Galway's double dream is still alive and well after they came from behind to defeat Derry by 1-14 to 1-11 in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship semi-final in Croke Park today.
Trailing Derry by five points with less than fifteen minutes to go, it looked like Galway would have to rely on their hurlers for All-Ireland glory this year. However, a late burst of 1-6 without reply saw the Tribesmen go through after an immensely open and entertaining game.
Welcoming Jarlath Fallon back after a six-week lay off, Galway began nervously and saw Derry go ahead with points from Paddy Bradley and Johnny McBride. After Michael Donnellan opened the Connacht side's account after 12 minutes, the sides exchanged points courtesy of Dermot Dougan and the lively Derek Savage. Paddy Bradley stretched Derry's lead to two points once more before Kevin Walsh and Joe Bergin levelled the game at four points apiece.
With the game now beginning to flow, Galway edged ahead for the first time in the match after 25 minutes with points from Savage and Bergin. Back came Eamonn Coleman's men, however, and a long ball by Gary Coleman saw Enda Muldoon outjump Gary Fahey before rifling the ball past Galway goalkeeper Alan Keane.
Padraig Joyce then pointed with a free for Galway before points by Gavin Diamond and Johnny McBride saw Derry go in at the break leading by 1-06 to 0-07.
Galway were first off the mark in the second half with a pointed free by Joyce, before Dermot Dougan and Paul McFlynn restored Derry's three point advantage five minutes after the restart. The lead was then stretched to five points by Tohill and Dougan after Tomás Mannion and Bergin had missed scoring opportunities for the Westerners.
Leading 1-10 to 0-08 it now looked increasingly likely that Derry would be the first team to book their place in this year's football final as Galway were guilty of further misses through Tommy Joyce and Michael Donnellan. Gradually, however, the tide changed as John O'Mahoney's side began to compose themselves in front of the posts to edge their way back into contention.
Two Joyce frees and points by Seán Óg De Paor and Derek Savage brought Galway to within a point of the Ulstermen, before substitute Matthew Clancy sent the Galway faithful into a frenzy with only five minutes to go. Collecting a pass from the industrious Savage, Clancy smacked the ball beyond Derry goalkeeper Owen McCloskey to leave Derry trailing by two points.
Buoyed on by the goal, Galway kept the foot on the gas and stretched their lead to four points courtesy of another Padraig Joyce free and a fisted Paul Clancy effort.
With the game now well in to stoppage time, Derry's one point response from Dermot Heaney was too little too late as Galway marched on to the All-Ireland Football Final where they will play either Kerry or Meath.
Earlier, Tyrone defeated Mayo by 0-11 to 0-08 in the minor semi-final.
Filed by Tom Grealis