Ulster progress to Interprovincial final

Ulster 1-14 Leinster 1-10

Ulster 1-14 Leinster 1-10

Ulster came from behind at Crossmaglen 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 an eight points 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.

Ulster got off the mark early on with a Joe McMahon goal on three minutes.

Benny Coulter crossed from the left and the Tyrone man side-footed the ball beyond the reach of Gary Connaughton.

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.

O’Loughlin, Joe Sheridan, Denis Glennon and Bernard Brogan were all on target as they forged ahead, and all the home side could manage in response was a free from Young Footballer of the Year.

After Paul Flynn had edged Leinster back in front in the 17th minute, Dean Rock, son of Dubs legend Barney, steered over four frees.

And they got in for a goal in first half stoppage time, Joe Sheridan punching to the net at the far post from 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.

They had points from Paddy Bradley (2), Kevin Hughes, Paul Finlay and substitute Conor Gormley to trim an eight points deficit back to two midway through the second half.

The tireless Earley was a key figure for Leinster during this difficult spell, winning valuable possession in the middle and dropping back to stem a number of dangerous raids.

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 Hughs and Aaron Kernan.

Ulster: J Devine, B Donaghy, Justin McMahon, G O’Kane, A Kernan (0-1), C McKeever, D Harte, D Gordon, K Hughes (0-2), P Finlay (0-1), B Coulter (0-1), Joe McMahon (1-0), P Bradley (0-6, 5f), S O’Neill, M Murphy (0-1, f).

Subs: E McGinley for Gordon (h-t), R McCloskey for Donaghy (h-t), C Gormley (0-1) for Harte (39), D Hughes (0-1) 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 (0-1), P Flynn (0-1), J Sheridan (1-2, 1f), B Sheehan, D Glennon (0-1), D Rock (0-4, 4f), B Brogan (0-1, f).

Subs: R McConnell for Sheehan (47), J Sherlock for O’Loughlin (53)

Referee: V Neary (Mayo).

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