Blue day as Leinster retain U-21 double

Leinster retained both the men’s and women’s U-21 inteprovincial titles at Garryduff with victories over Ulster on day three of the competition.

On the women’s side, the blues could afford to draw – or even lose by a couple as it transpired – but they never looked like needing any recourse to such an outcome.

Early efforts from Gillian Pinder and Eanna Horan put the women 2-0 up inside six minutes and, with Caroline Hill, supplying an insurance effort prior to half-time, they were handsome three goal winners.

It left Munster a chance to snatch second place but they came unstuck against Connacht as they could not build on Emily O’Leary’s early opener.

NUIG’s Aimee O’Connor levelled in the 12th minute before Tara Melvin and Deirdre Hatton put the westerners 3-1 up by half-time and no further goals ensured Ulster took second place.

On the men’s side, despite international absentees, Leinster repeated the feat of 2010 with a 3-2 win against Ulster. Injury to Richard Sykes and a flight to Germany to link up with the men’s senior Irish team ruled out Shane O’Donoghue but they still managed to prevail in a cracker.

They went two up through Jamie Tobin and Stephen Cole before being pegged back by Banbridge duo Owen Magee and Stephen Dowds, but the blues’ David Watkins hit a late winner.

It meant they won the Interpro series with a perfect two from two record while they also snagged the four-team series which included the Ireland U-18s.

Graham Shaw and Gareth Evans’ charges won their third tie to end the competition unbeaten as they beat Munster 5-2 – Ashton schoolboy Gary Wilkinson scoring against his home province in the second half after Pembroke team mates Karl Lynch and Mark Loughrey had exchanged first half goals.

U21 Interprovincials, Cork – day three
Men: Leinster 3 (J Tobin, S Cole, D Watkins) Ulster 2 (O Magee, S Dowds); Ireland U18 5 (M Loughrey, G Wilkinson, M Allister, J Sutton, J Duncan) Munster 2 (K Lynch, F O’Leary)
Interpro standings: 1 Leinster 6pts (+2); 2 Ulster 3pts (+1); 3 Munster 0pts
Tournament standings: 1 Leinster 7pts (+2) 2 Ireland U18 5pts (+3) 3 Ulster 4pts (+1) 4 Munster 0pts (-6)

Women: Leinster 3 (G Pinder, E Horan, C Hill) Ulster 0; Munster 1 (E O’Leary) Connacht 3 (A O’Connor, T Melvin, D Hatton)
Standings: 1 Leinster 9pts (+11); 2 Ulster 3pts (-1); 3 Munster 3pts (-2); 4 Connacht 3pts (-8).

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