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Relentless Galway Minors Book Semi-Final Spot With Kilkenny Win

Relentless Galway Minors Book Semi-Final Spot With Kilkenny Win
By Arthur James O'Dea
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With two wins from two games, the Galway minors have booked their place in the semi-final of this year's Electric Ireland Minor Hurling Championship.

Convincing in their 1-20 to 0-12 defeat of Limerick last weekend, it was Kilkenny that Galway came up against in Semple Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

After a cagey opening to this round 2 tie of the Electric Ireland Minor Championship quarter-final, the reigning All-Ireland champions Galway began to pull away toward the tail end of the first-half, and never looked back.

Running out 1-21 to 2-11 winners in the end, Galway are now assured of their place in an All-Ireland semi-final with Dublin or Tipperary two weeks from now.

Joining them next weekend will be one of Limerick or Kilkenny. On Saturday afternoon, the two finalists from the 2014 Electric Ireland Minor Championship final will play in Thurles with the winners progressing to the semi-final stage.

Here are your nominees for the Electric Ireland Player of the Week:

Dean Reilly (Galway):

Making some advance on the solitary point he scored in Galway's defeat of Limerick last weekend, Dean Reilly's 1-4 was as important in terms of timeliness as it was on the scoreboard.


With Galway holding a narrow 0-7 to 1-3 lead over Kilkenny as both teams bore down on the final ten minutes of the first-half in Thurles yesterday afternoon, Reilly popped up with a goal that kicked this Galway side into action.

Although Kilkenny's Ciarán Brennan responded in kind almost immediately, it quickly appeared that the damage had already been done. After Brennan temporarily reduced the deficit to one point again, the next seven scores came from Galway.

Leaving them with a 1-14 to 2-3 lead at the half-way mark, Reilly's four points from play inspired Galway to a thorough rout against a team that pushed them to the brink in last year's Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Hurling final.


Donal O'Shea (Galway):


Donal O'Shea scored 0-10 of Galway's 1-21 in yesterday's Electric Ireland Minor Championship quarter-final win over Kilkenny Sunday. That the bulk of his work from dead-ball opportunities does not take away from what was a stellar afternoon for the Salthill-Knocknacarra man.

In difficult weather conditions, it is a testament to O'Shea's accuracy that the senior tie between Limerick and Kilkenny that followed would only see a combined nine dead-ball efforts converte  by both teams.

Improving upon the 1-5 he scored in Galway's defeat of Limerick last weekend, O'Shea had the chance to settle himself early on in yesterday's clash; pointing his first free of the afternoon within 30 seconds of the throw-in set him on his way.


With such deadly accuracy, one suspects O'Shea will certainly relish the opportunity of showcasing his skills for the Galway minors in Croke Park at the end of the month.

Cathal O'Leary (Kilkenny):

Grabbing the goal that looked to have brought Kilkenny back into a clash that Galway had started superbly, Cathal O'Leary's fourth goal of the year was ultimately not enough for a Kilkenny side badly stung by last year's All-Ireland winners.

Having built up a 0-6 to 0-1 lead, a rare error from Galway's goalkeeper Peter Rabbitte allowed Kilkenny's Jack Morrissey to put his fellow corner-forward O'Leary in for the game's opening goal.


Initiating a brief Kilkenny comeback, the Conor Kelly and George Murphy tagged on the next two points to reduce Galway's lead to a solitary point.

Keeping busy throughout, the back-line of these Galway minors was ultimately too much for O'Leary and his fellow forwards. Unable to get enough ball into hand, a frustrating day must now be put behind them ahead of next weekend's decider against Limerick.

Have your say and cast your vote for the player of the week nominees on Electric Ireland's Facebook page by clicking here. All nominated players will be in with a chance of making overall team/player of the year at the 2018 Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Awards.  



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