Leinster’s U-18s pegged back at death by Munster but beat South East; U-16s edge past Connacht

Leinster’s U-18s began their intepro title defence with a win and a draw to head up their section overnight, seeing off Connacht before being pegged back by Munster late on in game two.

They were 4-0 winners in game one, netting twice in each half. Ellen Curran got them started with a neat finish from a baseline cut-back before Sarah O’Loughlin doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time.

Ailish Long cracked home a second phase corner before Louise McCollum completed the win just before the final hooter.

In their second tie of the day, they found Munster a tough nut to crack. Early on, Kate Crotty’s probing runs twice caused all sorts of problems but Alannah Carragher stood tall to keep out the chances.

Leinster started to create more openings as time wore on with Sally Campbell and Sarah O’Loughlin to the fore and they hit the front 44 minutes in via a brilliant Ava Beatty backhand shot from the top of the circle after a jinking run.

From there, Michelle Barry went within inches of levelling as Munster applied plenty of pressure. They were rewarded when Becky Danaher’s sweep was tipped in by Louise Egan but Leinster replied with six minutes to go, Freya McDermott pouncing from close range.

But Emma Rumley’s excellent run down the right wing drew a penalty stroke as she beat the goalkeeper but found her final shot denied by a foot on the line. Michelle Barrett kept her nerve to convert the penalty and land an important draw.

Ulster proved too strong for Connacht but never truly cut loose after Rhianna Campbell and Tori Hastings had given them a 2-0 half-time lead.

In the younger age group, Sarah Torrans grabbed the winner for the Leinster U-16s late in the day against Connacht when she robbed the last defender and coolly dummied right and slipped home.

It gave her side a 2-1 after a gritty battle against the western province in which Niamh Carey’s goal was cancelled out by Jean Brennan. Next up, they face the South East at 9am on Saturday morning before taking on Ulster in the afternoon.

Their group sees three sides on three points after the day’s play after Munster started their campaign with an excellent 2-1 win over Ulster, playing their second game of the day.

Amy Buttimer’s slap early in the second half got them in front after goalkeeper Hannah Humphreys had a fine first half. Lauren Ryan then finished off brilliantly on her backhand from a Niamh O’Keeffe cross from the left.

Katie McKee – who scored Ulster’s winner in the day’s opening game against the South East – got one back with ten minutes left but they could not get back on terms.

U-18 Girls Interprovincials: Leinster 4 (E Curran, S O’Loughlin, A Long, L McCollum) South East 0; Ulster 2 (T Hastings, R Campbell) Connacht 0; Munster 2 (L Egan, M Barrett) Leinster 2 (A Beatty, F McDermott)

U-16 Interprovincials: Leinster 2 (N Carey, S Torrans) Connacht 1 (J Brennan); Ulster 2 (E McStea, K McKee) South East 1 (S Thomas); Munster 2 (A Buttimer, L Ryan) Ulster 1 (K McKee)

Under-18 Interpro schedule (all at Lisnagarvey HC, Comber Road)
Saturday, October 18:
 Connacht v South East, 10am; Ulster v Munster, 12pm; Connacht v Leinster, 3pm; Ulster v South East, 5pm
Sunday, October 19: Connacht v Munster, 10am; Leinster v Ulster, 12pm; Munster v South East, 3pm

Under-16 Interpro schedule
Saturday, October 18:
 Leinster v South East, 9am; Connacht v Munster, 11am; Ulster v Leinster, 2pm; Connacht v South East, 4pm
Sunday, October 19: South East v Munster, 9am; Connacht v Ulster, 11am; Leinster v Munster, 2pm

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