Ulster 1-14 Leinster 1-10
Ulster came from behind at Crossmaglen yesterday to book their ticket to Ruislip for the M Donnelly Interprovincial football final.
They outscored Leinster by 12 points to one in the second half to overturn the seven-point half-time deficit.
The wind was the dominant factor, favouring the home side as they powered ahead after the break in front of a crowd of almost 2,000. Ironically, the home side had the ideal start in the contest with a Joe McMahon goal on three minutes.
But Leinster, with the gusting wind in their backs, soon settled, and reeled off a volley of points, thanks in no small way to the dominance of Dermot Earley and John O’Loughlin at midfield.
And they got in for a goal in first-half stoppage-time, Joe Sheridan punching to the net at the far post from Dean Rock’s cross.
Leinster led by 1-9 to 1-2 at the break, but Joe Kernan’s men started to play themselves into contention after the restart.
They had points from Paddy Bradley (2), Kevin Hughes, Paul Finlay and substitute Conor Gormley to trim a seven points deficit back to just two midway through the second half.
As the game slipped into its final five minutes, Derry star Bradley thumped over his fourth point from a free to narrow the gap to a single point, before substitute Danny Hughes slotted over the equaliser.
And the home side made it 12 points on the spin with late scores from Bradley, Kevin Hughes and Aaron Kernan to seal the win.
Scorers — Ulster: Joe McMahon 1-0, P Bradley 0-6 (5f), K Hughes 0-2, A Kernan, P Finlay, B Coulter, M Murphy (f), D Hughes, C Gormley 0-1 each; Leinster: J Sheridan 1-2 (1f), D Rock 0-4 (4f), B Brogan (f), D Glennon, P Flynn, J O’Loughlin 0-1 each.
Ulster: J Devine; B Donaghy, Justin McMahon, G O’Kane; A Kernan, C McKeever, D Harte; D Gordon, K Hughes; P Finlay, B Coulter, Joe McMahon; P Bradley, S O’Neill, M Murphy. Subs: E McGinley for Gordon (h-t), R McCloskey for Donaghy (h-t), C Gormley for Harte (39), D Hughes for Joe McMahon (48), T Freeman for Murphy (55).
Leinster: G Connaughton; C Hyland, P McMahon, E Bolton; G Brennan, B Flanagan, S Kenny; D Earley, J O’Loughlin; P Flynn, J Sheridan, B Sheehan; D Glennon, D Rock, B Brogan. Subs: R McConnell for Sheehan (47), J Sherlock for O’Loughlin (53).
Referee: V Neary (Mayo).
- Francis Mooney, Sunday Independent