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Last Updated: Saturday, 20 October 2007, 21:22 GMT 22:22 UK
Ulster reach Railway Cup decider
Barry Owens and Karol Mannion
Barry Owens in action against Karol Mannion in Donegal
Ulster's footballers reached the final of the Railway Cup with a 1-15 to 2-9 win over Connacht at Ballybofey.

Connacht scored two early goals through Andy Moran and Declan Maxwell and led 2-5 to 0-8 at the interval.

Ulster fought back to claim victory with Paul Finlay scoring their only goal of the game and ending as top points scorer with a tally of 1-4.

Brian McEniff's side will now face Munster in the interprovincial final at Croke Park next Saturday.

Thomas Freeman scored four points for Ulster, Dan Gordon three and Aaron Kernan, Kevin Cassidy, Gerald Pierson and Enda Muldoon one each.

Two early goals put Connacht on the front foot for the entire first half.

At that stage there was a huge gap in the last line of the Ulster defence with All-Star Kevin McCloy in trouble against Declan Maxwell.

Sean Armstrong found Andy Moran in acres of space for the first goal while Maxwell palmed home the second when Ulster goalkeeper James Reilly dropped a Karol Mannion effort for a point.

It could have been three goals when Keith Higgins raced through a minute later but he elected to take a point.

Paul Finlay had opened the Ulster account after 30 seconds and he hit another free after a Thomas Freeman point from play to reduce the deficit in the 13th minute but Connacht led 2-5 to 0-8 at the interval.

The game changed in the early stages of the second half as Paul Finlay pointed and he then availed of a gap in the Connacht defence to slam home his side's only goal and put them in front by a point.

Ger Heneghan did level for Connacht but points from Dan Gordon, a great fisted effort by Kevin Cassidy and Aaron Kernan left Ulster three up.

Sean Armstrong and Thomas Freeman exchanged pointed on two occasions before Freeman put four points between the sides with five minutes left.

Connacht did have a goal chance in the final minutes when substitute Frankie Dolan broke through but a great last gasp block by Kevin McCloy denied him, while Andy Moran had the final point of the game minutes from the end.

Ulster: J Reilly; B Owens, K McCloy, K Lacey; A Kernan (0-1), C Gormley, K Cassidy (0-1); E Lennon, D Gordon (0-3); D Clerkin, S Cavanagh, P Finlay (1-4); T Freeman (0-4), G Pierson (0-1), E Muldoon. Subs., C McFadden for Pierson; C Toye for Clerkin

Connacht: P Greene; C Harrison, F Hanley, J McKeon; D Meehan, D Blake, K Higgins (0-1); R McGarrity, B Cullinane; M Brehony (0-1), S Armstrong (0-3), A Moran (1-4); C Cregg, D Maxwell (1-0), K Mannion (0-1). Subs., Ger Heneghan (0-1) for Cregg; F Dolan for Maxwell; M Finneran for for Cullinane

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