Ulster win Interpro title

Ulster 0-15 Munster 1-8

Ulster 0-15 Munster 1-8

Ulster scored a double first by winning the first Interprovincial football title to be played in London, and by setting a new record of 29 titles with a comeback win over Munster at Ruislip.

Munster’s strong third quarter showing saw them go ahead with the help of a Gary Hurney goal, but Joe Kernan’s side staged a furious finish to an entertaining decider with the final five points of the game to take the M Donnelly title with something to spare.

A crowd of more than 1,000 turned up a the west London venue to witness an extremely competitive title shoot-out, the only blemish being a first half injury to Armagh defender Ciaran McKeever which saw him taken to hospital with a suspected fractured ankle.

Ulster, playing with the assistance of a strong breeze, were off the mark within 10 seconds through Paddy Bradley, but two Daniel Goulding scores had the southerners level by the tenth minute.

By the end of the opening quarter, the northerners had opened up a two points lead, when Donegal’s exciting youngster Murphy collected a Benny Coulter pass to split the posts, and skipper Stephen O’Neill finished off a flowing move involving Gerard O’Kane, Paul Finlay and Joe McMahon.

The only clear-cut goal chance of the first half was crafted by Waterford pair Hurney and Liam O Lionnan, but the latter sent his angled shot crashing into the side netting.

Joe Kernan’s men enjoyed another productive spell, easing further ahead through Bradley, Finlay and Kevin Hughes, but suffered a setback when centre back McKeever was taken to hospital by ambulance with a suspected fractured leg.

Daniel Goulding pulled back a couple of points from frees, but a second score from Hughes sent Ulster in at the break with a 0-8 to 0-4 lead.

Munster got themselves right back in contention with Hurney cutting inside to send a low shot past John Devine for the only goal of the game in the 33rd minute, and with Nicholas Murphy excelling at midfield, they grew in confidence.

Murphy, James Ryan and Goulding all hit points as they eased ahead for the first time in the 48th minute.

But Ulster found a second wind and seized control, with substitute Daniel Hughes adding an extra spark to the attack, and wing backs Aaron Kernan and Ronan Flanagan making their own dynamic contributions.

Two points from Daniel Hughes, a second for corner back Gerard O’Kane, and scores from Dan Gordon and Conor Gormley eased the northerners over the finish line.

Ulster: J Devine, K Lacey, Justin McMahon, G O’Kane (0-2), A Kernan, C McKeever, R Flanagan, K Hughes (0-2), E McGinley, P Finlay (0-1), B Coulter, Joe McMahon, P Bradley (0-3, 1f), S O’Neill (0-1), M Murphy (0-2, 1f).

Subs: C Gormley (0-1) for McKeever (25), R McCluskey for Lacey (h-t), D Hughes (0-2) for Joe Mcmahon (41), D Gordon (0-1) for Murphy (46), T Freeman for K Hughes (53)

Munster: P Fitzgerald, T O’Gorman, J McCarthy, P Reidy, M O’Gorman, M Shields, P Ranahan, N Murphy (0-1), P O’Neill, D O’Connor (0-2, 1f), P Kelly, G Hurney (1-0), P Kerrigan, D Goulding (0-4, 1f), L O Lionnain.

Subs: R Costigan for O’Gorman (h-t), J Ryan (0-1) for McCarthy (h-t), S Scanlon for O’Neill (56), A Walsh for O Lionnain (59).

Referee: D Fahy (Longford).

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