Ulster Claim MMI Interprovincial Crown

Connacht and Ulster contested the MMI Interprovincial Cup Final at Coralstown/Kinnegad on Saturday after an exciting day of top class football featuring all of the stars of Ladies Football. The sides had drawn in the first round before Connacht went on to defeat Leinster and Munster whilst Ulster had a closely fought victory over Munster and survived a late scare from Leinster in the last round.


Fiona McHale was the first to register for Connacht in the final and she was to go on to be a huge influence on the match. Her early point was immediately cancelled out by Geraldine McLaughlin and McLaughlin was denied a goal moments later by the excellent Yvonne Byrne who raced off her line to smother the shot. Sarah Brady then got on the scoresheet for Connacht before a storming run from Fiona McHale who took on the whole Ulster defence before dipping a shot into the top corner for a spectacular goal. McLaughlin scored her second of the day and was followed by a score from play from Monaghan’s Cora Courtney who was starting to grow in influence. Cora Staunton registered her first point of the final from a 40 yard free which was cancelled out by McLaughlin. Caroline O’Hanlon began to make an impact on the game and her perfect pass through to Sinead Greene resulted in a point which left Ulster trailing by 1-05 to 0-05 at half time.


Connacht now faced into a stiff breeze in the second half but Mayo star, Cora Staunton, made light of the conditions as she twisted and turned around Sharon Courtney to score two magnificent early points for Connacht. Ulster’s most dangerous attacker throughout the day had been Caoimhe Mohan from Monaghan and she opened her account with a lovely score on the run which was added to by Cora Courtney with her second to reduce the gap to a goal. Fiona McHale registered her second point of the final but Ciara McAnespie replied for Ulster before the decisive moment of the match as Caoimhe Mohan drove in from the sideline before crossing the ball which was met by the onrushing Eilish Ward who fisted the ball to the Connacht net with time running out. Mohan then took responsibility and drove at the Connacht defence before clipping over her second of the match. The insurance score came after Mohan again linked up with McAnespie who knocked over her second score as referee, Keith Delahunty blew the final whistle.

Ulster captain, Cora Courtney, was presented with the MMI Interprovincial Cup but Connacht had some measure of consolation when the excellent Fiona McHale was named as Player of the Tournament. Leinster also received silverwear as they claimed the shield for the second year in a row after a comprehensive 3-12 to 2-03 win over Munster in the MMI Interprovincial Shield Final

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