Ulster claim Men’s Interpros

Ulster claimed the men’s under 21 Interprovincial title back from Leinster over the weekend in Hillsborough with a 4-1 win over Munster.

They were made to work a lot harder than expected by a Munster side that appeared to be galvanised after Saturday’s 5-1 thrashing from Leinster.

The Southerners dominated the opening half hour of the decisive encounter but when Annadale’s Peter Caruth netted the opener on the stroke of half time it seemed that Munster’s defence lost its belief.

Ulster fired in another three in the second period through Neil Hamilton, Dane Ward and Simon Todd second with just a Dan Hobbs goal in response.

As a result, the Northern province claimed back the Interpro title they conceded to Leinster last year. The key game of the series turned out to be Friday’s match between Leinster and Ulster.

Alan Sothern’s drag-flick gave the Blues the lead after 22 minutes completely against the run of play, as Ulster had already seen 11 short corners go by without reward – mainly due to the outstanding Ian Walker between the posts.

Another Annadale man, Neil Hamilton, did equalise eventually before the break before the game turned early in the second half.

Leinster were enjoying their best period of possession, creating a number of chances before a torrential downpour led to umpire Andrew Groves calling proceedings to a halt while the rain blew over.

They could not regain the momentum and it was left to Hamilton to fire in the game’s third penalty corner to snatch the win late on.

Leinster did give themselves an outside chance of retaining the title on Saturday as they hammered Munster, Mitch Darling scoring two tidy goals before Pembroke’s Sothern banged in a stunning reverse stick shot – the goal of the game.

Ulster, though, with a core of Ulster’s top three sides – Cookstown, Banbridge and Annadale – proved the strongest outfit.

Friday: Ulster 2 (Neil Hamilton 2) Leinster 1 (Alan Sothern);
Saturday: Leinster 5 (Mitch Darling 2, Alan Sothern 2, David Robinson) Munster 1 (Jason Lynch);
Sunday: Ulster 4 (Peter Caruth, Dane Ward, Simon Todd, Neil Hamilton) Munster 1 (Dan Hobbs

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