Mattie Murphy’s Galway barely came out of third gear as they reached the All-Ireland minor hurling semi-final with a 17-point win over Antrim at Kingspan Breffni Park.
Goals in each half from Jarlath Mannion and substitute Jack Grealish meant Galway were rarely threatened.
After Galway opened up a 0-4 to 0-1 lead after eight minutes Antrim had their best period as Christy McNaughton hit three frees to level the game by the 14th minute.
But the excellent Conor Whelan stepped forward for Galway with two quick points and when David Mangan picked out Mannion for Galway’s first goal they worked their way into a 1-9 to 0-6 interval lead. And Galway held the Saffrons to just three second-half points as they tagged on six good scores themselves in the first ten minutes of the half.
Christy McNaughton hit Antrim’s first point of the half in the 44th minute, but when Whelan drew the cover and sent Grealish in for Galway’s second goal there was no doubt about the winners.
Scorers for Galway: C Whelan 0-5, B Burke 0-4 (3f), D Mangan 0-3, J Mannion, J Grealish 1-0 each, D Nevin, J Holland (1f, 1’65), K McHugo 0-2 each, C Shaughnessy, J Mooney 0-1 each.
Scorers for Antrim: C McNaughton 0-5 (5f), J McNaughton 0-2, C McCaughan, J Carey 0-1 each.
GALWAY: G Loughnane; D Cronin, O Coyle, S Roche; R Doyle, J Holland, R Bellew; D Nevin, R Kilkelly; C Whelan, D Mangan, S Linnane; J Mannion, B Burke, C Shaughnessy.
Subs: K McHugo for Whelan (9-12 blood), K McHugo for S Linnane (27-30 blood), K McHugo for Kilkelly (43), J Grealish for Mannion (43), S Whelan for Shaughnessy (53), J Mooney for Mangan (53), A Helebert for Burke (61).
ANTRIM: C Butler; C Walsh, R McNulty, HP McNeill; G Walsh, E Conlon, R Rooney; C McMullan, C McCaughan; R Irvine, J McNaughton, C McNaughton; J McCurdy, J Connolly, S McLaughlin.
Subs: C Patterson for Irvine (28), D Carey for Rooney (39), J Carey for McLaughlin (45), J Maskey for McMullan (45), S Garland for McCurdy (54).
Referee: David Hughes (Carlow).