Munster captain Brendan Maher pictured accepting the cup from GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghail and Munster Council Chairman Jerry O’Sullivan. Photo: Eamonn McGee
Borris-Ileigh’s Brendan Maher captained Munster to a dramatic inter-provincial final victory over Leinster at Semple Stadium, Thurles on Thursday night - Clare’s Anthony Daly guided Munster to a 46th provincial crown.
Leinster led 1-11 to 0-10 at the interval and appeared in control in front of 592 spectators at three different junctures during the second half when leading with five points to spare. Munster, however, finished like a train and fired 1-5 without reply to win by a comfortable four (2-20 to 2-16). Clare’s Aaron Shanagher notched the key goal for Munster.
Tipperary’s Darren Gleeson (Portroe), James Barry (Upperchurch-Drombane), Pádraic Maher (Thurles Sarsfields), Brendan Maher (Borris-Ileigh), Dan McCormack (Borris-Ileigh), Michael Breen (Ballina), John O’Dwyer (Killenaule), Séamus Callanan (Drom & Inch) and Noel McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney) all played a significant role in this provincial success (a title last won in 2013).
Séamus Callanan drilled over early points as Munster raced into a 0-4 to no-score lead, but a TJ Reid-inspired Leinster responded well and the sides were locked at 0-6 apiece entering the second quarter. A Dan McCormack brace edged Munster back in front, but Leinster replied with 1-3 to surge clear with TJ Reid burying the three-pointer.
Leinster found themselves four ahead at the break (1-11 to 0-10) and soon led by five, but Munster responded well to the challenge and when Clare’s David Reidy buried an equalising goal mid-way through the second half it appeared as if a significant shift in momentum had occurred (1-14 apiece).
Within a minute, however, Wexford’s Lee Chin booted home a second Leinster goal.
Munster, though, were not easily discouraged and steadied with substitutes like Cork’s Alan Cadogan (0-3) and Limerick’s Barry Nash (0-2) firing over rousing points. Waterford’s Stephen Bennett forced Munster into a late lead before an Aaron Shanagher goal propelled the home side into an unassailable advantage.
Munster: Darren Gleeson (Tipperary), Barry Coughlan (Waterford), James Barry (Tipperary), Noel Connors (Waterford), Diarmuid Byrnes (Limerick, 0-1), Cian Dillon (Clare), Pádraic Maher (Tipperary), Brendan Maher (Tipperary), Jamie Barron (Waterford, 0-1), Dan McCormack (Tipperary, 0-2), Michael Breen (Tipperary, 0-1), Shane Bennett (Waterford), John O’Dwyer (Tipperary), Séamus Callanan (Tipperary, 0-7, 0-4 frees, 0-1 ‘65s), David Reidy (Clare, 1-2). Subs: (HT) Noel McGrath (Tipperary) for Shane Bennett, (HT) Alan Cadogan (Cork, 0-3) for Brendan Maher, (HT) Barry Nash (Limerick, 0-2) for Dan McCormack, (50th) Aaron Shanagher (Clare. 1-0) for Michael Breen, (50th) Shane Dowling (Limerick) for John O’Dwyer (Tipperary), (51st) Stephen Bennett (Waterford, 0-1) for Jamie Barron, (55th) Shane Fives (Waterford) for Barry Coughlan, (55th) Tom Murnane (Kerry) for Cian Dillon, (61st) Cian Lynch (Limerick) for Séamus Callanan.
Leinster: James Dempsey (Offaly), Matthew Whelan (Laois), Tommy Doyle (Westmeath), Liam Ryan (Wexford), Pádraig Walsh (Kilkenny), Kieran Joyce (Kilkenny), Chris Crummey (Dublin), Conor Fogarty (Kilkenny), Seán Ryan (Offaly), Walter Walsh (Kilkenny, 0-4), Lee Chin (Wexford, 1-1), Charles Dwyer (Laois, 0-2), Shane Dooley (Offaly, 0-1), TJ Reid (Kilkenny, 1-6, 0-4 frees), Gerry Keegan (Kildare, 0-2). Subs: (27th) Martin Kavanagh (Carlow) for Shane Dooley, (HT) Eoin Murphy (Kilkenny) for Gerry Keegan, (46th) Gerry Keegan for Seán Ryan.
Referee: Alan Kelly (Galway).