Connacht strode impressively through to the Martin Donnelly inter-provincial football championship final against Munster on Saturday next when they overcame Leinster by 2-15 to 0-11 at Kiltoom on Saturday.
Spurred on by first-half goals from Anady Moran (Mayo) and Pauric Joyce (Galway), Connacht held a comfortable 2-7 to 0-4 lead at half-time by which stage the result was never in doubt.
Connacht’s speed and support play were such that Leinster were always playing second fiddle despite the best efforts of Ross Munnelly (Laois) and P J Banville (Wexford).
Mayo duo Conor Mortimer and Peadar Mortimer (Mayo), along with Leitrim pair Declan Maxwell and Emlyn Mulligan, were prominent throughout for the winners and even when Leinster tried to rally in the third quarter following points from Tomas Quinn (Dublin) and Banville, Connacht still found another gear to finish strongly with a fine brace of points from Mayo’s Alan Dillon.
Connacht scorers: P Joyce (1-4, 0-3 frees), A Moran (1-1), E Mulligan (0-3, all frees), A Dillon (0-2, 0-1 free), C Mortimer (0-2, 0-1 free), D Maxwell (0-2, P Gardiner (0-1).
Leinster scorers: R Munnelly (0-5, 0-4 frees), T Quinn (0-2, both frees), C Moran, E Bolton, P Barden, P J Banville (0-1 each).
In the inter-provincial hurling championship semi-final, Leinster proved too strong for Connacht when winning by 2-11 to 1-10. But it took a combined total of 1-9 from Kilkenny pair Richie Hogan and Richie Hogan to usher their side to victory against the fired-up westerners who led at the break by 1-6 to 1-4 and were always dangerous on the counter-thrust.
Connacht battled gamely until the end and might well have fared even better with a greater slice of luck.
Leinster scorers: R Hogan (0-7), R Power (1-2), B Murtagh (0-2), E Coady (1-0).
Connacht scorers: N Healy (0-5, 0-4 frees), J Gantley (1-0), D Tierney (0-2, 0-1 free), K Burke, K Hynes, R Murray (0-1 each).