Mayo will face Galway in this year’s All-Ireland minor football final after the two Connacht counties won their respective semi-finals this afternoon.
Mayo got the better of Kerry by 1-8 to 0-9 at O’Connor Park in Tullamore while Galway survived a late Derry rally to eventually emerge as 2-9 to 1-11 winners at Parnell Park in Dublin.
Ronan Clarke’s first-half goal against the wind was crucial for Mayo, as they led the Kingdom by two points at half-time. The Moy Davitts attacker added three points from frees as well on a day when his strike partner Niall Hurley was held scoreless by the Kerry defence.
The game was error strewn and Mayo had goalkeeper David Dolan to thank for several top drawer saves, the best when he turned Paddy Lane’s point blank effort onto the post in the 39th minute and caught the rebound.
There were some outstanding Mayo performances also from John McMonagle and Liam Silke in defence and from captain Diarmuid Duffy whose direct running was a source of major discomfort for Kerry throughout the contest.
They can now look forward to the unique occasion of an all-Connacht All-Ireland MFC final after goals from Jack Lonergan and Colm Costello helped steer Galway past Derry. The Tribesmen, however, saw a seven points lead dwindle to just one and relied on a wide from the Oak Leafers with the very last kick of the match to avoid extra-time being played.
The final is fixed for Saturday, July 9.