JOE Kernan’s 14-man Ulster clung on to set-up a final with Leinster in next week’s Interprovincial final as they beat Munster 1-14 to 1-13 at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh.
Ulster led by eight at half-time but had to battle from a point down and a man down late on to register a hard-fought win in front of a crowd of 1,600.
Ulster playing with the wind at their backs controlled the opening period and Martin Penrose’s fantastic early goal gave them a five-point cushion early on.
Sean Kavanagh and Monaghan’s Conor McManus in particular were in fine form for the Northerner’s as they raced into a 1-8 to 0-3 lead with Munster’s three scores all coming from Colm O’Neill’s placed-balls.
Ger Collins and Aidan Walsh added points from play fro Munster as they looked to stay in the game but trailed 1-11 to 0-6 at the interval.
Munster needed a spark to get them back into the game and they got it at the restart as Colm O’Neill was fouled in the area and Cork’s Donncha O’Connor scored from the spot.
Points for O’Neill, Gary Brennan and a fine solo effort by Marc O’Se saw Munster close to within two before Ulster were reduced to 14 men when Cavan’s David Givney was dismissed for a second bookable defence.
Further points from Barry O’Driscoll, Paudie Kerrigan and Aidan Walsh put Munster in front and things were looking bleak for Joe Kernan’s men.
A brace of points from Ciaran McKeever saw Ulster retake the lead as they began showing the steel the province has become famous for.
Kavanagh and Aidan O’Mahony swapped points as time ran out and Munster’s had their chances to equalise but couldn’t take them and Ulster clung on.