Galway are through to the Bank of Ireland All-Ireland Football Final after defeating Kildare in a poor match at Croke Park this afternoon. Although torrential rain affected play, it was no excuse for the poor display of skill, particularly in the first half. Galway began well, scoring four points in the first eight minutes before Kildare answered back with a great goal from Tadgh Fennin after an excellent lay-off from Brian Murphy. Both teams shot some horrendous wides as Galway failed to score again before the break while Kildare could only add two points to their tally before the half-time whistle sounded.
Thankfully, the second 35 minutes was a more entertaining affair. John O'Mahony's side started the second half as they did the first, scoring three consecutive points before Kildare added three points of their own, including two from Karl O'Dwyer. Niall Finnegan reduced the deficit for Galway but then Kildare once again proved their prowess in front of goal when Brian Murphy and Tadgh Fennin swapped roles and Fennin turned provider as Murphy pounced in the 45th minute to put the Lilywhites three points in front. However, Kildare only scored one more point before the final whistle and that was their downfall. Galway upped the pace and looked more assured and dangerous, with full forward Padraig Joyce particularly impressive. Man-of-the-match Joyce had ten scoring chances on target this afternoon and put away seven of them.
With Kildare down to 14 men after the sending-off of John Finn for two bookable offences and a quarter of an hour remaining, Galway had the upper hand and they punished Kildare. The Tribesmen began to dominate and seven more points with no answer from the Lilywhites meant Galway were through to their second All-Ireland Final in three years.
Filed by Amanda Fennelly