A STUNNING 5-0 romp over Ulster proved the highlight of a thrilling ESB Electric Ireland Senior Women’s inter-provincials for Munster, as they annexed the title for the first time since 2003.
Having laid down this marker on Friday at Serpentine Avenue, Geraldine O’Carroll’s side could afford to draw against Leinster on Saturday before grinding out the necessary three points in their final match against Connacht yesterday to top the pool by two points.
With no current Irish squad members on show, due to the proximity of their busy summer season, the presence of former Irish captain Eimear Cregan proved instrumental as she scored five of Munster’s eight goals over the weekend.
First-half goals from captain Elaine Bromell, Ali O’Regan and Naomi Carroll, as well as a brace from Cregan, saw Munster ease past shell-shocked defending champions Ulster on Friday after Leinster had laid their stall out with a 4-0 victory over Connacht earlier in the afternoon.
Munster and Leinster shared the spoils on match day two thanks to Cregan and Kate Dillon goals, before Cregan, Ireland’s most capped player of all time, showed her class with another double against Connacht as Munster prevailed 2-0.
With one draw and one victory under their belt, Leinster knew nothing but a convincing win over Ulster could snatch victory from Munster. But the defending champions weren’t willing to roll over and held the Leinster to a 1-1 draw.
Ulster just about claimed the senior men’s competition, edging Leinster out on goal difference. Leinster’s 4-1 victory over Munster was bettered by Ulster’s 7-2 demolition of the luckless Munster men, whose only scores came courtesy of John Jermyn. This greater winning margin proved telling when the two teams cancelled each other out in a thrilling 3-3 draw yesterday afternoon.
Leinster conquered the junior men’s title, thrashing Ulster 5-0 in a winner-takes-all clash at Grange Road on Saturday. Following the withdrawal of Connacht the tournament was played over a day.
Having gone ahead through Alex Newenham’s diving finish, Munster were undone by two penalty corners, losing 2-1 against Leinster in the morning game.
After only an hour’s rest, Munster went down 4-0 to Ulster. The northern province then faced a refreshed Leinster side who ran out easy victors, Scott Wilike notching two of the hosts’ four unanswered goals that came in the final ten minutes.
The women’s side made it a double for Leinster’s junior outfits, topping the pool by two points. Boasting a 100% record coming into yesterday’s encounter with Ulster, Leinster knew a draw would be enough to secure the competition, which proved to be the case, the game ending 1-1 with goals from Karen Clarke and Sarah Colgan.
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