A string of late points secured Kerry a fifth consecutive All-Ireland minor football crown this afternoon.
With the teams level at 1-13 to 0-16 coming down the stretch, Kerry outscored their opponents by 0-5 to 0-1 from the 59th minute onwards.
Paul Walsh, Killian Falvey and Ruaidhri Ó Beaglaoích kicked three points in the space of 70 seconds to put Kerry in the driving seat one minute into the first of six minutes of second-half injury-time.
Lively Galway sub Tomo Culhane notched his second, but no closer would they come, Peter Keane’s young troops closing out the win with white flags from sub Jack O’Connor and Falvey.
The victory extends Kerry’s unbeaten run at minor level to 30 games, the first county, in either code, to do the five-in-a-row at minor level.
All the more impressive was the result when you consider they trailed by seven points after 26 minutes.
With the gap down to four upon the change of ends, Kerry kicked five points on the bounce at the beginning of the second-half as Galway went 14 minutes without raising a flag of any description. The young Kerry lads showed the greater composure and class at the finish to take the verdict.
Galway led by 1-9 to 0-8 at the break, but, in truth, should have been further ahead. There were two goal chances which Kerry ‘keeper Marc Kelliher did well to keep out, particularly Galway’s first green flag opportunity of the afternoon which Eoghan Tinney appeared poised to palm to the net only for the Glenflesk shot-stopper to get his body in the way.
The reigning champions opened the brighter and were 0-4 to 0-1 clear after 10 minutes, points from Paul Walsh and Dan McCarthy sandwiching two Paul O’Shea placed-ball efforts.
They wouldn’t score again, however, for another 16 minutes, during which the Connacht champions reeled off 1-7 without reply. Eoghan Tinney, Matthew Cooley (0-4, three frees), Liam Judge and Conor Raftery all kicked points, with defender Tony Gill sliding the ball into the Kerry net on 24 minutes after Daniel Cox’s initial effort was stopped.
Killian Falvey brought an end to Kerry’s scoring drought, with first-half injury-time points from Paul Walsh and Falvey so crucial in taking the sting out of Galway’s dominance and lead.
Scorers for Kerry: P Walsh (0-1 free); K Falvey (0-4) each; R Ó Beaglaoích, D Rahilly (0-3 each); P O’Shea (0-1 free, 0-1 ‘45), D Geaney (0-2 each); J O’Connor (0-1 free), D McCarthy (0-1 each).
Scorers for Galway: M Cooley (0-5, 0-4 frees); T Gill (1-0); C Raftery, T Culhane (0-2 each); R Monahan, P Kelly, L Judge, E Tinney, O Gormley (0-1 each).
Kerry: M Kelliher; C Moriarty, O Fitzgerald, C Flannery; D McCarthy, D Murphy, D Mangan; D Lyne, P O’Shea; D Rahilly, P D’Arcy, K Falvey; P Walsh, M Leihan, G Geaney.
Subs: R Ó Beaglaoích for D’Arcy (42); K O’Donoghue for Mangan (54); J Kennelly for Lenihan (55); J O’Connor for Walsh (63)
Galway: D Halloran; C Deane, E Walsh, S Black; R Monaghan C Sweeney, T Gill; P Kelly, C Raftery; S Horkan, A Halloran, L Judge; E Tinney, M Cooley, D Cox.
Subs: O McCormack for Horkan (38); T Culhane for Cox (45); O Gormley for A Halloran (47); C Halbard for Sweeney (51, inj); C Hernon for Judge (55); E McCormack for Cooley (64)
Referee: S Hurson (Tyrone)