The annual tournament, also known as the Michael Ward Tournament, is played out over the weekend between the top players from the Munster Senior League, Leinster Senior League, Ulster Senior League and a Connacht selection, where each province plays each other once in a mini-league.
The LSL won the tournament for the past two seasons and would have highly fancied to make it three in a row after they banged in an impressive 10 goals in their two previous matches.
However, the MSL side had other ideas and despite being down to 10 men for more than half the game after keeper Brendan O’Connell was sent off, Karl Caulfield’s first-half goal was enough to bring the cup down south.
The MSL ensured yesterday’s game would be a title decider by winning Friday and Saturday’s matches against the Ulster Senior League and the Connacht FA selection respectively.
Rockmount’s Chris Butt was the hero in Friday night’s opener as his goal four minutes from time saw the MSL come from behind to take all three points in a 2-1 win over the Ulster SL in a lively contest in Roscrea.
Eunan Kelly put Ulster in front after only five minutes but Ian Stapleton equalised nine minutes later. The game could have gone either way in a close encounter before Butt settled it near the end.
Saturday’s game in Mullingar against the Connacht FA was a lot more straight-forward as the Munster Senior League were much too strong for the westerners — eventually running out easy 3-0 winners.
Mark Horgan put the MSL in front after 20 minutes before Kevin Mulcahy scored twice to put them two up at the break when he scored in the 28th minute.
Mulcahy helped himself to another in the second half to set up yesterday’s decider.
The other match yesterday saw the Ulster SL defeat the Connacht FA 4-1.
Because of the representative matches taking place there were no Beamish Stout Senior Premier Division matches fixed for the weekend.
In the First Division, Carrigaline United drew 2-2 with John Caulfield’s UCC, who were playing their first match of the season, at The Farm.
Carrig’s goals came from Michael Kiernan and Hugh Shields.
In the other First Division game, Graham Burns scored for home side Fermoy in a 1-1 draw with Tramore Athletic, whose goal came from Shane Ahern.
In the Second Division, Aidan Lehane of Crosshaven and CIT’s John Forrest exchanged goals in a 1-1 draw at Camden.