Leinster U-16s completed the only unbeaten record from the weekend’s interprovincial action at Newpark to pick off the draw they needed on Sunday against Ulster to secure the trophy for the third time in four years.
Jack Ryan’s single strike in Friday morning’s 1-0 win over Ulster proved the key moment as the blues won back-to-back ties against Munster, meaning just a draw in Sunday afternoon’s final game would suffice.
On Saturday, Leinster outdid their Friday total of 5-0 to record a 7-1 victory over the southerners with Lee Cole and David Nolan notching a pair a piece.
In the U-18 competition, Ulster produced a remarkable comeback to snatch the U-18 boy’s interprovincial title from Leinster.
They recovered from a 2-0 deficit to nick a dramatic late winner with Peter Brown making it 3-2 in the final minute from a penalty corner.
The hosts retreated in a bid to protect their lead, Ulster hit back in spectacular fashion with three goals in the last 12 minutes.
Adam Fallis’ deflection and an Ian Sloan penalty stroke drew them level, before the ball was worked to the back post for Brown to touch in the winner with 30 seconds to go.
Leinster had made all the early running in the pool, beating their northern counterparts 3-2 on Friday morning before tying 1-1 with Munster.
It proved a pivtoal result as the southern province scarcely figured after that as injury curtailed the talismanic Nick Burns and Richard Lynch’s involvement in the competition. Jeremy Duncan bagged a double while five other Leinster men were on the scoresheet in the blues 7-0 win on Saturday.
Ulster bettered that tally with 8-1 and 12-0 results, to leave Leinster needing a draw in the final game of the competition.
But, despite goals from St Andrew’s pair Fiachra Maher and David Watkins, Ulster stormed back to win their fifth crown in six years.
U-18 Boy’s Interprovincial results:
Saturday: Leinster 7 (D Watkins, D Cole, J Duncan 2, S Madeley, S Nolan, J Byrnes) Munster 0; Ulster 8 (I Sloan 3, A Fallis, M Bell, O Magee 2, J Moffett) Munster 1 (C Casey)
Sunday: Ulster 12 (O Magee, N Gilmore 2, I Sloan 3, M Allister 2, A Fallis, M Bell, P Brown, J Wright) Munster 0; Ulster 3 Leinster 2
Standings: 1. Ulster 9pts (+19) 2. Leinster 8pts (+7) 3. Munster 2pts (-26)
U-16 Boy’s Interprovincial results:
Saturday: Munster 1 (S Wolfe) Leinster 7 (David Kane, Kevin Mullins, Lee Cole 2, David Nolan 2, Jack Ryan); Ulster 5 (A Allen, J McKee, B Cosgrove 2, C Morrow) Munster 0
Sunday: Ulster 6 (J Wilson, J Cathcart, M Robson, B Cosgrove, M McCord, J Mellor) Munster 0; Leinster 1 (B Campbell) Ulster 1 (C Morrow)
Standings: 1. Leinster 11pts (+12) 2. Ulster 8pts (+10) 3. Munster 0pts (-22)
** There are plenty of Deryck Vincent’s and Adrian Boehm’s photos from the weekend’s Interprovincial competitions on the Irish Hockey Photographer’s website. A couple more to be added in due course.