Munster 3-21 Ulster 0-15
Apathy unfortunately gripped the second GAA interprovincial hurling semi-final as 1-7 from Seamus Callanan helped Munster past Ulster by 15 points in Thurles today.
Under 100 fans were present for the Connacht-Leinster clash in Nenagh yesterday and the figure for today’s game barely climbed over the ton.
Callanan, man-of-the-match against Kilkenny in September’s All-Ireland final, was the star turn as Tipperary team-mate Mikey Breen added 1-1 for Munster, managed by Clare’s Anthony Daly.
Munster had little difficulty in scoring a big win and their final clash with Leinster has been tipped to go ahead next Thursday evening, under lights in Thurles or at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise.
Breen’s first half goal helped to separate the sides at the break before Munster pulled away in the second period.
Callanan netted in the 40th minute following a defensive error before Waterford’s Bennett brothers combined for a goal in stoppage time, Shane providing Stephen for the finish.
Munster led by 1-10 to 0-7 at half-time, two Barry Nash points after his introduction opening up a six-point interval margin approaching the break.
For much of the first half, it was Breen’s third-minute goal that effectively separated the teams as Ulster battled gamely.
They had a fine first half performance from Armagh’s Conor Corvan, a late call-up to the starting line-up who registered three points from play before the break.
But Munster, overall, had the more classy operators and had little difficulty in keeping their opponents at arm’s length.
Callanan, operating at full-forward and captaining the Munster team, had four pointed frees in the first half, with Tipperary team-mate Breen adding a point to his early goal.
Aside from Corvan, Antrim’s Ciarán Clarke was another to show up well for Ulster in the first half, scoring three of his four points from placed balls.
Munster had little difficulty after the break– outscoring Ulster by 2-11 to 0-8 to book their place in this week’s decider.
Scorers for Munster: S Callanan 1-7 (0-6f), M Breen 1-1, B Nash 0-4, Stephen Bennett 1-0, J O’Dwyer 0-2, D Byrnes, T Murnane, S Dowling, P Maher, D Reidy, Shane Bennett & D McCormack 0-1 each.
Scorers for Ulster: C Clarke 0-7 (6f), C Corvan 0-3, C O’Prey 0-2 (1f), D Cullen, N McKenna & C Woods 0-1 each.
Munster: A Nash (Cork); B Coughlan (Waterford), J Barry (Tipperary), N Connors (Waterford); D Byrnes (Limerick), C Dillon (Clare), S Fives (Waterford); M Breen (Tipperary), J Barron (Waterford); S Dowling (Limerick), Shane Bennett (Waterford), D McCormack (Tipperary); J O’Dwyer (Tipperary), S Callanan (Tipperary), D Reidy (Clare).
Subs: A Shanagher (Clare) for Dowling (25), B Nash (Limerick) for Shane Bennett (25), Tom Murnane (Kerry) for Barron (h.t.), P Maher (Tipperary) for Fives (h.t.), Stephen Bennett (Waterford) for McCormack (h.t.), Dowling for O’Dwyer (45), Shane Bennett for Reidy (45), McCormack for Breen (51), Fives for Coughlan (55), Barron for Dillon (55).
Ulster: S Keith (Down); S McCrory (Antrim), P Burke (Antrim), J McManus (Down); N McAuley (Antrim), C Woods (Down), C Taggart (Down); E Campbell (Antrim), Ciarán Johnston (Antrim); C Corvan (Armagh), N McKenna (Antrim), D Toner (Down); Conor Johnston (Antrim), J Dillon (Antrim), C Clarke (Antrim).
Subs: C O’Prey (Down) for Ciarán Johnston (26), D Cullen (Donegal) for Toner (33), J Corvan (Armagh) for Taggart (46), A Grant (Derry) for C Corvan (47), P Henry (Derry) for Conor Johnston (49), C O’Connell (Antrim) for Keith (52), C Devlin (Armagh) for Dillon (52), S Renaghan (Armagh) for Cullen (55), Ciarán Johnston for J McManus (56).
Referee: S Cleere (Kilkenny)