M Donnelly Inter-Pro Hurling S-Final – Munster 3-20 Ulster 1-14

Sheedy satisfied with Munster’s early impact

By John Fogarty (GAA Correspondent) for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Munster 3-20 Ulster 1-14

Munster manager Liam Sheedy was satisfied with his team’s performance, even if they faded out in the second half at the Athletic Grounds yesterday. Ahead by 17 points in the 51st minute, Munster only managed two points from play against the wind in the second half while five Ulster scores on the trot in the last 10 minutes helped to put a kinder reflection on the score-line for the hosts. Munster’s three first-half goals, two from Limerick’s Graeme Mulcahy and the other a Paudie O’Sullivan strike, set them on their way to a convincing win.

Given how heavily counties are preparing for the start of the National League next weekend, Sheedy wasn’t concerned in the slightest by how the team’s scores dried up after the break. But for Shane Dowling’s six frees, Shane McGrath and Brian O’Meara’s efforts were their only other points. “We had a platform with the scores we took in the second 10-minute spell of the first half,” he said. “That is what we were looking for. “We put on five subs as well and we were anxious for other lads to see game-time. These guys have a lot of training done. “They’re in the middle of their league preparations and either had matches or trained on Saturday with their counties so 70 minutes was a big ask on the back of what they were doing. “There’s a lot of talk about the Railway Cup being this and that. Those players were very anxious to play in it and I think it’s a really good sign to see the energy and enthusiasm they bring. ”

In the final Munster will face a Connacht team comprising Galway players and they can expect a considerably tougher ride than they got in Armagh. Ulster captain Neil McManus was his team’s star performer and he weighed in with 1-7, his goal a peach of a score in the first half. However, he admitted he erred in electing to play against the wind in the first half after winning the toss. “In hindsight, it was the wrong thing maybe to do because we do lack a bit of confidence against that pedigree of opposition. “The right thing would have probably been to play with the breeze, take the advantage that was there and stay in the game for as long as possible.”

Munster, despite a strong wind at their backs, were slow to get up and running but found their feet when Mulcahy scored his first goal in the 14th minute. As Patrick Horgan’s free count increased, O’Sullivan bagged Munster’ second goal in the 17th minute when O’Meara and Mulcahy again combined to give him the chance. Now 2-6 to 0-3 ahead, Munster were in firm control, although there was a bit of fortune about their third goal when a speculative over-shoulder wind-assisted Shane McGrath puck from the centre of the field flew over the full-back line where a more alert Mulcahy pounced and beat Ryan McGarry for a second time.

It wasn’t much consolation, but the goal of the game belonged to McManus, who brilliantly doubled on a long ball in, a strike reminiscent of his fellow Antrim man Olcan McFetridge’s famous finish against Offaly in 1989. That 22nd minute score cut Munster’s lead to 10, (3-7 to 1-3), but Munster drove on again and picked up another five points to Ulster’s one before the break, giving them a 3-12 to 1-4 half-time lead. With Horgan leaving the action in the 51st minute, Dowling took over all free-taking duties after posting two beautiful long-range deadball strikes in the opening stages of the second half. Five Ulster unanswered scores from the 62nd to the 69th minute, McManus supplying two of them, cut Munster’s lead from 16 to 11 before Dowling struck over his sixth free.

Scorers for Munster: G Mulcahy 2-2; S Dowling 0-7 (0-1 65, 0-6f); P Horgan (0-6, all frees) P O’Sullivan 1-2; P Cronin, S McGrath, B O’Meara 0-1 each.

Scorers for Ulster: N McManus 1-7 (0-4 f); P Shiels 0-3; K Hinphey, R Gaffney, S McCrory, A Grant 0-1 each.

MUNSTER: A Nash; S O’Neill (both Cork), T Condon (Limerick), N Connors (Waterford); B Bugler (Clare), M Walsh (Waterford), W McNamara (Limerick); P Cronin (Cork), S McGrath (Tipperary); S Dowling (Limerick), P Maher (Tipperary); P O’Sullivan (Cork); G Mulcahy (Limerick), B O’Meara (Tipperary), P Horgan (Cork).

Subs for Munster: P Mahony (Waterford) for Horgan, S Daniels (Waterford) for Connors (both 51); G O’Mahony (Limerick) for Bugler, B Maher (Tipperary) for McGrath (both 54); S Sullivan (Waterford) for P Maher (61).

ULSTER: R McGarry (Antrim); M Warnock (Derry), A Graffin, K Stewart; N McAuley (all Antrim), L Hinphey (Derry), S McCrory (Antrim); B McFall (Antrim), K Hinphey; A Grant (both Derry); R Gaffney (Armagh), P Shiels; S McNaughton, N McManus (all Antrim), O McCloskey (Derry).

Subs for Ulster: C Carson (Antrim) for McFall (19); J Corvan (Armagh) for L Hinphey (h-t); E Clarke (Down) for McCloskey (46).

Referee: P Murphy (Carlow)


Munster 3-20 Ulster 1-14

Report from the RTE.ie web site

Munster crushed Ulster 3-20 to 1-14 in their M Donnelly Interprovincial Hurling semi-final clash at the Athletic Grounds. All the damage was done in the first half with three goals between the 14th and 19th minutes from Limerick’s Graeme Mulcahy (2) and Paudie O’Sullivan. Liam Sheedy’s side led by 3-12 to 1-04 at half-time but relied on free-taker Shane Dowling for most of their second half scores. Antrim’s Neil McManus led Ulster’s resistance with 1-07, including a 21st-minute goal, as he finished as the game’s top scorer

Ulster started with nine Antrim players and, for the first time in many years, no representative from Down who were in action the day before, beating Roscommon in the Kehoe Cup Shield. The home side took a third-minute lead through a McManus free and stayed with their opponents for the first 13 minutes, trailing by a respectable 0-04 to 0-03. It was not long before Munster started to find huge gaps and they scored three quick-fire goals from Mulcahy and Paudie O’Sullivan. Mulcahy scored 2-02 in the first-half, the Limerick forward giving Derry’s Michael Warnock probably the toughest test of his career. Patrick Horgan, one of five Cork men in the starting team, drilled over six frees during the opening period as Munster stretched their lead.

Ulster skipper McManus provided a much-needed goal for his team after 21 minutes. Shane McNaughton took a fine catch from Karl Stewart’s long puck and passed into McManus who did the rest. Paul Shiels then got Ulster’s first point in 18 minutes, brief respite against what was almost one-way traffic. Paudie O’Sullivan hit two points from out on the wing to add to his 16th-minute goal. Tipperary’s Brian O’Meara set up the first two goals and nice stick work put O’Sullivan through for Munster’s second major of the day. Mulcahy’s second goal demonstrated the space the Munster forwards were enjoying when he collected a long puck from the half-back and drilled the ball into the roof of the net.

Understandably, Munster took their foot off the gas in a pedestrian second half. Ulster outscored them by ten points to eight with McManus the player to shine in the second period. Munster only scored two points from play in the entire second 35 minutes, but Dowling’s six frees kept the scoreboard ticking over for them. Kevin Hinphey scored within 10 seconds of the restart and Antrim players accounted for five points in-a-row at one stage as Munster, never pushing beyond second gear, lost interest in the one-sided contest.

MUNSTER: A Nash; S O’Neill, T Condon, N Connors; B Bugler, M Walsh, W McNamara; P Cronin (0-01), S McGrath (0-01); S Dowling (0-07. 0-06f, 0-01 ’45’), P Maher, P O’Sullivan (1-02), G Mulcahy (2-02), B O’Meara (0-01), P Horgan (0-06,0-0 6f).
Subs used: S Daniels for Connors, P Mahony for Horgan (both 50 mins), B Maher for McGrath, G O’Mahony for Bugler (both 52), S Sullivan for Maher (60)

ULSTER: R McGarry; M Warnock, A Graffin, K Stewart; N McAuley, L Hinphey, S McCrory (0-01); B McFall, K Hinphey (0-01); A Grant (0-01), R Gaffney (0-01), P Shiels (0-03); S McNaughton, N McManus (1-07, 0-04f), O McCloskey
Subs used: C Corvan for McFall (18 mins), J Corvan for L Hinphey (half-time), E Clarke for McCloskey (45).



Match Preview

Sunday, February 17

M. Donnelly GAA Hurling Interprovincial Championship Semi-Finals

Ulster v Munster, Athletic Grounds, 12.30pm

Liam Sheedy takes a star-studded Munster squad to Armagh on Sunday for a semi-final clash with Gregory O’Kane’s Ulster, the first game of an exciting double bill of interprovincial action at the Athletic Grounds.

Sheedy was in charge of Munster last year when they were beaten at the same juncture by Leinster, so the former Tipperary boss will be keen to make amends given the province’s rich history in the competition. With 44 titles, their last coming in 2007, Munster are the most successful province in the long history of the competition formerly known as the Railway Cup. With seven players, Sheedy’s native Tipperary are the county with the highest representation in the panel, while Cork and Limerick each provide six squad members. Waterford (5) and Limerick (2) make up the 26-man selection. All told, Sheedy has a dazzling array of talent available to him, with Shane McGrath captaining the side.

O’Kane’s Ulster selection is dominated by Antrim players, with nine Saffrons named in the squad, while there are six Down and Derry men, as well as three from Armagh and two from Tyrone. Ulster were beaten heavily in their semi-final against Connacht last year, losing by 3-19 to 1-5 to a side made up entirely of Galway players. Ulster have never won the competition since its inception in 1927. The last time the sides met was in the semi-final back in October 2008, when Munster recorded a 2-14 to 1-12 victory at Fermoy. Eoin Kelly from Waterford top-scored for Munster with 1-5, while Séamus Callanan chipped in with 1-2. Down’s Paul Braniff hit 0-8 for Ulster and Shane McNaughton, who will feature on Sunday, scored their goal.

Ulster Hurling Squad: Ryan McGarry, Arron Graffin, Neal McAuley, Simon McRory, Barry McFall, Paul Shiels, Shane McNaughton, Neil McManus, Karl Stewart (all Antrim), Michael Warnock Liam Hinphey, Kevin Hinphey, Alan Grant, Oisín McCloskey, Conor Quinn (all Derry), Michael Ennis, Stephen Keith, Ciaran Coulter, Michael Hughes, Eoin Clarke, Danny Toner (all Down), Ryan Gaffney, Cathal Carville, Nathan Curry (all Armagh), Stephen Donnelly and Martin Grogan (both Tyrone).

Munster Hurling Squad: Brendan Cummins, Paul Curran, Brendan Maher, Shane McGrath, Patrick Maher, Brian O’Meara, Eoin Kelly (all Tipperary), Tom Condon, Donal O’Grady, Gavin O’Mahony, Wayne McNamara, Shane Dowling, Graeme Mulcahy (all Limerick), Anthony Nash, Shane O’Neill, Tom Kenny, Pa Cronin, Paudie O’Sullivan, Patrick Horgan (all Cork), Michael Walsh, Noel Connors, Shane Sullivan, Stephen Daniels, Páraic Mahony (all Waterford), Brendan Bugler, Colin Ryan (both Clare).

For the Record

Munster Ulster
Team Management Liam Sheedy
(Tipperary, Manager),
Jamesie O’Connor (Clare), Stephen Frampton (Waterford)
Gregory O’Kane (Antrim)
2012 Performance Lost to Leinster by 3-14 to 1-16 in the Semi-Final Lost to Connacht by 3-19 to 1-5 in the Semi-Final
Number of Hurling titles 44 0
Last Hurling Title 2007 N/A
Inter Provincial Hurling Record since 2000 Played – 17
Won – 10
Lost – 7
Drawn – 0

2013 M Donnelly Inter Provincial Hurling Fixtures

Semi-Finals (Extra time)

Sunday February 17th

@ Morgan Athletic Grounds Armagh       Munster v Ulster                          @ 12:30pm
@ O’Connor Park Tullamore                   Leinster v Connacht                     @ 2:00pm

Final (Extra time)

Sunday March 3rd

Inter Provincial Hurling – A look back

Munster have 44 Inter-Provincial Hurling titles. The breakdown by county of winning Munster Hurling captains is as follows – Cork (17), Tipperary (15), Waterford (5), Limerick (5) and Clare (2).

Sean Og Murphy (Cork), Christy Ring (Cork), Pat Stakelum (Tipperary), Tony Wall (Tipperary) and Jimmy Doyle (Tipperary) all captained Munster to win the Inter-Provincial Hurling title on 2 occasions.

On 2 separate occasions, Munster failed to win the Inter-Provincial competition for 5 consecutive campaigns (1971 to 1975 and 1986 to 1991).

3 of the last 8 Inter-Provincial Hurling Finals were played outside of Ireland – 2003 (Rome), 2005 (Boston) and 2009 (Abu Dhabi).

Leinster’s last 8 victories in this competition dating back to 1993 have been captained by Kilkenny players. 1993 (John Power), 1998 (Willie O’Connor), 2002 (Andy Comerford), 2003 (Michael Kavanagh), 2006 (Eddie Brennan), 2008 (Tommy Walsh), 2009 (JJ Delaney) and 2012 (Jackie Tyrell). The last non-Kilkenny captain of a winning Leinster hurling team was Aidan Fogarty (Offaly) in a 1988 victory over Connacht at Casement Park.

Since the competition began in 1927, only three Inter-Provincial Hurling Finals failed to produce a goal (1954, 1968 and 1997).

The competition was not played in 1990, 2010 and 2011.

Cork legend Christy Ring played for Munster for 23 consecutive seasons from 1941 to 1963, winning a total of 18 medals. John Doyle (Tipperary) won 8 Inter-Provincial medals

Last Munster Appearance in the Competition

2012 Semi-Final – Leinster 3-14 Munster 1-16 – Nowlan Park Kilkenny – February 19th

Munster Hurling Team: Donal Óg Cusack (Cork); Michael Cahill (Tipperary), Paul Curran (Tipperary), Tom Condon (Limerick); John Gardiner (Cork, 0-3, 0-2 frees, 0-1 65), Padraic Maher (Tipperary), Pat Donnellan (Clare, 0-1); Shane O’Sullivan (Waterford), Shane McGrath (Tipperary, 0-1); Pa Cronin (Cork, 0-1) Michael Walsh (Waterford, 0-1), Brendan Maher (Tipperary); John Conlon (Clare, 1-3), Eoin Kelly (Tipperary, Captain, 0-1 free), Pat Horgan (Cork, 0-3).

Subs: Donal O’Grady (Limerick) for Shane McGrath (39); Stephen Molumphy (Waterford) for Cronin (44), Gearoid Ryan (Tipperary), for Kelly (58), Kevin Moran (Waterford) for Donnellan (67), Pauric Mahony (Waterford, 0-2 frees)

Most Recent meeting – Munster v Ulster

October 25th 2008 at Fermoy – Munster 2-14 Ulster 1-12

Munster – Brendan Cummins (Tipperary); Conor O’Brien (Tipperary), Paul Curran (Tipperary), Seamus Hickey (Limerick); Brendan Bugler (Clare), Gerry Quinn (Clare), Declan Fanning (Tipperary); Brian O’Connell (Clare, 0-2), Tom Kenny (Cork); Tony Carmody (Clare, 0-2), Seamus Callanan (Tipperary, 1-2), Cathal Naughton (Cork, 0-1); Andrew O’Shaughnessy (Limerick), Eoin Kelly (Waterford, 1-5 – 1-1 65, 0-4 frees), Niall Gilligan (Clare, 0-1)

Subs: Ben O’Connor (Cork) for Gilligan (25), Paul Kelly (Tipperary, 0-1) for Naughton (47), Brian Corry (Cork) for Callanan (55), Donal O’Grady (Limerick) for O’Connell (60)

Ulster – R McGarry (Antrim); A Griffin (Antrim), N McGarry (Antrim), M Kettle (Antrim); G Clarke (Down), L Hinphey (Derry), J Campbell (Antrim); A Savage (Down), K McKeegan (Antrim, 0-1); K Stewart (Antrim, 0-1), K Hinphey (Derry, 0-1), P Braniff (Down, 0-8 – 0-6 frees, 0-1 65); S McNaughton (Antrim, 1-0), B McGourty (Down), P Shields (Antrim, 0-1)

Subs: N McManus (Antrim) for Kettle (15), P McCormack (Armagh) for McGourty (37), M Craig (Derry) for McKeegan (49)

Referee: Anthony Stapleton (Laois)

Last Inter Provincial Hurling Title for Munster

2007: Final – Munster 2-22 Connacht 2-19 played at Croke Park

Munster Team: Brian Murray (Limerick); Eoin Murphy (Murphy), Declan Fanning (Tipperary), Gerry Quinn (Clare); John Gardiner (Cork), Tony Browne (Waterford), Seamus Hickey (Limerick); Donal O’Grady (Limerick), Brian O’Connell (Clare); Shane McGrath (Tipperary), Ollie Moran (Limerick), Eoin Kelly (Waterford); John Mullane (Waterford, Captain), Dan Shanahan (Waterford), Lar Corbett (Tipperary)

Subs: Sean Óg Ó hAilpín (Cork) for O’Connell (Blood sub 20th minute to 49th minute); Niall Gilligan (Clare) for McGrath; Gerry O’Grady (Clare) for Murphy; Sean Óg Ó hAilpín for Quinn); Niall Moran for Ollie Moran); Mike O’Brien (Limerick) for Shanahan (Blood sub 58th minute to 64th minute). Gerry Kennedy (Tipperary), Sean O’Connor (Limerick), Michael Fitzgerald (Limerick), Jonothan Clancy (Clare). Conor O’Mahony (Tipperary), Michael Walsh (Waterford) and Timmy McCarthy (Cork) played in the semi-final.

Inter Provincial Hurling Roll Of Honour

Munster (44) – 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1934, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007

Leinster (28) – 1927, 1932, 1933, 1935, 1936, 1941, 1954, 1956, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012

Connacht (11) – 1947, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1994, 1999, 2004

Ulster (0)

List of Munster Inter Provincial Hurling Teams

Visit the Munster GAA web site at http://munster.gaa.ie/history/railway-cup-hurling/ to view the list of all the teams to represent Munster in the Inter Provincial Hurling competition.