GAA Interprovincial Football Final – Munster v Ulster

Ulster defeated Munster by 0-15 to 1-8 in the GAA M Donnelly Interprovincial Football Championship Final in Ruislip, London on Sunday.

Ulster dig deep to seal provincial title

Ulster 0-15 Munster 1-8

By Tony Tighe of the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, November 09, 2009

THERE was drama at Ruislip yesterday, where an Ulster late show saw them overcome defending champions Munster in this M Donnelly Interprovincial final. In what was a highly entertaining and competitive encounter, Ulster looked in complete control as the teams headed for the interval, leading by four points and looking much the stronger side. But they were rocked moments after the restart when Waterford’s Gary Hurney rattled in an opportunistic goal, and by the three-quarter stage Munster had surged ahead. The cup looked destined to be heading down south for a second successive year, but Ulster dug deep and fired five points without reply in the final eight minutes to clinch a thrilling victory.

“We’re really pleased with the win,” said Ulster manager Joe Kernan. “The lads put in a big effort, especially in the last 10 minutes. They kept their heads and showed great character to come back. We lost our way for about 10 minutes after half time, but the lads fought hard, we started to use the ball a lot better and took some inspirational scores. That lifted us. We may not have done it for the whole game but we did when it mattered most.” The interprovincial championship has only survived in recent years due to the generosity of Martin Donnelly, who admitted last week that the success of the football final in Ruislip would influence his decision to sponsor the competition. But after witnessing a thrilling and highly competitive encounter, attended by a crowd of around 1,500 fans, Donnelly has confirmed that he will continue to back the series. “It’s early November, a cold day, but I was delighted with the crowd, the whole day was tremendous,” he said. “It showed that there is a future, whether it be this side of the water or abroad for the final. “With the intensity the players showed, you can’t say there’s a lack of interest in the competition. And that’s what it’s all about, it’s really about players wanting to compete for their province.”

The conditions were freezing at the Emerald Grounds but Ulster looked red hot in the opening exchanges, their full-forward line of Paddy Bradley, Stephen O’Neill and Michael Murphy causing Munster all sorts of problems. Cork duo Daniel Goulding and Donncha O’Connor kept Munster in touch. They should have led midway through the half when Liam O Lionnain spun past his marker and raced in goal, only to hit the side netting. It was a major let off for Ulster and as the wind picked up, they pushed on, Kevin Hughes hitting a superb late brace to give his side a 0-8 to 0-4 advantage at the break.

That lead would be short-lived however, as within minutes of the restart Munster were level. Hurney looked to be going nowhere when he picked the ball to the right of goal, but he somehow managed to escape his marker’s clutches and drilled a fine low shot across Joe Devine. Ulster should have had a goal of their own moments later when a superb flowing move saw Paul Finlay play Joe McMahon through on goal, but his shot flew harmlessly wide. Points from superb substitute James Ryan and Goulding put Munster in front for the first time on 48 minutes, and with their opponents squandering possession all too easily, the cup looked set to return to the southern province. But Ulster mounted a stunning late salvo, with Down’s Danny Hughes and namesake Gordon making an immediate impact upon their introduction by hitting the winning scores.

“Over the hour I felt Ulster were worthy of their win. They have some fantastic players and a great backroom team,” said disappointed Munster boss Ger O’Sullivan. “We were just a little bit tight with our panel. We lost two players during the week, and then before the game we lost Seamus Scanlon and Colm O’Neill. I think that caught up with us in the end. I thought our players were fantastic; they gave 100% commitment. I’m very proud of them.”

Scorers for Ulster: P Bradley 0-3 (1f); M Murphy (1f), K Hughes, G O’Kane, D Hughes 0-2 each; S O’Neill, P Finlay, E McGinley, C Gormley 0-1 each.

Scorers for Munster: D Goulding 0-4 (1f); G Hurney 1-0; D O’Connor 0-2f; N Murphy, J Ryan 0-1 each.

ULSTER: J Devine (Tyrone); K Lacey (Donegal), Justin McMahon (Tyrone), G O’Kane (Derry); A Kernan (Armagh), C McKeever (Armagh), R Flanagan (Cavan); K Hughes (Tyrone), E McGinley (Tyrone); P Finlay (Monaghan), B Coulter (Down), Joe McMahon (Tyrone); P Bradley (Derry), S O’Neill (Tyrone), M Murphy (Donegal).

Subs: C Gormley (Tyrone) for McKeever (28); R McCloskey (Fermanagh) for Lacey (ht); D Hughes (Down) for Joe McMahon (41); D Gordon (Down) for Murphy (43); T Freeman (Monaghan) for Hughes (52).

MUNSTER: P Fitzgerald (Tipperary); T O’Gorman (Waterford), J McCarthy (Limerick), P Reidy (Kerry); M O’Gorman (Waterford), M Shields (Cork); P Ranahan (Limerick); N Murphy (Cork), P O’Neill (Cork); P Kelly (Cork), D O’Connor (Cork), P Kerrigan (Cork); G Hurney (Waterford), D Goulding (Cork), L O’Lionnain (Waterford).

Subs: R Costigan (Tipperary) for M O’Gorman (ht); J Ryan (Limerick) for Kerrigan (ht); S Scanlon (Kerry) for O’Neill (56); A Walsh (Cork) for O’Lionnain (59).

Referee: D Fahy (Longford)

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M Donnelly Interprovincial SFC Final: Record win for Ulster

From the GAA.ie web site

Nov 08, 2009

Ulster regained the M Donnelly Interprovincial senior football title on Sunday with a 0-15 to 1-8 win over 2008 winners Munster in London. The Ruislip encounter was the first such final to be played in the British capital and Joe Kernan’s men emerged from it with a record 29th crown at this level, leading to delighted captain Stephen O’Neill lifting the trophy. Kernan’s side were the better for much of the game though did find themselves trailing after a third-quarter Munster comeback. However, Ulster did not let Waterford man Gary Hurney’s goal derail them and scored the game’s last five scores for a four-point win. Derry scoring ace Paddy Bradley started the day’s scoring in front of over 1,000 spectators but Cork’s Daniel Goulding then hit a double, with Michael Murphy pointing for Ulster, the sides level after ten minutes. Points from Michael Murphy and O’Neill restored the Ulster advantage and further efforts from Bradley, Paul Finlay and Kevin Hughes had them looking very good before they lost Armagh defender Ciaran McKeever to a suspected fractured leg.

Goulding grabbed a couple of quick scores but Hughes’ second for Ulster saw them lead by double scores at the break, 0-8 to 0-4. Three minutes into the second half, however, it became anybody’s game. Cork man Nicholas Murphy was growing in stature in the important midfield area for Munster and when Hurney turned his man to power an effort into John Devine’s net there was just one point in it. Murphy, James Ryan, Goulding and Donncha O’Connor also scored as Munster had a lead with 12 minutes to play. But Ulster steadied themselves and sub Daniel Hughes of Down brought an extra spark onto the field with him. He hit two scores and Derry’s Gerard O’Kane his second as Ger O’Sullivan’s men were sent into arrears again. Dan Gordon and another sub, Conor Gormley, added late points to seal the win and the latest crown for Ulster, who last won this cpmpetition in 2007.

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M Donnelly Inter-Provincial Final

Ulster finish strongly to claim deserved 29th title

By Larry Cooney

Ulster 0-15 Munster 1-8

Ulster are the Martin Donnelly inter-provincial football champions after a deserved four-point victory over Munster at Ruislip yesterday. Before a sizeable attendance of just under two thousand on a cold but dry afternoon in West London both teams served up an entertaining encounter that was tied at 1-6 to 0-9 with fourteen minutes of normal time remaining. But six unanswered points in reply to a late point from Munster substitute Aidan Walsh gave the Northerners a deserved record-breaking title 29th title.

Playing into the pavilion end in the opening half the winners had the benefit of the elements and were on the score-sheet within thirty seconds of the throw-in. Pivotal full-forward and captain Stephen O’Neill broke the ball to the on-rushing Paddy Bradley and he made no mistake for the opening point. Although late selection Daniel Goulding equalised for Munster within two minutes the scores were still tied at 0-2 each after ten minutes.

But Ulster appeared to have the cutting edge in terms of finishing and aided by another Bradley point and two each from Kevin Hughes and Michael Murphy, Joe Kernan’s Ulster side deservedly led by 0-8 to 0-4 at half-time. A pointed free each from Daniel Goulding and captain Donncha O’Connor and another Goulding point from play were Munster’s first-half scorers.

The first-half was also marred by a serious injury to Ulster centre-back Ciaran McKeever eight minutes before the interval and he was replaced by Conor Gormley after which a Kevin Hughes brace of points put Ulster in a comfortable position by half-time when the score was: Ulster 0-8 Munster 0-4. Munster made a significant double substitution at half-time with Limerick’s James Ryan replacing an off-form Paul Kerrigan and Tipperary’s Robbie Costigan replacing Maurice O’Corman. Ulster also introduced Ryan McCloskey for Karl Lacey.

The Southerners need a good start to the half and within four minutes of the restart it was looking for them when Gary Hurney rifled to the net before a long range point from Nicholas Murphy tied the scores. But Ulster refused to panic even after a Daniel Goulding point in the 48th minute gave Munster the lead for the only time of an interesting match.  With Ulster through their clever use of the bench stepping up the tempo they hit the last five points of the game, two of them from impressive substitute Daniel Hughes to leave the final score Ulster 0-15 Munster 1-8.

SCORERS:

Ulster –  P Bradley 0-3(0-1)f, M Murphy, K Hughes, G O’Kane and D Hughes 0-2 each, S O’Neill, P Finlay, D Gordon and R McCloskey 0-1 each.

Munster – D Goulding 0-4(0-1)f, G Hurney 1-0, D O’Connor 0-2(0-1)f, N Murphy and A Walsh 0-1 each.

TEAMS: Ulster – J Devine; K Lacey, J McMahon,  G O’Kane; Aaron Kernan, C McKeever, R Flanagan; K Hughes, E McGinley; P Finlay, B Coulter, Joe McMahon; P Bradley, S O’Neill, M Murphy. Subs: C Gormley for McKeever (inj) 22, R McCloskey for Lacey h/t, D Hughes for Joe McMahon 40, D Gordon for Murphy 42.

Munster – P Fitzgerald; T O’Gorman, J McCarthy, P Reidy; M O’Gorman, M Shields, P Ranahan; Nicholas Murphy, P O’Neill; P Kelly, Daniel Goulding, Donncha O’Connor; P Kerrigan, G Hurney, L O’Lionnain. Subs: J Ryan for Kerrigan h/t, R Costigan for M O’Gorman h/t, A Walsh for O’Lionnain 56.

REFEREE: D Fahy (Longford)

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Team News

The Munster team to play Ulster in the 2009 GAA M Donnelly Interprovincial Football Championship Final on Sunday has been announced – MUNSTER (v Ulster) -Paul Fitzgerald (Tipperary); Tomas O’Gorman (Waterford), Johnny McCarthy (Limerick), Padraig Reidy (Kerry);Maurice O’Gorman (Waterford), Michael Shields (Cork), Pa Ranahan (Limerick); Nicholas Murphy (Cork), Seamus Scanlon (Kerry); Patrick Kelly (Cork), Pearse O Neill (Cork), Donncha O Connor (Cork – Captain); Gary Hurney (Waterford), Colm O Neill (Cork), Liam O Lionnain (Waterford)
Subs: Joe Hayes (Clare), Paul Kerrigan (Cork), Robbie Costigan (Tipperary), Ger Quinlan (Clare), Aidan Walsh (Cork), Daniel Goulding (Cork), Alan O Connor (Cork), Shane Walsh (Waterford), James Ryan (Limerick)

Match Preview

Rumble at Ruislip!

BY GRAHAM CLIFFORD for the Irish Post newspaper

AFTER years of waiting and months of planning the stage is set for the first ever Railway Cup football final to be held on British soil. Thousands are expected to descend on Ruislip for the 2pm throw-in of Ulster and defending champions Munster with both sides boasting a host of top names from the world of inter-county GAA. While on paper Ulster will undoubtedly start this M. Donnelly Inter-Provincial final at the headquarters of London GAA as favourites Munster’s bid to collect back-to-back titles has been aided by the inclusion of last year’s winning captain Nicholas Murphy from Cork as well as the All Star trio of Seamus Scanlon of Kerry and Daniel Goulding and Pearse O’Neill from Cork. The four Munster players were not involved in the semi-final win over Connacht at the Gaelic grounds in Limerick.

While there are no new names in the Ulster squad Joe Kernan’s side includes some of the best in the game and supporters who attend this year’s eagerly-awaited final will see the likes of Tyrone’s Stephen O’Neill, Down’s Benny Coulter and Derry’s Paddy Bradley in action. Munster defeated Ulster in last year’s semi-final by 1-5 to 0-5 but the manager of the defending champions Ger O’Sullivan told The Irish Post this week that Ulster are a seriously good side. He said: “Any team that can boast an inside-forward line of Stephen O’Neill, Michael Murphy and Paddy Bradley must be feared.” One huge incentive for Ulster is that if they do go on to win Sunday’s final they will become the most successful province in the history of the competition.

Organisers are keeping their fingers crossed that the monsoon-like conditions which battered Britain last weekend do not return over the coming one. Thankfully at the time of going to print the weathermen predict only a 10 per cent chance of rain for London. On the evening before the final up to 500 guests will attend a special celebration to mark 125 years of the GAA with all the talk surely to be about whether it’ll be Stephen O’Neill of Tyrone or Donncha O’Connor of Cork who will be lifting the M. Donnelly-sponsored trophy the following afternoon. It’s sure to be a massive day for British GAA and an amazing opportunity for Gaels on this side of the Irish Sea to see some of the game’s top players in full flight — can you afford to miss it?