Munster 1-16, Connacht 1-20
Connacht booked their tickets for an early November trip to Rome following this afternoon’s four point win over their southern rivals at Limerick’s Gaelic Grounds.
Conor Hayes’ all-Galway side put up the better fight in a disappointing game and were soon into their stride with early first-half scores from half-forwards Kevin Broderick and Mark Kerins. Despite conceding an advantage to Connacht at centre field, Munster were just a point behind by the twelfth minute, as scores from Tipperary duo Conor Gleeson and Eamon Corcoran put them 0-2 to 0-3 behind.
Cork’s Diarmuid O’Sullivan was solid as ever at the back for the home side and it was the centre back whose long puck set up a goal for Tony Griffin on 19 minutes. The Clare half-forward flicked out his hurl to direct the dropping ball beyond Connacht goalkeeper Liam Donoghue for a 1-6 to 0-8 lead.
Athenry sharpshooter Eugene Cloonan, playing his first game for months following a debilitating back injury and suspension, knocked over two points on 26 and 28 minutes to wrestle back the ascendancy for Connacht before Kerry’s Shane Brick saw the deficit back to one (1-7 to 0-11) as the opening period ended.
The westerners edged further in front with a second-half goal, and points from Cloonan, Broderick and Kenneth Burke to put the result beyond doubt.
MUNSTER: B. Cummins (Tipperary); T. Feeney (Waterford), D. O'Sullivan (Cork), D. Reale (Limerick); E. Corcoran (Tipperary), R. Curran (Cork), S. Og O’hAilpin (Cork); C. Lynch (Clare), O. Moran (Limerick); T. Griffin (Clare), C. Gleeson (Tipperary), B. O'Connor (Cork); S. O’hAilpin (Cork), S. Brick (Kerry), E. Kelly (Tipperary).
CONNACHT (all Galway): L. Donoghue; D. Joyce, D. Cloonan, F. Moore; F. Healy, T. Óg Regan, D. Tierney; A. Cullinane, J. Conroy; A. Kerins, M. Kerins, K. Broderick; D. Forde, E. Cloonan, K. Burke.