The Ulster team finished runners-up at the FA Interprovincial U-17 Youth Tournament in Athlone last weekend.
They opened with a 3-2 win over Munster, taking the lead when Finn Harps’ Cathal McDaid’s free-kick from 40 yards deceived the Munster ‘keeper. Ulster extended their lead at the start of the second half when Seamus Houghton’s long clearance was headed on by Dean McConnell and Michael Duffy of Derry City finished superbly from the edge of the area. However, from two down, Conor O’Driscoll and Patrick Fitzgerald scored for Munster to level things. but with two minutes to go, McDaid lured a defender in to a rash challenge and Conor Tourish kept his cool to send the ‘keeper the wrong way with his spot kick.
Game two saw a useful 2-1 win over Connacht on a difficult surface and a McDaid free-kick was headed home by Hugh McFadden from Killybegs and it was 2-0 when Tourish threaded a great ball through for McConnell who finished expertly. Connacht were handed a lifeline when Dean Bonner was penalised for a rash tackle in the area. Jason Lyons hammered home the penalty.
Ulster were three points ahead of Leinster before the last game but a 2-1 defeat meant the team managed by Shane Byrne and Mary Gormley lost out on the head-to-head. Leinster opened the scoring when Gareth Brady netted with a swerving free-kick and then Ryan Coombes volleyed home a second. Ulster battled away and their cause was helped on when Leinster’s Brady was sent off for a second yellow card. Michael Duffy bundled the ball over the line to give Ulster hope. Shane Mc Ginty and Ryan Lonergan had a couple of shots well saved as Ulster pushed for the equaliser and a goal that would’ve won the competition.