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GAA Football Interprovincial Final – Ulster 3-11 Munster 1-15

Hughes in plea for Interpros

Ulster 3-11 Munster 1-15

By John Fogarty for the Irish Examiner newspaper

“Hopefully Christy doesn’t get his way,” was the cry from Ulster captain Darren Hughes after accepting the M Donnelly Interprovincial SF Cup from the GAA president. The Monaghan man had a quiet word with Cooney after the declaration at the end of his winning speech as if to say he meant no offence with his jibe at the Cork man’s questioning of the series. But Hughes’ words were greeted with a rapturous response from the Ulster supporters in the 2,860 crowd, who remained on to see him lift the silverware as the northern province retained the title they won in 2009 when they also beat Munster. Earlier this week, Cooney suggested the series has had its day but Hughes begged to differ and so did the entertainment in yesterday’s final.

With both sides agreeable to open football and sweepers nowhere to be seen, the fare was pretty on the eye as was the marksmanship from Owen Mulligan and David Tubridy. Donegal full-back Neil McGee turned the game decisively in Ulster’s favour two minutes from the end when he dispatched the ball past Alan Quirke after a flowing move initiated by Hughes. Up until that, Ulster were struggling around midfield and had seen a one-point advantage at half-time — 1-7 to 0-9 — transform into a three-point deficit by the 51st minute. A Peter Harte goal brought them right back in the game only for a shot by substitute Rory Donnelly to cannon off Lacey and into the Ulster net.

Captain Hughes added his second and third points to narrow the deficit to two before McGee’s foray up the field provided the ultimate dividend. Ulster manager Joe Kernan was delighted for his team just as much as he was for the competition, which he feels got a shot in the arm yesterday. “It’s not dead,” he insisted. “If this is dead, then the Sigerson has to be wiped too. There was nobody at it on Saturday. “It is a great competition and the players love playing in it. It’s great for developing players.” Kernan criticised the lack of promotion done for the final. “I was listening to a lot of the radio stations down south yesterday and not one of them mentioned this game was on today, which was disappointing.”

His opposite number Ger O’Sullivan agreed the competition can go from strength to strength on the back of the final’s quality. He pinpointed the profile it had given to players from Division 4counties like Clare duo Tubridy, who scored eight points, Gary Brennan as well as Waterford’s Gary Hurney. “I’ve seen them first hand in Munster and they’re as good as any player in Munster, nationally, really. They’ll get on any team in Ireland.” O’Sullivan rued Munster’s missed chances when they went three points ahead twice in the second-half. We had a chance or two to go ahead by more but we didn’t take them. We left the door open.”

Kernan was thrilled with the effort of his players. “We gave the boys the freedom to go out and play but they had to have a responsibility and couldn’t be kamikaze. “They did that and they worked for each other — when somebody went up, somebody covered. The ball that Darren Hughes broke to win the ball for the winning goal … bad players don’t win them balls — wholehearted players do and it just epitomised what the boys were like all day.”

By half time, Tubridy and Paddy Kelly had notched all but two of Munster’s total of nine points. Munster looked to attack as much as possible but they discovered the consequence was gaps between their two back lines, which Mulligan exploited at will. The Tyrone player had bagged three points by the break while winning a free, which Martin Penrose converted, and setting up Mark Poland with a superb pass for another score. Poland was the recipient of another terrific ball from Benny Coulter to score Ulster’s first goal. It was their first of three as Munster, despite Tubridy and Paul Kerrigan’s tag team partnership in the second-half, found out to their cost.

Scorers for Ulster: M Poland 1-1 (1f), O Mulligan 0-4 (1f), P Harte, N McGee 1-0, D Hughes 0-3 (2 45s), M Penrose 0-2 (1f), D Gordon 0-1.

Scorers for Munster: D Tubridy 0-8 (3fs, 1 45), P Kerrigan 0-3, K Lacey (og) 1-0, P Kelly, G Hurney (f) 0-2 each.

ULSTER: B McVeigh (Down); B Donaghy (Armagh), N McGee, K Lacey (both Donegal); J Loughrey (Antrim), D Hughes (Monaghan), C McKeever (Armagh); 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: Joe McMahon (Tyrone) for Gilligan (inj. 23), O Lennon (Monaghan) for Kavanagh (47), V Corey (Monaghan) for Loughrey (50).

MUNSTER: A Quirke (Cork); A O’Mahony (Kerry), J McCarthy, S Lavin (both Limerick); T Ó Se (Kerry), G Canty, P Kissane (both Cork); G Brennan (Clare), S Scanlon (Kerry); P Kelly, P Kerrigan (both Cork), J Cooke (Limerick); D Tubridy (Clare), G Hurney (Waterford), I Ryan (Limerick).

Subs: P O’Neill (Cork) for Cooke (44); R Donnelly (Clare) for Kelly (50); M Collins for Ryan (62).

Referee: Michael Duffy (Sligo)

Ulster take Interprovincial title in dramatic style

From the web site

Ulster 3-11 Munster 1-15

Ulster and Munster served up an Interprovincial football final classic at the Athletic Grounds today, where the northern province retained the title with a late smash-and-grab raid in the form of a goal from full back Neil McGee. A crowd of less than 3,000 turned up, but the quality of this thrilling encounter should give the competition a reprieve of another couple of seasons at least. Ulster’s 30th title takes them two clear of nearest rivals Leinster, but for long stages, Munster looked as if they were set to claim their 16th success.

Inspired by the clinical finishing of Clare’s David Tubridy, who finished with eight points, they seized control in the third quarter, and Rory Donnelly’s goal took them to within touching distance of triumph. But McGee charged forward to blast a superb winning goal to the net two minutes from the end. In front of a crowd of 2,860, Owen Mulligan wasted no time in making his mark, curling over Ulster’s opening point after just 30 seconds. But scores from Clare’s David Tubridy, from a free, and Paddy Kelly had the southerners ahead by the fifth minute.

In an open and entertaining contest, both sides placed the emphasis on playing constructive football, with no sign of sweepers or extra men committed to the defensive cause. And the consequence was a high-scoring opening half which saw the sided level on six occasions. Tubridy looked lively in the left corner throughout, hitting five points, there of them delightful efforts from play, while Kelly and Cork team-mate Paul Kerrigan also found the target.

But while Munster’s approach often focused on route one ball to Waterford full forward Gary Hurney, Ulster, playing into the wind, displayed more fluency and flair, with Mulligan jinking his way around marker Aidan O’Mahony to hit his second point. Monaghan’s Darren Hughes thumped a ’45 between the posts to level the game on the half-hour, and a minute later, the holders struck for a goal. Ciaran McKeever punted a long ball down the right wing in the direction of Benny Coulter, who picked out his down colleague Mark Poland, and he stepped around goalkeeper Alan Quirke before planting the ball in the net. Two more from Tubridy narrowed the gap to a point, Ulster ahead by 1-7 to 0-9 at the break.

Tubridy’s sixth point, from a ’45, had the sides level within two minutes of the restart, and with Gary Brennan and Seamus Scanlon bossing midfield, they went three clear in the 54th minute. Ulster had defended desperately for long stages, but they were given a massive boost when, for the second time in the game, Coulter showed wonderful vision to cross for Peter Harte to first-time to the net with a quarter of an hour to play. But Munster restored their three points cushion four minutes later through substitute Rory Donnelly, another Clare man, whose rasping shot was deflected past Ulster goalkeeper Brendan McVeigh by Karl Lacey.

Despite this latest setback, Ulster had the confidence and composure to play themselves back into the game. Centre back Darren Hughes inspirational captaincy to drive a ’45 through the posts before adding a point from play. In the 68th minute, full back McGee got on the end of a move involving Lacey and Harte to fire an angled shot to the net for a sensational winner.


Ulster: M Poland 1-1, P Harte, N McGee 1-0 each, O Mulligan 0-4 (1f), D Hughes 0-3 (2 ’45), M Penrose 0-2 (1f), D Gordon 0-1.

Munster: R Donnelly 1-0, D Tubridy 0-8 (3f, 1 ’45), P Kerrigan 0-3, P Kelly, G Hurney (1f) 0-2 each.


Ulster: B McVeigh, B Donaghy, N McGee, K Lacey, C McKeever, D Hughes, J Loughrey, D Gordon, R Kavanagh, P Harte, M Poland, M Penrose, C Gilligan, B Coulter, O Mulligan.

Subs: J McMahon for Gilligan, O Lennon for Kavanagh, V Corey for Loughrey

Munster: A Quirke, A O’Mahony, J McCarthy, S Lavin, T O Se, G Canty, P Kissane, G Brennan, S Scanlon, P Kelly, P Kerrigan, J Cooke, D Tubridy, G Hurney, I Ryan.

Subs: P O’Neill for Cooke, R Donnelly for Kelly, M Collins for Ryan

Referee: M Duffy (Sligo)

Click to view photos from the final on Munster GAA Facebook

Team News

There are a number of changes to the Munster Football panel to play Ulster in Sunday’s M Donnelly Inter Provincial Final at the Morgan Athletic Grounds Armagh (2:00pm throw-in).

Limerick’s Seanie Buckley (injured) and Waterford’s Thomas O’Gorman (family commitments) are ruled out of the Munster panel. Meanwhile, Munster manager Ger O’Sullivan has added Rory Donnelly (Clare), Pearse O’Neill (Cork) and Marc O’Se (Kerry) to the panel. Tomás Ó Sé will captain the Munster team.

Munster SF panel v Ulster – Gary Brennan (Clare), Rory Donnelly (Clare), Gordan Kelly (Clare), David Tubridy (Clare), Graham Canty (Cork), Mark Collins (Cork), Patrick Kelly (Cork), Paul Kerrigan (Cork), Paudie Kissane (Cork), Pearse O’Neill (Cork), Alan Quirke (Cork), Brendan Kealy (Kerry), Aidan O Mahony (Kerry), Marc O Se (Kerry), Tomas O Se (Kerry – Captain), Seamus Scanlon (Kerry), John Cooke (Limerick), Steven Lavin (Limerick), Johnny McCarthy (Limerick), Pa Ranahan (Limerick), Ian Ryan (Limerick), Shane Briggs (Waterford), Gary Hurney (Waterford), Patrick Hurney (Waterford), Maurice O’Gorman (Waterford)

Ulster Team for Sunday’s Inter-Pro Football Final: Brendan McVeigh; Brendan Donaghy, Neil McGee, Karl Lacey; Ciaran McKeever, Darren Hughes, James Loughrey; Dan Gordan, Rory Kavanagh; Peter Harte, Mark Poland, Martin Penrose; Conleith Gilligan, Benny Coulter, Owen Mulligan

Contact Munster GAA PRO Ed Donnelly at for more information

For the Record

Munster Ulster
Team Manager Ger O’Sullivan (Cork) Joe Kernan (Armagh)
Team Captain Tomás Ó Sé (Kerry) Darren Hughes (Monaghan)
2009 Performance (last year this competition was played) Defeated Connacht by 1-16 to 1-13 in the Semi-Final before losing to Ulster in the final Defeated Leinster in nthe Semi-Final before defeating Munster in the final by 0-15 to 1-8
Number of Football titles 15 29
Last Football Title 2008 2009
Inter Provincial Football Record since 2000 Played – 14
Won – 5
Lost – 9
Drawn – 0
Played – 18
Won – 14
Lost – 4
Drawn – 0

2012 M Donnelly Inter Provincial Football Fixtures / Results

Semi-Finals (Extra time)

Sunday February 19th

@ Parnell Park Dublin                      Munster 1-16 Leinster 1-13

@ Markevicz Park Sligo                  Ulster 3-16 Connacht 0-11

Final (Extra time)

Sunday February 26th

@ Morgan Athletic Grounds            Munster v Ulster                                 @ 2:00pm

Inter Provincial Football – A look back

Ulster have defeated Munster in the last 8 Inter Provincial Finals they have contested dating back to 1979.

Munster’s last victory over Ulster in a final came in 1978 after a replay on a scoreline of 4-12 to 0-19.

Ulster and Munster have played 48 times in the Inter Provincial Football competition since their first meeting in 1927. Ulster have won 25, Munster 18 while there have been 5 draws.

The record of the teams in Inter Provincial Finals involving both Munster and Ulster is Played 17, Ulster 11, Munster 4 and Drawn 2.

Munster have won 15 Inter Provincial Football titles. The breakdown by county of winning Munster Football captains is as follows – Kerry (11), Cork (4). John O’Keeffe (Kerry) is the only player to captain Munster to Inter Provincial Football success on two occasions, winning in 1977 and 1978 while playing at full-back. Tomas O Se is aiming become the 11th captain from Kerry to lead Munster to Inter Provincial Football honours.

Munster Football panel member Rory Donnelly (Cooraclare and Clare) is a nephew of Martin Donnelly, current sponsor of the competition. Rory was part of the team which lost to Ulster by 2-13 to 0-9 in the 2005 semi-final.

Munster did not win an Inter Provincial Football title from 1950 through 1971.

After winning the 1999 title (captained by Seamus Moynihan of Kerry), Munster lost in the semi-final for the next 7 consecutive years. During those barren years, Nicholas Murphy (Cork) played in 6 of the 7 games, missing out only in 2004 before getting his just rewards as winning Munster captain in 2008.

Munster captured 4 Inter Provincial Football titles in a row from 1975 to 1978. Jimmy Barry-Murphy (Cork), Dave McCarthy (Cork), John O’Keeffe (Kerry), Ger Power (Kerry) and John Egan (Kerry) won medals in all four years.

Munster captured the first ever Inter Provincial Football competition in 1927 with victories over Ulster and Connacht.  John Joe Sheehy of Kerry was the winning captain.

Inter Provincial Football Roll Of Honour

Ulster (29) – 1942, 1943, 1947, 1950, 1956, 1960, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2009

Leinster (28) – 1928, 1929, 1930, 1932, 1933, 1935, 1939, 1940, 1944, 1945, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1974, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006

Munster (15) – 1927, 1931, 1941, 1946, 1948, 1949, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1999, 2008

Connacht (9) – 1934, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1951, 1957, 1958, 1967, 1969

List of Munster Inter Provincial Football Teams

Visit the Munster GAA web site at to view the list of all the teams to represent Munster in the Inter Provincial Football competition

Most Recent meeting – Ulster v Munster

2009 Final – Ulster 0-15 Munster 1-8 – Ruislip on November 8th

Munster Team: Paul Fitzgerald (Tipperary); Tomas O’Gorman (Waterford), Johnny McCarthy (Limerick), Padraig Reidy (Kerry); Maurice O’Gorman (Waterford), Michael Shields (Cork); Pa Ranahan (Limerick); Nicholas Murphy (Cork), Pierce O’Neill (Cork); Patrick Kelly (Cork), Donncha O’Connor (Cork – Captain), Paul Kerrigan (Cork); Gary Hurney (Waterford), Daniel Goulding (Cork), Liam Ó Lionáin (Waterford)
Subs: Robbie Costigan (Tipperary) for Maurice O’Gorman, James Ryan (Limerick) for Paul Kerrigan, Seamus Scanlon (Kerry) for Pierce O’Neill, Aidan Walsh (Cork) for Liam Ó Lionáin. Joe Hayes (Clare). Alan O’Connor (Cork), Colm O’Neill (Cork), Shane Walsh (Waterford), Ger Quinlan (Clare) played in the semi-final.

Ulster Team: J Devine (Tyrone); K Lacey (Donegal), Justin McMahon (Tyrone), G O’Kane (Derry); A Kernan (Armagh), C McKeever (Armagh), R Flanagan (Cavan); K Hughes (Tyrone), E McGinley (Tyrone); P Finlay (Monaghan), B Coulter (Down), Joe McMahon (Tyrone); P Bradley (Derry), S O’Neill (Tyrone), M Murphy (Donegal)
Subs: C Gormley (Tyrone) for McKeever (28); R McCloskey (Fermanagh) for Lacey (ht); D Hughes (Down) for Joe McMahon (41); D Gordon (Down) for Murphy (43); T Freeman (Monaghan) for Hughes (52).

Most Recent victory for Munster v Ulster

2008: Semi-Final: Munster 1-5 Ulster 0-5 – October 26th at Fermoy

Munster: Paul Fitzgerald (Tipperary); Diarmuid Duggan (Cork), Johnny McCarthy (Limerick), Padraig Reidy (Kerry); Tomas Ó Sé (Kerry), Stephen Lavin (Limerick), Tomas O’Gorman (Waterford); John Galvin (Limerick), Nicholas Murphy (Cork); Patrick Kelly (Cork), Daniel Goulding (Cork), Maurice O’Gorman (Waterford); Donncha O’Connor (Cork), Micheal Cussen (Cork), Ian Ryan (Limerick).
Subs: Alan O’Connor (Cork) for Kelly (38), Liam Ó Lionáin (Waterford) for M O’Gorman (56), Michael Crowley (Limerick) for Ryan (59)

Ulster: J Devine (Tyrone); F Moriarty (Armagh), V Corey (Monaghan), K Lacey (Donegal); D Harte (Tyrone), C Gormley (Tyrone), A Carr (Down); D Clerkin (Monaghan), R Kavanagh (Donegal); B Dooher (Tyrone), B Mallon (Armagh), D Hughes (Down); S Johnston (Cavan), E Bradley (Derry), T Freeman (Monaghan).
Subs: K Toner (Armagh) for Johnston (38), S O’Neill for Bradley, E Lennon (Monaghan) for Carr, R Flanagan (Cavan) for Hughes (all 44), R Woods for Kavanagh (53).

Last Inter Provincial Football Title for Munster

2008: Final – Munster 1-9 Connacht 0-7

Munster team: Paul Fitzgerald (Tipperary); Diarmuid Duggan (Cork), Johnny McCarthy (Limerick), Padraig Reidy (Kerry); Tomas Ó Sé (Kerry), Steven Lavin (Limerick), Tomas O’Gorman (Waterford); John Galvin (Limerick), Nicholas Murphy (Cork – Captain); Patrick Kelly (Cork), Donnacha O’Connor (Cork), Maurice O’Gorman (Waterford); Daniel Goulding (Cork), Alan O’Connor (Cork), Ian Ryan (Limerick)
Subs: Robbie Costigan (Tipperary) for Tomas O’Gorman, John Hayes (Cork) for Alan O’Connor, Steven O’Donoghue (Cork) for Patrick Kelly, Eddie Rockett (Waterford) for Maurice O’Gorman, Michael Crowley (Limerick) for Ian Ryan. Joe Hayes (Clare). Michael Cussen (Cork) and Liam Ó Lionáin (Waterford) played in the semi-final.