Kerry are 5 in a row Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor football champions after beating Galway 0-21 to 1-14. Scoring bursts at opposite ends of the second period got the Kingdom over the line in Croke Park as they overturned a 4 point deficit at the short whistle. Galway were expected to provide the toughest test of the season for Kerry and so it proved.
Galway opened the scoring with a point after only 18 seconds, with Paul O’Shea equalising 4 minutes in. Almost immediately Dan McCarthy pointed the Kingdom in front and Paul Walsh doubled that advantage in the 8th minute. A Paul O’Shea free from distance stretched the gap to 3. It was the 11th minute before Galway registered their second score, after which Kerry led by 0-4 to 0-2. The gap was down to 1 by the quarter hour mark.
Galway should have had the opening goal in the 16th minute but a superb point blank save by Kingdom keeper Marc Kelliher kept the Kerry goal intact. Galway levelled soon afterwards and proceeded to go in front with their 4th point in a row. Another Galway point made it 6 points to 4 after 22 minutes and that gap then rose to 3 as Galway continued to dictate matters. Worse was to come for Kerry as Galway registered the first goal of the decider 24 minutes into proceedings
A Galway point followed before Kerry had their first score in quarter of an hour, a Killian Falvey point to make it 0-5 to 1-8. The Kingdom had 3 of the last 4 points of the half, from Darragh Rahilly, Paul Walsh and Killian Falvey. Kerry trailed 1-9 to 0-8 at half time.
Kerry wiped out that 4 point deficit within 12 minutes of the second period as they kept Galway scoreless. A Michael Lenihan point brought Kerry within three 5 minutes into the second half. Paul Walsh put over spectacularly from the sideline to make it a two point game by the 38th minute. It was a 1 point game less than 2 minutes later as Dylan Geaney put over for the Kingdom. Darragh Rahilly then equalised.
Dylan Geaney kicked Kerry in front but Galway drew level, leaving it Kerry 0-13 Galway 1-10 after 44 minutes.
Galway nudged in front 14 minute from time but a third point of the day from Darragh Rahilly drew the Kingdom level again. Kerry were next to go ahead as substitute Ruaidhrí Ó Beaglaoích put over. Kerry should have done better with two point scoring opportunities and Galway subsequently equalised with 7 minutes to go; 0-15 to 1-12. Ruaidhrí Ó Beaglaoích pointed to edge Kerry ahead by 1 with just 5 minutes remaining. However, Galway fought back to equalise.
As was the case at the beginning of the period Kerry took over on the scoreboard, with 5 of the remaining 6 points of the encounter coming from the Kingdom
(Paul Walsh kicked Kerry in front with a minute to go and Killian Falvey doubled the advantage half a minute later. Ruaidhrí Ó Beaglaoích pointed almost immediately and the Kingdom lead had increased to 3. Again Galway hit back and with 4 of the 6 added on minutes to go the Kerry advantage stood at 2. With time almost up quick scores from Jack O’Connor and Killian Falvey ensured Kerry would not be denied)
Kerry are All-Ireland champions again and for the 16th time. Killian Falvey was named man of the match. The homecoming has been confirmed for 6 on Monday in Kilcummin GAA Club.
Our match commentary team of Ger O’Connor and Tim Moynihan called the closing stages and the immediate aftermath of this historic triumph
Former Kerry footballer and ex Kingdom Minor boss John Kennedy
Kerry forward Paul Walsh
Kerry manager Peter Keane
Martin Leane of the Kerry Supporters Club