Release Date: 07/09/2012
The Ulster Men's Deaf Football team travelled to Athlone last weekend for the 40th annual Irish Interprovincial Championships.
The local lads overcame Connaught 9-1 in the semi-final but went down 3-1 to Leinster in the final in a match Ulster dominated for long periods. The youthful Ulster line-up produced some scintillating football against Connaught, teenagers Jaye Martin (2), Chris Fisher (2) and Danny Rea all netting in addition to strikes from Richard Beattie, Richard Dougherty, Barry Campbell and an own goal.
The final was always going to prove a more competitive affair against a strong and experienced Leinster outfit but Ulster began brightly, dominating possession and creating chances from the outset. They had threatened to make the breakthrough long before Stephen Millar fired them ahead in the 20th minute after good build-up play by Richard Beattie and Mark Sinclair. Indeed the northerners were well on top and forced a succession of opportunities but bad luck and resolute Leinster defending ensured only a 1-0 Ulster lead at the break. The game changed dramatically early in the second half with two decisions favouring Leinster, a penalty and 20 yard free-kick were both scored as they went 2-1 up. Ulster tried in vain to equalize, Sinclair and Roy McKee going close but it was Leinster who sealed the contest, breaking away to score with five minutes remaining to wrap up a 3-1 win.
There was some consolation for Ulster however, with seventeen year-old Danny Rea being voted young player of the tournament. Team coach Reggie Dornan commented "The lads applied themselves well and worked hard, some decisions did not go our way but we used a number of young players for this tournament and they will learn and develop from the experience which is important". The Ulster team would like to thank the Irish Football Association for all their support.
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