Briege Corkery led the Munster team to Interprovincial honours under the lights at Waterford IT Sports Arena this afternoon.
It brought an end to a successful day at the Waterford venue as Ulster were denied seven-in-a-row as Munster swept them aside in the final.
Corkery was playing her first competitive football at elite level since the 2016 TG4 All-Ireland Senior Final victory for Cork over Dublin.
The 11-time Brendan Martin Cup winner and ten-time TG4 All Star accepted Pat Sullivan’s invitation to link up with the Munster squad – and skippered the province to glory.
This was Corkery’s first taste of Interprovincial football since 2013 – and she made it a comeback to remember.
The warning signs were there from the outset as Munster and Ulster battled it out in the opening round of the prestigious competition, with Tipperary’s Aishling Moloney instrumental in ensuring their first meeting finished all square - 0-13 to 2-07.
Munster then went on to record a 4-11 to 0-07 win over Connacht before also defeating Leinster by 3-13 to 2-03 to ensure their spot in the Cup Final. Ulster had also defeated Connacht and Leinster setting up a second meeting with their Round One opponents.
The final, under lights, was played at electric speed, with Munster surging into an early lead. Sarah Houlihan was instrumental in attack, the Kerry player hitting a total of 1-08. Player of the Tournament, Waterford’s Emma Murray, was resolute in defence and her surging runs proved too much for Ulster to handle. Corkery bolstered the Munster team alongside Michelle Ryan and Aishling Moloney. The team from the south led by 1-8 to 0-2 at the break.
The teams traded frees early on in the second half with Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh in fine form. Kingdom duo Houlihan and Hannah O’Donoghue hit the net for Munster’s goals in the second half and there was no way back for the reigning champions as the new champions went on to record a 3-13 to 2-5 win.
Meanwhile, Leinster pulled it out of the bag and secured the Interprovincial Shield as they defeated Connacht by 7-7 to 2-5.
Captained by Dublin’s Lyndsey Davey, Leinster had been unlucky earlier in the day - suffering losses to Connacht, Ulster and Munster. They were well served though by Dublin’s Carla Rowe and Davey with Bernie Breen, Erone Fitzpatrick, Fiona Claffey and Mairead Daly all showing well for Kevin Doogue’s side.
Connacht 1-12 Leinster 1-7
Munster 0-13, Ulster 2-7
Connacht 0-7, Munster 4-11
Leinster 0-07, Ulster 2-06
Connacht 0-9, Ulster 1-10
Leinster 2-3, Munster 3-13
Cup: Munster 3-13, Ulster 2-5
Shield: Leinster 7-7, Connacht 2-5