Hockey: McConnell fires winner
Leinster were made to work hard yesterday for the 2-1 victory over Munster that secured the interprovincial crown at Grange Road in Dublin yesterday.
In a game of few chances, the eventual winners took the only one that counted in the first half, through Gareth Watkins.
The Monkstown player had already tested the body armour of David Harte with a shot that caught the keeper on the head. But Harte was unable to put anything in the way on 29 minutes when Watkins tapped in at a penalty corner. Munster needed a win in order to squeeze past their hosts to the top of the table after dropping points in Saturday's draw with Ulster.
The upset was still very much on the cards on 54 minutes after John Jermyn equalised on the re-bound after Iain Walker saved his initial effort.
However, the champions elect were spared prolonged anxiety when Andy McConnell showed superb control of a high bouncing ball to score Leinster's winner on 64 minutes.
Elsewhere, Ulster came back from a goal down to draw 1-1 against holders Leinster in yest-erday's head-to-head clash in the senior women's Interprovincial championship. The result proved sufficient for Ulster, who took the title by virtue of a plus one goal difference over Leinster as both finished joint top of the table.