Friday 15 December 2017

Kernan demands plan to preserve 'vital' inter-pros

Ulster 3-11 Munster 1-15

Kernan: Victorious manager
Kernan: Victorious manager

THIS competition got an unexpected kiss of life at the Morgan Athletic Grounds, Armagh, yesterday when Ulster showed considerable resilience in edging out Munster in a thrilling contest.

A crowd of close to 3,000, that included GAA president Christy Cooney and director general Paraic Duffy, witnessed a ration of flair, adventure and sportsmanship not normally associated with high-intensity confrontations.

Ulster manager Joe Kernan, while hailing his side's victory, lost no time in sending out a sharp massage to the GAA hierarchy. "I think that the GAA authorities should sit down with representatives of the various provinces and the four team managers and map out a better way ahead for this competition," he declared.

"I have always maintained that it serves a vital role within the Association and I think this was very forcibly underlined in this game."

Kernan's side were pushed to the pin of their collar by a fired-up Munster outfit.

Mark Poland blazed in a spectacular goal as Ulster led by 1-7 to 0-9 at the break.

But Munster appeared to have taken a stranglehold in the third quarter when Man of the Match David Tubridy landed a brace of scores, with Paul Kerrigan also contributing two and Gary Hurney one, as Munster swept into a 0-14 to 1-8 lead. When Mulligan and Tubridy exchanged points, the balance of power still rested with Ger O'Sullivan's side.

But Peter Harte tucked away Benny Coulter's subtle pass for a 60th-minute Ulster goal and it injected the side with fresh confidence.

In the closing minutes, Ulster skipper Darren Hughes flashed over two points before Neil McGee drilled home a third goal in the 68th minute.

Man of the Match: D Tubridy (Munster).

scorers -- Ulster: O Mulligan 0-4 (1f), M Poland 1-1, P Harte, N McGee 1-0 each, D Hughes 0-3 (2f), M Penrose 0-2, D Gordon 0-1. Munster: D Tubridy 0-8 (4f), P Kerrigan 0-3, R Donnelly 1-0, P Kelly, G Hurney 0-2 each.

Ulster -- B McVeigh (Down); B Donaghy (Armagh), N McGee (Donegal), K Lacey (Donegal); C McKeever (Armagh), D Hughes (Monaghan), J Loughrey (Antrim); D Gordon (Down), R Kavanagh (Donegal); P Harte (Tyrone), M Poland (Down), M Penrose (Tyrone); C Gilligan (Derry), B Coulter (Down), O Mulligan (Tyrone). Subs: J McMahon (Tyrone) for Gilligan (29), E Lennon (Monaghan) for Kavanagh (45), V Corey (Monaghan) for Loughrey. (50).

Munster -- A Quirke (Cork); A O'Mahony (Kerry), J McCarthy (Limerick), S Lavin (Limerick); T O Se (Kerry), G Canty (Cork), P Kissane (Cork); G Brennan (Clare), S Scanlon (Kerry); P Kelly (Kerry), P Kerrigan (Cork), J Cooke (Limerick); D Tubridy (Clare), G Hurney (Waterford), I Ryan (Limerick). Subs: P O'Neill for Cooke (42), R Donnelly (Clare) for Kelly (49), M Collins for Ryan (62).

Ref -- M Duffy (Sligo).

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