Connacht outclass Leinster's footballers to reach final

Connacht 2-15 Leinster 0-11

Classy Connacht breezed into the M Donnelly Interprovincial football final with a dominant display against an outclassed Leinster side at Kiltoom.

John O'Mahony's well drilled side shome in dreadful weather conditions in front of a sparse crowd at the compact Roscommon venue.

Man of the match Padraic Joyce and Andy Moran hit the first half goals that laid the foundations for a victory that was never in any doubt and carried the westerners through to a meeting with Munster in next weekend's decider at Portlaoise.

Connacht moved sweetly in the first half, and two wonderful moves resulted in brilliant goals in the 20th and 27th minutes.

First Joyce threaded the pass for Conor Mortimer to send Andy Moran charging through for a clinical finish.

It was Joyce who blasted home an unstoppable shot after Mayo pair Alan Dillon and Pat Harte had combined on the right three minutes before the break.

Connacht could have had three goals, but for a stunning save by All Star goalkeeper Gary Connaughton from Mortimer's flicked effort off a Tom Cunniffe delivery in the early stages.

Leitrim's talented attacker Emlyn Mulligan kicked confidently from frees, contributing three points, and a Leinster side which lacked cohesion depended heavily on Ross Munnelly's accuracy for scores. He converted three first half frees, with Paul Barden hitting Leinster's only other point.

John O'Mahony's men led by 2-7 to 0-4 at half-time, but wind-assisted Leinster fought back with scores from Colin Moran, Tomas Quinn and Munnelly.

Leinster did inject more urgency and desire into their approach throughout the second period, but the closest they got was seven points in arrears at the three-quarter stage, and Moran's long range point lifted their spirits, before his Dublin colleague Tomas Quinn landed a long range free.

Joyce drilled over three frees at the other end, and his vision and touch always had the Leinster defence in trouble.

Munnelly hoisted another eye-catching score from far out on the right wing, but the men from the east were unable to build on sporadic glimpses of brilliance.

Ronan McGarrity came into the action to bolster the Connacht midfield, and they dominated the final 10 minutes, outscoring their opponents by four points to one.

Cunniffe, Gardiner and Diarmuid Blake were solid at the back, and when the ball was pushed forward, there was still pnelty of movement in a slick attack.

They closed out the game in impressive fashion to set up next Saturday's final meeting with Munster.

Galway veteran Joyce brought his tally to 1-4, capping a man of the match performance, and scores from Alan Dillon (2) and a second for Declan Maxwell completed an impressive afternoon's work at a sparsely populated St Bridget's Park.

Connacht: D Clarke (Mayo), G Bradshaw (Galway), T Cunniffe (Mayo), Charles Harrison (Sligo), P Gardiner (Mayo) 0-1, D Blake (Galway), J Nallen (Mayo), M Finneran (Roscommon), P Harte (Mayo), E Mulligan (Leitrim) 0-3 (3f), P Joyce (Galway) 1-4 (3f), A Dillon (Mayo) 0-2 (1f), C Mortimer (Mayo) 0-2 (1f), D Maxwell (Leitrim) 0-2, A Moran (Mayo) 1-1.

Subs: G Sice (Galway for Mulligan, R McGarrity (Mayo) for Finneran, S Kilbride (Roscommon) for Mortimer, S McDermott (Roscommon) for Moran, D Kelly (Sligo) for Maxwell

Leinster: G Connaughton (Westmeath), M Ennis (Westmeath), K O'Neill (Kildare), A McLochlainn (Kildare), C King (Meath), C Moran (Dublin) 0-1, E Bolton (Kildare) 0-1, S Ryan (Dublin), M Ward (Meath), P Byrne (Meath), P Barden (Longford) 0-1, PJ Banville (Wexford) 0-1, R Munnelly (Laois) 0-5 (4f), J Sheridan (Meath), T Quinn (Dublin) 0-2(1f).

Subs: JP Dalton (Wicklow) for Byrne, B Quigley (Laois) for Sheridan, J Smith (Westmeath) for Barden, M Carpenter (Carlow) for Banville, E Bradley (Wexford) for Ward.

Referee: B Crowe (Cavan).

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