Jeremy Duncan alluded to the fact in post-tournament acceptance speech but Leinster pulled off one of the unlikeliest U-18 and U-16 Interprovincial doubles at St Andrew’s.
The 18s captain’s side were all but out of the competition after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Ulster – Ross Canning cancelling out an Adam Fallis goal – despite a 9-1 victory over Munster.
It left just one sequence of results which would break Ulster’s three year winning streak; the red hands falling to Munster and the blues getting a second success over the southern province.
But that transpired in incredible fashion as Munster’s U-18 boys picked up a memorable 1-0 victory to set up the day.
Andrew Colton’s drag-flick from his side’s only corner of the game late in the game, awarded after Nathan Eacrett was cleaned out, proved the winner.
For so long, Ulster looked to be in control, winning several first half penalty corners but were continually denied by Daniel Moore who performed heroics between the posts. Colton and Richard Sweetnam were also excellent as they continued to frustrate the northern side before taking the lead from a rare counter.
Both post and bar came to their rescue before Fred McElroy’s body twice came between Ulster and a winning equaliser. It led to a penalty stroke with less than ten seconds left on the clock but the pressure-fuelled environment saw the shot skim off the post and out to hand Munster the win and Leinster the lifeline.
It was duly grasped with both hands as Jordan Sutton got Leinster off to a flier against a flagging Munster in their second tie of the day. Jonathan Roberts rebounded after Duncan broke through and David Cole dragged in a third to ease any nerves. Sutton added another pair while Cole got his second to copper-fasten the victory in the second half before Nathan Eacrett and David Whitaker got consolation goals in a 9-2 final result.
Earlier in the day, Leinster’s U-16s continued their excellent form at youth level with a fifth title in six years. On Saturday, their title hopes looked to be rocked as Ulster produced a brilliant performance to run up a 2-0 victory but they were ultimately left to rue Hugh Lavery’s superb performance.
But for the Sandford goalkeeper, the damage might have been much greater as Ulster created plenty of chances. Thanks to Friday’s 1-0 win over Ulster and a rampaging 6-0 win over Munster on Saturday morning, it left Leinster ahead going into day three on goal difference by three goals.
Again, there was a helping hand from Munster as Julian Dale continued his fine scoring form with a fourth of the tournament as his side fell to a 6-3 loss but did enough to leave Leinster needing any sort of win over Munster in the tournament’s final game.
Doubles for Luke Madeley and Jack Ryan – two of the key men all weekend along with a towering show from David Nolan in midfield – saw them net a 4-1 victory to claim the title.
Madeley’s pair brought his tally to four drag-flicks in the competition while Ryan also got four, his pair in the final game were expertly taken, roofing the first sharply while his second – the side’s third – came from the narrowest of angles as he spotted a gap as Munster scrambled to realign their defences.
U-18 Interprovincials (day two and three results): Ulster 0 Munster 1 (Andrew Colton); Leinster 9 (Ross Canning 3, David Cole 2, Jonathan Roberts 2, Lee Cole, Ian Stewart) Munster 1 (Ben Scott); Leinster 1 (Ross Canning) Ulster 1 (Adam Fallis); Leinster 9 (Jordan Sutton 3, David Cole 2, Jonathan Roberts 2, Ian Stewart, Brian O’Malley) Munster 2 (Nathan Eacrett, David Whitaker) Final standings: 1. Leinster 8pts (+14) 2. Ulster 8pts (+3) 3. Munster 3pts (-17)
U-16 Interprovincials (day two and three results): Leinster 4 (Luke Madeley 2, Jack Ryan 2) Munster 1 (Julian Dale); Ulster 6 (Matthew Sullivan 2, Chris Heath 2, Jack Wilson, Adam Marshall) Munster 3 (Julian Dale, David Cardy, Philip Brownlow); Leinster 0 Ulster 2 (Rowan Poots, Matthew Sullivan); Leinster 6 (Freddie Morris 2, Luke Madeley 2, Jack Ryan, Neil Byrne) Munster 0 Final standings: 1. Leinster 9pts (+8) 2. Ulster 9pts (+5) 3. Munster 0pts (-13)
7 Responses to “Leinster record rare Interprovincial double”
November 21, 2011 12:54 pm cagey says
Tremendous result, for too long Leinster have been on the wrong end of some close contests. This will teach the Ulster teams not to take their “victory” photographs on Saturday evenings mid tournament. Its not over till the fat lady sings! Congratulations to the players and to the coaches
November 21, 2011 2:04 pm Up Leinster says
Well done to both Leinster teams for sticking to the task particularly the U18s who looked dead and buried but thanks to that true Munster spirit they were given a lifeline and are very grateful to the Munster lads…..Cheers boys!!!!!
November 21, 2011 3:40 pm Millsey says
Photographs being taken on Saturday evening by the Ulster squad may have had something to do with some of the Ulster player’s receiving their first caps for their province. Never in the Ulster camp was there any talk of victory before the final day, every player and member of the coaching staff knew the job had to be done on Sunday but fair play to Munster, they defended heroically throughout the game and took their chance when it came their way. Perhaps people shouldn’t be so presumptions or ignorant before posting comments like the one above!
November 21, 2011 5:00 pm Whistleblower says
It was a fantastic weekends hockey. The standard was extremely high and a joy to watch….a credit to all the players and their coaches/managers! Congratulations to all involved for putting on a excellent hockey spectacle. Onwards and upwards for Irish Hockey!
November 21, 2011 5:44 pm Optimist says
Very good weekends hockey ,great to see Munster competitive again after the last 2 years ,some heroic performances by the boys in red(mainly to Leinsters benefit),also Ulster missed the skills of Josh Moffit and Pete Browne at U 18.The luck fell this year to the boys in blue and they took full advantage ,well done to everyone.
November 21, 2011 6:21 pm Alan Good says
As manager of the Munster U18s side, I can’t stress enough how important that backs-to-the-wall victory over Ulster was to us – and to boys hockey in the province – after the past couple of years.
It’s a pity we were still heavily beaten in both games against Leinster – we played into their hands, and the standard of their finishing was exceptional, particularly from Ross Canning and Jordan Sutton – but we’ll take away a lot of positives from being competitive in both games against Ulster.
Congratulations to Leinster on winning the interpro double, I can only hope our lads learned a lot from yourselves and Ulster and that we’ll be even more competitive next time around, which will surely benefit boys and mens hockey in Ireland as a whole.
November 23, 2011 12:00 am Munster Realist says
that backs to the walls win is being made into far far more than it actually was. yes it was a great win, and a huge effort from the players (congrats), and while im glad it gave our lads some confidence, it hasnt done much if anything for munster boys hockey, as that group of lads will enter future tournaments, with more scars from the leinster games than pluses from a win, where they managed to hold out so valiantly.
i struggle to grasp how so many goals went in, surely after the writing was on the wall, adjustments could of been made for damage limitation. That might sound negative, but the end result would of been far more respectable. Munster players need to feel if they work hard, improve their games, that they can close the gap sufficently, to compete in every interpro game. when the scoreline is that big, it can dishearten their efforts, and that trickles down to future players through word of mouth.
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