Leinster retained the Junior men’s interprovincial title at Farmer’s Cross this afternoon as they completed the weekend with a perfect record from their three games while the ladies, on their return to the competition, finished second overall.
Impressive wins over Ulster (4-1) and Connacht (4-0) set the men up for a tournament decider with Munster this afternoon.
And they prevailed late on, Ben Wallace and Dave Wilson striking late on to run up a 3-1 win over the southerners. Wilson had given the blues the lead early on only for Eric Callendar to tie the game up with 20 minutes to go to set up a grandstand finish to the tournament with any winner deciding the competition.
And, while Munster gave Leinster some nervy moments, Kilkenny’s Ben Wallace grabbed his third of the tournament on the break to swing the momentum his side’s way.
Wilson copper-fastened the tie as he snapped up a half chance deep into the second half to confirm the title. It was a title built around an impressive midfield performance with John Lazenby a guiding light, flanked by Trinity’s Dan Ryan and Avoca’s Peter Haughton while Shane Dooley captained the side.
They got off to the perfect start when they put four past Ulster, Michael Styles scoring from the penalty spot while Ryan, Wilson and Wallace were also on the mark. Ryan, Wallace and Wilson also struck along with Lazenby in the win over Connacht on Sunday morning to end a fine weekend’s work.
On the women’s side, Leinster missed out on an unlikely title as they fell 2-0 to Munster in the final game of the weekend. They required an eight goal win from that final tie to annex the title from Ulster who were in search of three in-a-row but that never looked likely as Kay Gaffney and Orla Cotter did the necessary.
The weekend started well for Leinster, tying 0-0 with Ulster before picking up a 3-0 win over the South East, Anne-Marie McKeown bagging two and Sally Cory also on the mark.
On Sunday, Cory’s single strike kept Leinster in the running with a 1-0 win over Connacht however Ulster’s 7-0 win over South East left a huge mountain to climb in goal difference terms. And they were unable to ever truly threaten a famous victory against Munster.
Men’s Junior Interprovincials:
Saturday: Leinster 4 (M Styles, D Ryan, D Wilson, B Wallace) Ulster 1 (P McKeown); Ulster 3 Connacht 1; Munster 3 Connacht 1
Sunday: Leinster 4 (D Ryan, D Wilson, B Wallace, J Lazenby) Connacht 0; Munster 1 Ulster 0; Leinster 3 (D Wilson 2, B Wallace) Munster 1 (E Callendar)
Final standings: 1. Leinster 9pts (+9) 2. Munster 6pts (+1) 3. Ulster 3pts (-2) 4. Connacht 0pts (-9)
ESB Women’s Junior Interprovincials:
Saturday: Munster 2 Connacht 0; Ulster 0 Leinster 0; South East 0 Connacht 3; Munster 2 Ulster 5; Leinster 3 (Anne-Marie McKeown 2, Sally Cory) South East 0
Sunday: Ulster 2 Connacht 0; Munster 1 South East 1; Connacht 0 Leinster 1 (Sally Cory); South East 0 Ulster 7; Munster 2 Leinster 0
Final standings: 1. Ulster 10pts (+12) 2. Leinster 7pts (+2) 3. Munster 6pts (+1) 4. Connacht 3pts (-5) 5. South East 0pts (-13)