Unstoppable Ulster Retain Interprovincial Title

Ulster made it an incredible 6th MMI Interprovincial title in a row as they defeated Munster in a keenly contested final at Monaghan Harps to retain the title that they have now held since 2012.

However, on the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Ulster Ladies Gaelic Football Association, it was Connacht and Munster that got the action underway as they clashed in the first match of the day. Goals by Jennifer Higgins and Áine Tighe had Connacht looking good as thy lead by 4 points. However, it was to be a short lived lead as Munster hit their stride in the second half as they reeled off 4 quick fire goals of their own to emerge with a 5-09 to 2-11 victory.

The second match saw the defending champions get their campaign underway when they faced a Connacht side that needed a victory to stay in the competition. In a tense encounter it was the be a goal midway through the second half that saw Ulster claim the victory they needed as Donna English netted after a trademark break from midfield.

Following Connacht’s second loss in a row, the final round robin fixture was to be a preview of the final of the competition as Munster and Ulster locked horns. The match burst into life in the second half as Munster hit the net on 3 occasions but it was too little to prevent Ulster from making it a clean sweep as they held out for a 3-04 to 1-12 victory.

With the dress rehearsal over it was now time for the main event as John Niland took charge of the final. Despite getting out to a 2 point lead in the early minutes of the match but they were immediately stunned by an Aisling Doonan goal. However, Munster showed great determination to get back into the match and when Michelle Ryan struck for a second half goal to push Munster into a 1 point lead it looked like a title change was in the offing.

However, Ulster responded like true champions as Niamh Hegarty scored her third point of the match to bring the champions back to level terms and Caroline O’Hanlon restored their lead. From there they never looked back as a succession of points gave Ulster a lead that they would never relinquish. And, although Michelle Ryan did score a point for Munster it was too little too late as the star studded Ulster ladies held their nerve and closed out the match to claim the title.

There were celebrations on the double for Ulster who added their 6th MMI Interprovincial tournament to their 25th Anniversary celebrations. After a fantastic day of football it was fitting that the Player of the Tournament was an Ulster player; Caroline O’Hanlon from Armagh, who was playing her 12th Interprovincial tournament in a row, half of which she has won!



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