Galway and Kerry progress to set up All-Ireland final meeting

Galway and Kerry progress to set up All-Ireland final meeting

GALWAY will meet Kerry in the All-Ireland SFC final in two weeks' time after both sides emerged victorious in this weekend's last four ties.

Connacht champions Galway saw off their Ulster counterparts Derry 2-08 to 1-06 to book a first final place since 2001, when they defeated Meath.

Derry opened up a 0-3 to 0-0 lead over the Tribesmen at Croke Park on Saturday, but the sides were (eventually) level at the break when a late Shane Walsh '45 was awarded during the interval after Hawkeye had initially ruled it out.

With the score at 0-4 apiece, Galway upped the ante in the second half, hitting three points without reply before Damien Comer struck a low shot to the net to make it 1-7 to 0-4.

Damien Comer celebrates his first goal against Derry (Image: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

As Derry pressed for an opening against a resolute Galway outfit, Comer added a second for the Tribesmen with five minutes remaining.

Taking advantage of Derry keeper Odhran Lynch's foray up-field, Comer claimed Liam Silke's long ball forward before finishing from the edge of the D to make it 2-8 to 0-6.

Lachlann Murray reduced the arrears to five with an injury-time goal for the Oak Leafers but it was to prove the last score of the game and ensured Sam Maguire will not be staying in Ulster.

Lachlann Murray scored a late consolation goal for Derry (Image: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Galway manager Pádraic Joyce, who played for the Tribesmen in their two most recent All-Ireland successes in 1998 and 2001, praised the resolve of his side after a difficult start.

"I'm delighted to be in the final in two weeks' time, it's a goal we had since probably three years ago, never mind this year," he told Sky Sports.

"In fairness, it's great to be in it and I'm so proud of the lads.

"They put their shoulder to the wheel there in the second half, stuck at the game plan we had and pulled away comfortably in the end."

Galway will now take on Kerry, who they lost to in the 2000 final.

Kerry have last say

Following Saturday's Hawkeye controversy, the technology was stood down on Sunday as Kerry pipped Dublin by a point, 1-14 to 1-13.

The game looked to be heading for extra time before Sean O'Shea knocked over a free in the fifth additional minute.

O'Shea had set Kerry on their way with a goal after just four minutes following some slack Dublin defending that allowed him to drift in from the endline before rifling beyond Evan Comerford.

The keeper made amends when he denied O'Shea from the penalty spot on the half-hour mark after Lorcan O'Dell was adjudged to have fouled Gavin White.

Kerry led 1-8 to 0-6 at the interval and opened the scoring after the break with a David Clifford free.

Seán O'Shea celebrates his goal (Image: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

However, Dublin hauled themselves back into the game through points from Brian Fenton and Paddy Small before Cormac Costello capped a sweeping counter-attack with a goal into the far corner to leave just two points in it.

The Kingdom went 1-12 to 1-09 in front as the game entered the final 10 minutes, but three unanswered points from Dublin saw them level for the first time since the opening exchanges.

O'Shea and Dean Rock traded points in injury time before the Kenmare Shamrocks clubman slotted over that late, long-range free to seal the win with the last kick of the game.

Cormac Costello scored a goal to reduce the arrears (Image: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Man of the match Clifford told Sky Sports he was delighted to see his side at last get the reward they deserved for their efforts.

"It was unbelievable," he said.

"Obviously we were disappointed that we couldn't hold on to the bit of a lead that we had, but something we haven't been able to do is come out the right side of these results, so when Seanie was standing over that free I was pretty confident."

He added: "One hundred per cent we're excited [to be facing Galway in the final], it's another colossal battle.

"We've all been able to see how good Galway have been this year and how well they've been set up.

"It's another colossal challenge but we're just delighted to come through today."

The All-Ireland SFC final will take place at Croke Park on Sunday, July 24, throw-in 3.30pm.