Under 100 turn up to watch Leinster/Connacht hurling match

Interprovincial hurling semi-final at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh fails to ignite

McDonagh Park in Nenagh hosted Leinster and Connacht’s hurling clash on Saturday. Photograph: Andrew Paton/Inpho

Leinster 1-14 Connacht 1-12

Leinster had Colin Fennelly sent off and Ryan O'Dwyer removed to hospital as a consequence of Saturday afternoon's GAA Inter-provincial hurling semi-final victory over Connacht.

Fewer than 100 people turned up at MacDonagh Park in Nenagh, further evidence that a competition that wasn’t played last year is badly struggling for oxygen.

Lee Chin did provide some brilliance in the gloom, the Wexford man hitting 1-4 from play as Leinster survived a straight red card for Fennelly in the 44th minute to win by two points.


The sides were level at 1-8 apiece when Fennelly walked but Leinster, managed by Dublin’s Ciarán Hetherton, managed to seal a final clash with Ulster or Munster.

But the quality of fare on offer was, in truth, poor as the teams racked up as many wides (28) as points on a chilly afternoon.

O’Dwyer took a ferocious whack on the head in a late collision with Matthew Keating.

Both players were taken off and O’Dwyer was sent for precautionary tests, a wholly wise move given his history of head knocks and, of course, that vicious assault suffered on a night out in England last year.

Chin kick-started the scoring with a fifth-minute goal and while Connacht replied in kind through Joseph Cooney in the 18th minute, Leinster scored four of the last five points of the opening half to lead by 1-7 to 1-2 at the break.

The second half was better as Connacht visibly upped the ante but they missed their chance with the numerical advantage and deep, deep into stoppage time, Carlow's Martin Kavanagh slotted over the insurance point.

Leinster: J Dempsey (Offaly); M Whelan (Laois), T Doyle (Westmeath), L Ryan (Wexford); P Walsh (Kilkenny), K Joyce (Kilkenny), C Crummey (Dublin) (0-1); C Fogarty (Kilkenny), S Ryan (Offaly) (0-1); W Walsh (Kilkenny) (0-1), L Chin (Wexford) (1-4), C Dwyer (Laois); S Dooley (Offaly) (0-3f), E Dillon (Dublin), C Fennelly (Kilkenny) (0-1).

Subs: R O’Dwyer (Dublin) (0-01) for Dillon (h.t.), G Keegan (Kildare) (0-1) for Dwyer (38), M Kavanagh (Carlow) (0-1) for Dooley (38), D Murphy (Carlow) for O’Dwyer (60).

Connacht (Galway unless stated): J Skehill (0-01f); M Donohue, P Killeen, J Hanbury; G McInerney, P Mannion, M Conneely; J Coen, D Burke (0-1); S Maloney, J Cooney (1-0), C Cooney (0-3f); B Molloy, C Mannion (0-1), J Flynn (0-1 sl).

Subs: N Burke (0-3f, 1f) for Molloy (39), D Glennon for Flynn (39), A Harte (0-1) for Coen (40), C Freeman (Mayo) for C Cooney (44), P Brehony for Donohue (47), P Flaherty (0-1) for Killeen (50), M Keating for D Burke (55), J Kilkenny (Roscommon) for McInerney (57), C Dolan (Roscommon) for Maloney (57), S McInerney for Keating (60).

Referee: C Lyons (Cork)