Cork players to the fore as Munster retain inter-provincial title 

Cork players to the fore as Munster retain inter-provincial title 
Saoirse Noonan of Munster in action against Aisling Tarpey and Shauna Molloy of Connacht. Picture: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Munster 4-8 Connacht 0-9

THREE first half goals paved the way for Munster to win back-to-back Interprovincial titles in Kinnegad on Saturday afternoon.

Connacht provided stiff opposition in the final but three opening half goals from Waterford duo Michelle Ryan and Aileen Wall, and Cork’s Saoirse Noonan, put the result out of reach of Con Moynihan’s side.

In an entertaining day of football, Munster had already put both Leinster and Connacht to the sword and they showed no signs of tiredness as Michelle Ryan hit 1-1 early on despite Laura O’Dowd’s opening score.

Ryan’s goal was a beauty — a one-handed catch and a split second turn before burying the ball in the net.

Siobhan Tully and Libby Coppinger traded points and despite excellent saves from Connacht keeper Aisling Tarpey, Munster were not to be denied as Player of the Tournament Niamh O’Dea pointed and Aileen Wall added her side’s second goal a minute later.

Saoirse Noonan found Munster’s third goal before Coppinger and Ryan added a point each either side of a Tracey Leonard free.

The second half was a much cagier affair with Munster going defensive; Kerry’s Aislinn Desmond and Waterford’s Emma Murray in particular impressing.

The teams traded scores for much of the second half before Katie Murray added the cherry on the cake and the fourth goal of the contest, sealing a memorable second title in a row for Pat Sullivan’s charges. Munster won easily on a 4-8 to 0-9 scoreline.

Marie Hickey presents the Mick Talbot Cup to Melissa Duggan. Picture: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Marie Hickey presents the Mick Talbot Cup to Melissa Duggan. Picture: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Unfortunately Leinster were to head home early as defeat to Munster in the opening round and a late comeback from Connacht in Round Two put them out of contention for a place in the final.

Late goals from Roisin Leonard and Sarah Conneally booked Connacht’s place in the final, a terrific comeback from the Westerners, who had been 1-10 to 1-3 adrift at half time.

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