After day one of the boy’s interprovincials, Leinster and Ulster look set for a straight duel for the U-16 and U-18 honours after they picked up a quartet of comfortable wins over Munster at Belfield this afternoon
Ulster’s U-16s opened the weekend’s action with a comprehensive 5-0 win over Munster, building up a 3-0 half-time lead. Matthew Allister bagged a brace while Irish U-16 Josh Moffett was also on target.
Jeremy Duncan, meanwhile spear-headed Leinster U-16’s 5-1 win over the southerners. Three stunning feints of the stick opened the space in the circle for the Kilkenny player to aerial into the net. Richard Kingston batted in from close range to equalise for Munster but with a minute Ross Canning swept in a right-wing move for 2-1.
And the St Columba’s player laid on for Duncan to score his second. Canning’s simple first time ball fed Duncan on half-way and he out-stripped the last defender and crashed in a 3-1 half-time lead. Canning deflected in David Cole’s fine through ball and Kirk Shimmins snapped up a fifth goal to mark a top performance.
In the U-18 competition, Stephen Dowds’ double inside the first six minutes set up Ulster’s 4-1 win. Stephen Swanton pulled one back in the 11th minute but Ian Sloan and Owen Magee stretched out the lead to 4-1 before the break as Ben Dobson sat out a five minute suspension.
The second half was scoreless as Munster defended the circle well and won a pair of corners but the Northern province still had plenty of chances to extend the lead.
Leinster began their campaign with a 4-2 victory but will need to raise the intensity in days two and three as they lacked a certain urgency in the first half against Munster. Andrew Shekleton slotted home an early baseline pull-back but Nick Burns punished sloppy defensive work to tuck in a shot between a near post and two scrambling defenders for 1-1 at half-time.
Two Shane O’Donoghue penalty corner strikes either side of Luke Chadwick’s peach built up a 4-1 lead but a scrappy Swanton touch left Leinster in second in the table on goal difference.
U-18 results: Ulster 4 (Stephen Dowds 2, Ian Sloan, Owen Magee) Munster 1 (Stephen Swanton); Leinster 4 (Shane O’Donoghue 2, Andrew Shekleton, Luke Chadwick) Munster 2 (Nick Burns, Stephen Swanton)
U-16 results: Ulster 5 (Matthew Allister 2, James Cox, Josh Moffett, James Lorimer) Munster 0; Leinster 5 (Jeremy Duncan 2, Ross Canning 2, Kirk Shimmins) Munster 1 (Richard Kingston)