TWO goals at either end of the interval by Ciara Donnelly, allied with eight points from the magnificent Niamh Mallon gave Ulster a 3-11 to 2-7 victory over a gutsy Leinster in the Junior Interprovincial Camogie Final at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown.
Donnelly struck in the 28th minute and again, three minutes after the resumption to give Seán Paul McKillop’s girls a valuable cushion and though Leinster tried all they could to reduce the deficit, they were unable to bridge the gap.
There wasn’t much between the sides initially and Leinster actually made the better start, thanks to points from leading scorer Aoife Bugler, who finished with five points, and Dinah Loughlin.
Five points from player of the match Mallon and a brace from Niamh McNulty pushed Ulster ahead though and Donnelly’s first goal made it 1-9 to 0-4 at half time.
Donnelly’s second goal sent Ulster on their way but Leinster would not yield easily, as Bugler responded with three points in a row from Bugler.
The magnificent Mallon landed another brace but when Pamela Greville goaled, the margin was down to seven with 17 minutes remaining.
Ulster’s response was immediate though, Caoimhe Rafferty breaching the Leinster defences once more with a goal at the three-quarter mark to remove any doubt about the result.
Patsy Hetherton’s crew continued to fight and Deirbhile Byrne managed a late goal but there was no way back.
Ulster reached the final by beating Munster in a cracker, 1-18 to 3-11, while Leinster recorded a thumping win over Connacht in the other semi-final by 1-19 to 0-7.