CONNACHT were surprise winners over Leinster in the M. Donnelly Interprovincial hurling semi-final as three second half goals helped them to a 3-12 to 1-16 victory in Tullamore.
Connacht, comprised entirely of Galway players, looked to be in trouble as they failed to capitalise on the fact that the wind was with them in the first half but second half goals proved crucial.
Connacht were playing with a strong wind in the first half but made a very poor start to the game and four points from Offaly’s Shane Dooley helped Leinster to an early 0-6 to 0-1 lead.
The Westerners finally settled into the task and Niall Burke’s six points and a brace from Cyril Donnellan had the sides level at eight points apiece.
Connacht will be disappointed with their first half tally given the wind and the fact that they had seven first half wides.
Leinster were firm favourites with the conditions in their favour for the second half and they were winning by four points 0-13 to 0-9 by the 47th minute.
A goal frenzy then for Connacht saw the complexion of the game change completely Colm Callanan goaled from a free and then half time substitutes Damien Hayes and Davy Glennon got a goal each.
Leinster missed a host of goal chances and when a goal finally came for Joe Dooley’s men it was too little too late as Eoin Larkin’s strike reduced the arrears to three points just before the final whistle.