Interpro hurling: Munster gallop to 45th title
03 March 2013
Munster's Shane Dowling and Brian Flaherty of Connacht during the Interprovincial Championship Final. INPHO
Paudie O'Sullivan's 26th minute goal put Munster on the road to their first M Donnelly interprovincial hurling title since 2007 and their 45th in all at Cusack Park, Ennis.
Tipperary's Brendan Maher raised the silverware in front of a small attendance at the Co. Clare venue after Munster had easily accounted for their all-Galway Connacht opponents. Joe Canning opened the scoring for the Westerners, but they soon found themselves on the back-foot as points from Pat Horgan (two) and Shane Dowling helped Liam Sheedy's men to a 0-4 to 0-3 lead after 16 minutes.
The game's decisive score arrived 10 minutes later when Graeme Mulcahy collected Lar Corbett's long delivery and set up Cloyne man O'Sullivan for the only goal. Pat Cronin quickly added a point as Munster went on to lead by 1-11 to 0-9 at the break.
Connacht would have been closer had Cork's All Star goalkeeper Anthony Nash not denied both Niall Burke and Niall Healy with excellent first half saves.
Munster grabbed the first three points of a low-key second half, only for Connacht to reply with four of their own. The winners then upped the tempo again with some excellent scores before Connacht put a more respectable look on the scoreboard by posting the last two points.
Munster - A Nash (0-1f); S O'Neill, T Condon, S Daniels; B Bugler, M Walsh, W McNamara; S O'Sullivan (0-1), B Maher; S Dowling (0-3, 1f), L Corbett, P Cronin (0-3); G Mulcahy (0-2), P O'Sullivan (1-2), P Horgan (0-10, 7f). Subs: T Kenny for B Maher, E Kelly for Cronin, T Kenny for S O'Sullivan, P Maher for Dowling, G O'Mahony for Corbett, C Ryan for McNamara.
Connacht - C Callanan; J Coen, K Hynes, P Killeen; B Flaherty, D Collins (0-2, 1'65), N Donoghue; I Tannian (0-1), A Smith; P Breheny, N Burke, C Donnellan (0-1); N Healy (0-3), J Canning (0-6, 4f, 1'65), T Haran (0-1). Subs: D Glennon for Breheny, J Glynn for N Burke, J Cooney (0-1) for Killeen, D Hayes for Haran, A Harte for Smith.
Referee - A Stapleton.