GAA Interprovincial hurling final

MUNSTER ............................. 2-20
LEINSTER............................... 2-16

It may have its knockers but the GAA Interprovincial hurling series served up a decent final in Thurles last night, with 592 spectators present to watch Anthony Daly’s Munster clinch silverware.

Munster hit 1-5 without reply late on to seal their 46th GAA Interprovincial crown at Semple Stadium. Aaron Shanagher, a fellow Clare native of Daly’s, was sprung from the bench with 10 minutes left and netted in the 59th minute to make sure of Munster’s first competition win since 2013.

It was a come from behind victory for Daly’s men in an entertaining, seesaw affair.

Munster were five points behind on three occasions in the second-half and after drawing level through David Reidy’s 45th minute goal, were rocked by Lee Chin’s Leinster goal from the next attack.

Leinster looked set for the win at that point - and would lead by four points with time running out - but Munster emptied the bench and had a brilliant late run to get over the line. Cork’s Alan Cadogan knifed three points, Limerick’s Barry Nash had two, Waterford’s Stephen Bennett clipped over the lead score in the 55th minute and then Shanagher struck.

Leinster were champions when the competition was last played in 2014 but this was Munster’s night and on the balance of play, it was a merited victory as Tipp’s All-Ireland winning captain Brendan Maher finished the year by lifting more silverware. Despite cold and wet conditions, the finalists served up an eye-catching game, even if it was played somewhat in exhibition mode.

TJ Reid’s inclusion in the starting line-up at the expense of suspended Kilkenny team-mate Colin Fennelly was a boost to Leinster before throw-in. And it was Reid who bagged the big score of the first-half, firing home a 25th minute goal that went in under Darren Gleeson.

Reid’s goal was part of a run of 1-3 without reply for Leinster that sent them into a 1-10 to 0-9 lead. Reid’s effort was also the first time that Leinster had led in the game, as Munster got off to a whirlwind start.

Seamus Callanan had a pair of early points for Munster as they stormed into a 0-4 to 0-0 lead but Leinster, with Reid lively, were level at 0-6 apiece midway through the half.

There was a let-off in the 13th minute for Leinster, however, as Clare’s David Reidy rammed a shot off James Dempsey’s crossbar, with Callanan on hand to pick up the pieces for a point.

After drawing level, Leinster went two behind again when Tipp’s Dan McCormack popped over a brace of points but Leinster’s purple patch came at the right time, approaching the break.

In the final 10 minutes of that opening half, Leinster outscored their opponents 1-4 to 0-1, giving them something to hold onto ahead of the second period. Leinster opened the second half impressively and were boosted by Chin’s goal but Munster had the fresh legs late on to make vital contributions.

Scorers for Munster:

S Callanan 0-7 (4f, 1 65), D Reidy 1-2, A Shanagher 1-0, A Cadogan 0-3, D McCormack & B Nash 0-2 each, D Byrnes, J Barron, M Breen & Stephen Bennett 0-1 each.

Scorers for Leinster:

TJ Reid 1-6 (0-4f), L Chin 1-1, W Walsh 0-4, C Dwyer & G Keegan 0-2 each, S Dooley 0-1.

MUNSTER:

D Gleeson (Tipperary); B Coughlan (Waterford), J Barry (Tipperary), N Connors (Waterford); D Byrnes (Limerick), C Dillon (Clare), P Maher (Tipperary); B Maher (Tipperary), J Barron (Waterford); D McCormack (Tipperary), M Breen (Tipperary), Shane Bennett (Waterford); J O’Dwyer (Tipperary), S Callanan (Tipperary), D Reidy (Clare).

Subs:

N McGrath (Tipperary) for Shane Bennett (h.t.), A Cadogan (Cork) for B Maher (h.t.), B Nash (Limerick) for McCormack (h.t.), S Dowling (Limerick) for O’Dwyer (50), A Shanagher (Clare) for Breen (50), Stephen Bennett (Waterford) for Barron (51), S Fives (Waterford) for Coughlan (55), T Murnane (Kerry) for Dillon (55), C Lynch (Limerick) for Callanan (60+1).

LEINSTER:

J Dempsey (Offaly); M Whelan (Laois), T Doyle (Westmeath), L Ryan (Wexford); P Walsh (Kilkenny), K Joyce (Kilkenny), C Crummey (Dublin); C Fogarty (Kilkenny), S Ryan (Offaly); W Walsh (Kilkenny), L Chin (Wexford), C Dwyer (Laois); S Dooley (Offaly), TJ Reid (Kilkenny), G Keegan (Kildare).

Subs:

M Kavanagh (Carlow) for Dooley (27), E Murphy (Kilkenny) for Keegan (h.t.), Keegan for S Ryan (46).

Referee:

Alan Kelly (Galway).


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