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Charlie Vernon inspires Ulster to reclaim inter-pro title against Connacht

Ciaran Murtagh’s first-half exploits was not enough for Connacht.

Ulster 2-16

Connacht 3-10 

CIARAN MURTAGH SCORED 2-2 in the first-half but he was unable to help Connacht claim a second inter-provincial championship in a row as Charlie Vernon pulled Ulster to victory with a storming second-half at Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada.

Ulster trailed by a point at the break, but they finished well to claim a 32nd inter-pro title.

After Murtagh and Danny Cummins fired Connacht into an early lead, Murtagh linked well with Sligo’s Niall Murphy to hit the first goal after eight minutes.

Three minutes later a quick free from Murphy sent Murtagh in for his second goal as Connacht took a 2-3 to 0-3 lead, but with Peter Harte accurate from placed balls Ulster kept an interest in proceedings.

12 minutes from the break Pete McGrath’s side got back in the game when Fermanagh wing-back Aiden Breen crashed to the net, while points from Enda Lynn and Tomás Corrigan saw Ulster pull within one point four minutes from the break. But a third Connacht goal from Damien Comer after 29 minutes meant Connacht carried a 3-6 to 1-10 lead into half-time.

A black card for Derry and Slaughtneil defender Chrissy McKaigue followed early in the second-half, just a minute and ten seconds after his introduction, but that did not deter Ulster as they were the stronger side after the restart.

A point from Harte was responded with points from Murtagh and Enda Smith, but Ulster took control when Charlie Vernon scored an excellent individual goal to give his side the lead.Vernon added a point moments later to stretch the lead to two points, while Harte and Breen added further points as Ulster closed out the win.

Scorers

Ulster: P Harte 0-5 (4f), A Breen 1-2, T Corrigan 0-4 (2f), C Vernon 1-1, E Lynn 0-3, S Campbell 0-1

Connacht: C Murtagh 2-3, D Comer 1-1, J Doherty 0-2 (2f), E Smith 0-1, D Cummins 0-1, E Mulligan 0-1 (1f), P Conroy 0-1.

ULSTER: N Morgan (Tyrone); M Jones (Fermanagh), K Clarke (Cavan), D O’Hagan (Down); T McCann (Tyrone), C Moynagh (Cavan), A Breen (Fermanagh); E Donnelly (Fermanagh), C Vernon (Armagh); K Niblock (Antrim), P Harte (Tyrone), E Lynn (Derry); N Sludden (Tyrone), S Campbell (Armagh), T Corrigan (Fermanagh).

Subs used: R Johnston (Down) for Niblock (28), C McKaigue (Derry) for Moynagh (h-t), B Rogers (Derry) for McKaigue (32), D McCusker (Fermanagh) for Clarke (38), M Donnelly (Tyrone) for Campbell (44), T Kernan (Armagh) for Vernon (55).

CONNACHT: D Clarke (Mayo); K McDonnell (Sligo), J Duane (Galway), D Wynne (Galway); N Daly (Roscommon), G O’Donnell (Galway), J Heaney (Galway); E Smith (Roscommon), K Higgins (Roscommon); F Cregg (Roscommon), D Cum (Galway), C Murtagh; N Murphy (Sligo), D Comer (Galway), J Doherty (Mayo).

Subs used: P Conroy (Galway) for Cummins (10), D Wrynn (Leitrim) for Higgins (44), G Bradshaw for Doherty (49), E Mulligan (Leitrim) for Conroy (51), McManus (Roscommon) for McDonnell (53), D Murtagh (Roscommon) for Murphy (57), C O’Shea for Smith (59).

Referee: Padraig O’Sullivan (Kerry).

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About the author:

Declan Rooney

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