Munster 2-17 Leinster 4-16 (After Extra Time)
Gael Linn Senior Inter-provincials
Sunday 18th May, Rathleague, Co. Laois
[Report from Camogie Press and Munster PRO]
Leinster were crowned Gael Linn inter-provincial camogie champions in Rathleague, Co Laois after emerging from a thrilling final against Munster. In a very closely fought encounter it took extra time to separate the sides with Leinster coming out on top courtesy of a 4-16 to 2-17 scoreline.
The Munster squad featured eight Limerick players (Síle Moynihan, Judith Mulcahy, Sarah Carey, Niamh Mulcahy, Caoimhe Costelloe, Fiona Hickey, Mairéad Ryan and Mary O’Callaghan) and Intermediate manager Joe Quaid was a selector.
In the semi-final Munster met a Connacht side boasting a lot of All Ireland winners from Galway while Munster were operating without any Cork input. Limerick's Niamh Mulcahy opened the scoring and Waterford's Trish Jackman was unerring from placed ball and quickly snuffed out any Connacht threat from her centre back berth. Half time score Munster 0-10 Connacht 0-2 coming from Niamh Kilkenny & Emma Kilkelly from play.
The second half saw Munster press home their advantage with Jackman raising two green flags, and despite Connacht's Rebecca Hennelly goaling from close range, Munster sealed their place in the final with a commanding 2-15 to 1-6 finish.
The final was against Leinster who had easily accounted for Ulster in a very one-sided semi-final by 6-19 to 1-14.
Munster opened up an early lead to lead by 1-4 to 0-3 after 17 mins. Wexford keeper Mags D'arcy had been called into action early on, to deny Trish Jackman the opening goal. Tipperary's Cait Devane was in sparkling form and a long shot from her saw it in the Leinster net after 10 minutes. Munster through Clare's Chloe Morey and Limerick’s Niamh Mulcahy slotted over from play and frees, and it looked to be Munster's day. However, Leinster with All star Ursula Jacob prowling around the square, kept in it with free's, and when Kildare's Susie Carroll, along with Offaly's Siobhan Flannery goaled, it was all Leinster. Half time Leinster 2-9 Munster 1-6.
The second half saw Leinster score 1-1 in the opening five minutes, as with their tails up they took the game to Munster. Munster in traditional blue, saw Amy Kennedy get a goal back and suddenly the tide had turned as momentum swung their way. Points from Niamh Mulcahy, captain Cáit Devane and Limerick Minor star Caoimhe Costelloe had Munster up a point as the clock edged to finishing time. But who else but Ursula Jacob popped over the equalizer to take this encounter to extra time. Score at the end of normal time Munster 2-14 Leinster 3-11.
Tired bodies returned to the pitch for extra time and while Munster opened the scoring from Niamh Mulcahy, the Leinster girls just seemed to have a little more in the tank, and when Offaly's Elaine Dermody goaled it was an uphill struggle after that. They pressed home their advantage and Oulart the Ballagh's Ursula Jacob sealed the title with two insurance points. Full time in Extra Time Leinster 4-16 Munster 2-17.
Sarah Ann Fitzgerald from Laois was player of the match and Mags D'arcy, who proved an able leader as captain, took the cup back to Leinster for the next two years. Credit to Munster, they never gave up, and the management can be very proud of the display. A brave fight, but it just wasn't to be.
1. Síle Moynihan (Limerick), 2. Chloe Morey (Clare), 3. Sarah Carey (Limerick), 4. Judith Mulcahy (Limerick), 5. Caoimhe Maher (Tipperary), 6. Niamh O'Dea (Clare), 7. Roisin McMahon (Clare), 8. Orla Duggan (Clare), 9. Sarah Fryday (Tipperary), 10. Caoimhe Costelloe (Limerick), 11. Patricia Jackman (Waterford), 12. Niamh Mulcahy (Limerick), 13. Amy Kennedy (Tipperary), 14. Cait Devane (Tipperary) (Captain), 15. Nicola Morrissey (Waterford), 16. Denise Lynch (Clare), 17. Michelle Casey (Limerick), 18. Kate Lynch (Clare), 19. Mary Ryan (Tipperary), 20. Nicole Walsh (Tipperary), 21. Nicky Kaiser (Clare), 22. Fiona Hickey (Limerick), 23. Deirdre Murphy ( Clare), 24. Mary O'Callaghan (Limerick), 25. Rita Bourke (Tipperary), 26. Mairéad Ryan (Limerick)