The Leitrim captain scored 3-7 from centre-forward to send his side through to meet the winners of Sligo and London as he exposed the vastly inferior opposition with a virtuoso display.
“We were happy enough with the win,” said joint-manager Barney Breen. “There were tough conditions out there. We were apprehensive enough all weekend.”
After a cagey first few minutes, the game was blown wide open with goals from Robbie Lowe and captain Mulligan, but New York were also undone by the accurate point-scoring of their opponents as well as their own indiscipline around the square.
It started relatively well for New York when Offaly native James Kelly, impressive at centre-forward during those early exchanges, sent over a sixth-minute free — small compensation for two initial wides by the nervy Exiles.
Leitrim responded immediately courtesy of left half-back Wayne McKeon, while two more points were added Darren Sweeney and full-forward James Glancy followed by a goal from Robbie Lowe.
Kelly responded immediately with a free, but by now the writing was on the wall.
Mulligan and Hickey added points before Mulligan blasted to the roof of the net.
Justin Burke’s free for New York left the Leitrim lead at 2-8 to 0-5 at the break.
Beirne opened the second half with a big point and the victory was sealed a couple of minutes later when Mulligan once again found the net with a low placed shot from 10 yards.
The Connacht men were in no mood for easing off, however, and continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over, while a second yellow card for CJ Molloy, son of manager Connie, rather summed up New York’s day.
Scorers for Leitrim: E Mulligan 3-7 (6f); R Lowe 1-1; J Glancy 0-3; T Beirne and B Brennan 0-2; W McKeon, G Hickey, D Sweeney, K Conlon (45) 0-1 each.
Scorers for New York: J Burke 0-3 (2f); R Woods 0-1 J Kelly (f), C Lynam, CJ Molloy 0-1 each. LEITRIM: C McCrann; A Wynne (C Egan, 60), F McMorrow, P Maguire (E Williams, 75); D Beck, G Reynolds, W McKeon; T Beirne, D Sweeney (B Brennan, 56); P Brennan, E Mulligan (capt), G Hickey (Cox, 46); K Conlon (B Prior, 56), J Glancy, R Lowe.
NEW YORK: G Joyce; P Lambe (capt) (D O’Dwyer, 35), M O’Regan, D Jackson (R McGinley, 43); L Maguire, K Scally, A Raferty; G O’Driscoll, CJ Molloy; E Ward (C Hogan, 26), J Kelly (R Woods, 35), C Lynam; M Annett, K McGeeney (J Connolly, 74), J Burke.
Referee: Martin Higgins (Fermanagh).