Sixteen games were played in yesterday’s Masters Interpros at Grange Road with Leinster powering on in the ladies O-40s and O-45s, men’s O-40s, while Ulster have been dominant in the men’s O-45s and men’s O-50s, with Munster/Exiles taking the plaudits in the men’s O-55s.
In the ladies O-40s, Leinster opened with a tight 2-1 win over Connacht playing in their first Masters tournament. Leinster scored first with Brenda Barrett deflecting past ex-international Tara Browne in the Connacht goal.
The blues increased their lead when the evergreen Gillian Garrett scored a classy reverse stick shot. Connacht continued to press and were rewarded when Claire Deasy’s determination saw the ball deflected into the goal.
In the second ladies O-40s game Ulster beat Connacht 2-0. Ulster’s Shelly Lyons opened the scoring with a penalty corner switch with Nichola Thompson making it two from another penalty corner strike before half-time. The Connacht players started to tire in their second game of the day and Diane Wallace scored Ulster’s third to close out the game.
Next, Leinster and Ulster played out a 1-1 draw. The Ulster team saw the arrival of Lynn Mills straight from her IHL match for Ards against Alex at St Andrew’s and her side were first to score from a short corner when the ball took a deflection off the first runner.
Leinster equalised in the second half with a classy team move. Captain Paula O’Donoghue passed out from the back to Annie Lawlor who went on a mazy run and laid off to Helen Cusack who placed a weighted pass into the circle for Angie Boran who placed the ball into the far corner of the goal.
In the ladies O-45s, Leinster won their first match 2-0 against a competitive Munster side paying in their first Masters Interpros. Leinster’s first goal saw right back Maura O’Neill attacking down the right and crossing in for Carol Anne Byrne to finish.
Munster continued to press Leinster with midfielders Joan Dobson and Dymphna Hill surging forward but the Leinster defence held firm with Sinead Guilfoyle outstanding in the Leinster goal. The clinching second goal came from their second corner of the game when captain Jane Salter scored off a switch move.
Munster were rewarded in their second game when they beat Ulster O45s 2-1. It was Ulster who opened the scoring with a well taken goal by Dee Wallace cutting in from the right. Cathy Walsh equalised for Munster on the stoke of half time. Munster secured the win in the second half from a short corner break down when Kathy Shaw (Joner) crossed for Jacqui Freyne to deflect in.
In the last ladies O-45s match of the day, Leinster had to come back from behind to beat Ulster 3-2. Leinster scored first from a short corner Jane Salter seeing her strike deflected in.
Ulster equalised from a short corner early in the second half and scored their second from a well taken shot by the impressive Julie Fisher following a defensive error. Leinster pressed for the equaliser with hard working midfielder Roly Burke driving the team forward and were rewarded when she scored off a short corner switch. A few minutes from time Leinster won a penalty stroke which Salter duly dispatched.
The final round of matches will be played today (Sunday) finishing up with a prize giving at 4.30pm
** Words with thanks to Helen Johnston
Ladies O-40s: Leinster 3 Ulster 1; Leinster 2 Connacht 1; Ulster 3 Connacht 0; Ulster 1; Leinster 1
Ladies O45s: Leinster 3 Ulster 0; Leinster 2 Munster 0; Ulster 1 Munster 2; Ulster 2 Leinster 3
Men’s O-40s: Leinster 3 Ulster 1; Munster 2 Ulster 0; Leinster 5 Munster 1
Men’s O-45s: Connacht 0 Munster 1; Ulster 4 Expats 1; Munster 3 Ulster 5; Connacht 0 Expats 1
Men’s O-50s: Leinster 0 Ulster 4; Munster/Exiles 0 Leinster 1
Men’s O-55s: Leinster 2 Ulster 3; Ulster 1 Munster/Exiles 3