Leinster pip Connacht in cracking contest

Last Sunday Glennon Brothers Pearse Park hosted one of the best games of football played at the venue when Leinster took on Connacht in the Martin Donnelly inter provincial semi-final.

Last Sunday Glennon Brothers Pearse Park hosted one of the best games of football played at the venue when Leinster took on Connacht in the Martin Donnelly inter provincial semi-final.

It was a thoroughly entertaining game of open football with some exceptional scores and skill on show. But the attendance was disappointing with just around 500 turning up to witness an excellent contest.

Dublin’s Bernard Brogan was inspirational as Leinster booked their place in the final against Ulster at Croke Park next Sunday with the star forward scoring four of Leinster’s last six points as they turned a five point deficit into a one point win.

Brogan may have been the star man in the closing stages but it was Longford’s Sean McCormack that started the fightback with his second point of the game in the 61st minute. Sean did not start but was brought on in the 18th minute of the first half and scored his first point midway through the second half.

Speaking to the Leader after the game McCormack was delighted to get a game and with the reception he got from the supporters: “It’s my home ground so if there wasn’t a cheer for me I’d be a bit worried. The crowd were great; they are always great at every county game. I was just delighted to get the opportunity to play for Leinster and hopefully I did the best I could on the day.”

He continued: “It’s nice to come on and make a change to a game because Longford doesn’t get the recognition like many other counties. To come on and make an impact is very special.”

Another Longford man who played his part in Leinster’s win was McCormack’s county and Killoe clubmate Michael Quinn but only featured in the first half due to DCU being in the Sigerson Cup semi-final next weekend. Quinn was involved in a lot of attacking moves during the first half. Longford Slashers defender Barry Gilleran was among the Leinster substitutes but did not feature in the game.

Due to the concluding stages of the Sigerson and refixed National League games next weekend both Ulster and Leinster will have to make changes to their squads for the final at Croke Park, the proceeds of which will go to the Children’s Hospital in Crumlin.

LEINSTER: S Cluxton (Dublin); K Lillis (Laois), G Molloy (Wexford), B Malone (Wexford); M Quinn (Longford), G Brennan (Dublin), A Flynn (Wexford, 0-3); M D McCauley (Dublin, 0-1), J Heslin (Westmeath, 0-2); B O’Connor (Offaly, 0-2), R Barry (Wexford, 0-1), C O’Sullivan (Dublin); D Dolan (Westmeath), J Sheridan (Meath, 1-0) B Brogan (Dublin, 0-9, 4 frees).

Subs:- S McCormack (Longford, 0-2) for D Dolan (injured, 18 mins); P Keenan (Louth, 0-1) for M Quinn (half-time); B Kavanagh (Carlow) for G Brennan (41 mins); P Flynn (Dublin) for J Sheridan (44 mins); J Stafford (Wicklow) for B O’Connor (60 mins).

CONNACHT: D Clarke; G Cafferkey, F Hanley, J Moore; L Keegan (0-1), N Daly, G O’Donnell; J Gibbons, S O’Shea; M Breheny (0-3, 1 free), Emlyn Mulligan (Leitrim, 0-6, 3 frees), M Martin (0-1); A Freeman, P Conroy (1-5, 1 ‘45 ), M Conroy (0-4).

Subs:- M Gottsche for M Martin (half-time); P Brennan for Gottsche (58 mins).