This Saturday the 25th of March at 5pm in Tuam Galway and Mayo will clash in the EirGrid GAA Connacht Under 21 Football Championship Semi-Final. The winners of this contest will go on to face Sligo in the Connacht Final on the 1st April. The curtain raiser to Saturday’s game will be a meeting of the same two counties in the Connacht Minor League which throws in at 3pm.
Galway go into the game on the back of their 4-10 to 2-12 quarter final victory over Leitrim on the 11th of March, a game in which they produced some devastating attacking football in the first half. However, the manner in which their performance levels dropped in the second half will be a cause of serious alarm to Gerry Fahy and his management team of Timmy Rabbitte, Ciaráin Ó’Fatharta, Tomás Mannion and Barry Cullinane, who know a repeat of that will not be good enough if they are to get over Mayo this time out. Galway make two changes from that game, with Colm Ó Braonain and Antaine Ó Laoi replacing Seán Kelly and Eoin Finnerty for this weekends encounter. Michael Daly again captains the team from centre forward.
This is Mayo’s first appearance in this year’s Championship, having won the All-Ireland at this age group last year. Of the team who played in that famous 5-17 to 2-14 win against Cork last April, still underage for this years panel are Matthew Flanagan, Eoin O’Donoghue, Shairoze Akram, Matthew Ruane, Jamie Kelly and James Carr. This season’s captain Brian Reape also played an influential role in their campaign but unfortunately missed the final through injury. Mayo are again managed for the year by Mike Solan, with John Ginty and Joe Keane his selectors.
Galway and Mayo are the two most successful counties in the history of The U21 Connacht Championship, with Mayo having won 24 titles and Galway having won 18. They have met in the final of the competition 17 times, with Mayo winning 9 times and Galway 8.
The line ups for the game are as follows:
Galway : 1. R. Ó’ Beoláin (Micheál Breathnach) 2. L. Kelly (An Spideal) 3. Seán Andy Ó’ Ceallaigh (Leitir Mór) 4. R. Greene (Cill Ainnin) 5. K. Molloy (Corafinne) 6. D. Mcugh (Corafinne) 7. C. McDaid (Muine Mheá/Mainistir) 8. P. Cooke (Maigh Cuilinn) 9. C. Ó’Braonain (Oileain Arainn) 10. A. Ó Laoi (An Spideal) 11. M. Ó’ Dalaigh (An Creagán/Magh Locha) 12. C. Brady (Corafinne) 13. R. Finnerty (Bóthar an Trá/Cnoc na Cathrach) 14. P. Mannion (Cill Chonla) 15. D. Conneely (Maigh Cuilinn)
Mayo: 1 M. Flanagan (Balla) 2.S. Brennan (Claremorris) 3.E. Ó’Donoghue (Belmullet) 4.S.Conlon (Castlebar Mitchells) 5.M. Park (Knockmore) 6.D. Cannon (Breaffy) 7.S,Akram (Ballaghaderreen) 8.M. Ruane (Breaffy) 9.M. Murray (Ballina Stephenites) 10. J. McCormack (Claremorris) 11. G. Canavan (Mayo Gaels) 12. J. Kelly (Belmullet) 13. J. Lyons (Aghamore) 14. B. Reape (Moy Davitts) 15. J. Carr (Ardagh)
EirGrid Connacht GAA U21 Football Championship 2017
Galway v Mayo
Throw in 5pm
Referee John Gilmartin (Sligo)