Ulster 3-16 Connacht 0-13
Ulster proved far too strong for a poor Connacht outfit,in the semi final of the M Donnelly Interprovincial Series at Markievitz Park on Sunday afternoon. The favourites fielded a strong side and had little difficulty in disposing of their opponents.
The winners qualified for a final date with Munster, as the two provinces with the strongest record in the competition come face to face next Sunday. Former Armagh player and manager Joe Kernan is boss of the Ulster side, and having won three Railway Cup titles during his own career, he was proud of his charges efforts:
“It speaks for the quality of the players that they can turn in that sort of performance even though we only had one small session together. But they are class players and they can turn it on no matter who they are playing for. I thought they used the ball very well, ran into good positions and 3-16 is a huge score to chalk up any day. Hopefully now we can go on and win it”.
Ulster were always the better team in this one sided affair and Connacht never really looked capable of causing a surprise. Peter Harte was outstanding for the winners, while the likes of Owen Mulligan, Martin Penrose and Mark Poland also showed up strongly. Conor Mortimer was Conacht’s chief scorer, hitting nine points of their tally. The side only scored two points from play in the entire game and were very dependent of the Mayo player to keep them in touch from placed balls.
Harte scored the first goal after eleven minutes after being set up by Poland. The latter then scored his sides second after eighteen miutes, and Ulster led 2-4 to 0-3. Already it was looking ominous for Connacht. At the break, Ulster held a 2-10 to 0-5 advantage. Martin Penrose hit the third Ulster goal early in the second period and it was curtains for the Westerners. Mortimer scored a couple of late frees to narrow the gap but his side never looked like staging a comeback and Ulster ran out easy winners.
Ulster: B McVeigh; B Donaghy, N McGee, K Lacey; C McKeever (0-1), D Hughes,
J Loughrey (0-1); D Gordon (0-2), R Kavanagh (0-1); P Harte (1-2), M Poland (1-0), C Gilligan (0-3); M Penrose (1-4, 0-2 frees); B Coulter, O Mulligan (0-2). Subs: V Corey for Loughrey (55 mins), M Donnelly for Coulter (59 mins), O Lennon for Kavanagh, (62 mins), C McCarron for Lacey (65 mins).
Connacht: G Claffey; S McDermott, S Purcell, C Harrison; G Bradshaw, J Davey, W McKeon (0-1); M Finneran, B Egan;
K McLaughlin, D Shine (0-2, frees), A Dillon;
C Mortimer (0-9, 1 free), A Marren, N Joyce (0-1, free). Subs: K Higgins for Joyce (35 mins), T Flynn for Egan (35 mins), M Conroy for Marren (53 mins), P Conroy for Finneran (55 mins), M Breheny for Shine (62 mins).
Referee: J Curley (Meath).