weekend.

Galway had led 0-10 to 0-8 at half time, but their no-show for the first 19 minutes after half time could have cost them their shot at an All-Ireland final until Monaghan rescued their day with his dramatic intervention and then Salmon did likewise.

Team manager Jeffery Lynskey, who used his bench well, was rightly pleased by the character and heart his players showed to get another crack at getting to the All-Ireland final in three days' time.

"We didn't score for 15, 20 minutes. Then we surged back into it again and that was down to heart and fight and character. And that's down to their jersey, their clubs, and their mums and dads. They all played their part in that."

Scorers for Galway: E Niland (0-8, 6 frees, 1 ‘65’ ); T Monaghan (1-3 ); C Salmon (1-0 ); B Concannon (0-2 ); C Connor, J Grealish, F Burke, M Lynch, S Loftus, C Fahy and L Forde (all 0-1 ).

Galway: D Gilligan; C Connor, J Fitzpatrick, S Bannon, C Mulry, I O’Brien, A Greaney; J Grealish, J Coyne; B Concannon, T Monaghan, F Burke; M Lynch, E Niland, S Loftus. Subs: C Fahy for Concannon (39 ); C Salmon for Burke (43 ); K Cooney for Lynch (57 ); B Concannon for Grealish (65 ); L Forde for Coyne (67 ); F Burke for Monaghan (73 ).


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