Ulster are no match for rampant Munster


Munster 3-20 Ulster 1-14:The inevitable landslide materialised in the M Donnelly inter-provincial hurling semi-final yesterday as Munster crushed Ulster in the Athletic Grounds. All the damage was done in the first half with two goals from Limerick’s Graeme Mulcahy and one from Cork’s Paudie O’Sullivan.

Munster led by 3-12 to 1-4 at half-time, making the most of a strong wind advantage. The game was effectively over when they reeled off an unanswered 3-2 inside a devastating six-minute spell.

And Liam Sheedy’s side were well worth their 14-point lead at the interval.

Mulcahy hit 2-2 from play, Paudie O’Sullivan scored 1-2 from play and six frees from Patrick Horgan ensured that the gulf in standard was reflected on the scoreboard.

Sheedy’s side lost interest in the one-sided nature of the contest and took their foot off the gas in a pedestrian second half.

They only scored twice from play in the second period but Limerick’s Shane Dowling converted six frees to ensure there was still clear daylight between the teams.

Second period

Ulster actually outscored Munster in the second period and had six different players scoring from play.

Their captain, Antrim’s Neil McManus, had a fine game and led the resistance with 1-7, including a 21st-minute goal, to finish as the game’s top scorer.

However, he admitted a miscalculation on his part, when he won the toss and elected not to take the strong wind advantage on offer, was a mistake.

“In hindsight it was the wrong thing to do because we do lack a bit of confidence against that pedigree of opposition,” admitted an honest McManus.

Munster manager Sheedy agreed the purple patch when his side 3-2 without reply had effectively settled the one-sided contest.

“We gave ourselves a platform with the scores we took in the second 10 minute spell of the first half,” said Sheedy.

“That is what we were looking for. In fairness, Ulster put in a strong second half and hurled well but the key phase of the game was the second 10 minutes.”

Ulster started with nine Antrim men 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.

Shane McGrath has been a appointed Tipperary captain for the coming season, with Brendan Maher vice-captain.

ULSTER: R McGarry (Antrim); M Warnock (Derry), A Graffin (Antrim), K Stewart (Antrim); N McAuley (Antrim), L Hinphey (Derry), S McCrory (0-1, Antrim); B McFall (Antrim), K Hinphey (0-1, Derry); A Grant (0-1, Derry), R Gaffney (0-1, Armagh), P Shiels (0-3, Antrim); S McNaughton (Antrim), N McManus (1-7, 0-4 frees, Antrim), O McCloskey (Derry). Subs: C Corvan (Armagh) for McFall (18 mins), J Corvan (Armagh) for L Hinphey (half-time), E Clarke (Down) for McCloskey (45 mins).

MUNSTER: A Nash (Cork); S ONeill (Cork), T Condon (Limerick), N Connors (Waterford); B Bugler (Clare), M Walsh (Waterford), W McNamara (Limerick); P Cronin (0-1, Cork), S McGrath (0-1, Tipperary); S Dowling (0-7, 0-6 frees, 0-1 45, Limerick), P Maher (Tipperary), P O’Sullivan (1-2, Cork), G Mulcahy (2-2, Limerick), B O’Meara (0-1, Tipperary), P Horgan (0-6, frees, Cork). Subs: S Daniels (Waterford) for Connors (50 mins), P Mahony (Waterford) for Horgan (50 mins), B Maher (Tipperary) for McGrath (52 mins), G OMahony (Limerick) for Bugler (52 mins), S Sullivan (Waterford) for Maher (60 mins). Referee: Patrick Murphy (Carlow)

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