Leinster ease to Interpro Hurling title win
Saturday, March 01, 2014
Interprovincial Hurling Final: Leinster 1-23 Connacht 0-16
Joe Dooley’s Leinster side were comfortable winners of the Interprovincial Hurling Championship title at Croke Park on Saturday evening, defeating Connacht by 10 points in a low key final.
Leinster cruised to their 29th title and denied Connacht what would have been a historic double, with their football team having secured the football title last weekend. Dublin’s Conal Keaney, captain of Leinster, accepted the trophy on his team’s behalf.
Leinster were always in control of the game, although Connacht were only two points behind at the break after a late rally before the interval. The placed-ball excellence of Eoin Larkin was vital for Leinster, who effectively wrapped up the win when Ryan O’Dwyer rattled to the net midway through the second half.
Leinster lead 0-11 to 0-9 at half-time, but their lead would have been greater but for an impressive Connacht surge in the final five minutes of the first half.
Four successful placed balls from Kilkenny ace Larkin had Leinster 0-6 to 0-2 in front at the end of the first quarter, and this lead was extended to 0-11 to 0-5 with 30 minutes played following scores from Keaney and a superb long-range free from the nerveless Larkin.
However, Connacht roused themselves in the final five minutes of the half and hit four points without reply. The impressive Conor Cooney, who finished as Connacht’s top scorer, Richie Commins and Padraig Brehony all fired over before Cooney completed the first half scoring with a well taken point.
Both sides had come close to finding the net around the 15 minute mark, Gary Maguire saving a low Cooney shot from the left before his opposite number James Skehill denied Walter Walsh with a brilliant save at the other end less than a minute later.
Leinster made a superb start to the second half and quickly put the result beyond doubt as Larkin, Colin Fennelly and Lester Ryan raised white flags to make it 0-18 to 0-10. Then, a flowing Leinster moved ended with Larkin setting up O’Dwyer, who rattled a drive past Skehill into the net.
Connacht added a few points before the finish but never threatened a comeback as Leinster finished the stronger of the two sides to wrap up a very straight-forward victory.
LEINSTER: G Maguire (Dublin); P Murphy (Kilkenny), P Kelly (Dublin), A Shore (Wexford); T Walsh (Kilkenny), L Chin (Wexford), L Rushe (Dublin): M Carton (Dublin), R Hogan (Kilkenny); C Keaney (Dublin), R O’Dwyer (Dublin), E Larkin (Kilkenny); W Walsh (Kilkenny), D Currams (Offaly), C Fennelly (Kilkenny). Subs: M Hanlon for A Shore (18), TJ Reid for W Walsh (HT), L Ryan for M Carton (HT), J Bergin for D Currams (51), J McCaffrey for R O’Dwyer (68).
CONNACHT (all Galway): J Skehill; D Collins, S Kavanagh, F Moore; A Harte, I Tannian, Daithi Burke; David Burke, P Brehony; J Coen, C Cooney, J Flynn; R Commins, N Healy, C Mannion. Subs: K Hynes for I Tannian (44), D Dolan for R Commins (45), B Flaherty for A Harte (56), G McInerney for J Coen (69).
Referee: Eamon Hassan (Derry)
Report: Arthur Sullivan