/ GAA

Leinster 1-15 Munster 1-12

Updated: Saturday, 01 Nov 2008 22:08

Munster's Tom Kenny and Richie Power of Leinster in action in Portlaoise this evening
Munster's Tom Kenny and Richie Power of Leinster in action in Portlaoise this evening

Kilkenny's Richie Power stood out as Leinster claimed their first M Donnelly Interprovincial hurling title since 2006, thanks to a three-point victory under the O'Moore Park floodlights at Portlaoise.

Power top-scored with 0-09 but it was a 51st-minute goal from from his county team-mate Richie Hogan that set Leinster on the way to their 25th title success.

Leinster held a 0-03 to 0-02 lead after eight minutes' play, but a resolute Munster defence came out on top during the remainder of the first half with Cork's Seán Óg Ó hAilpín putting in a magnificent display.

A solid Munster rearguard only leaked two further points before the interval as they fired scores from all angles at the opposite end.

Scores from Tipperary's Paul Kelly and Cork defender John Gardiner had Munster back in front by the tenth minute, while a goal Andrew O'Shaughnessy, three minutes later, helped open up a four-point gap.

The Limerick attacker cut through the Leinster defence with great pace and blasted a powerful shot to the back of the net, giving Leinster goalkeeper PJ Ryan no chance.

Leinster clawed a point back, thanks to a fourth Richie Power score, but the second quarter belonged to Munster.

Two points each from Waterford's Eoin Kelly and Ben O'Connor of Cork helped their side to a 1-08 to 0-05 half-time advantage.

However, it was a totally different script for the second half as Munster played second fiddle and John Conran's charges gradually got on top.

The introduction of Brian Hogan into midfield and a number of tactical switches helped swing the game back in Leinster's favour.

Richie Power and Eoin Kelly traded early points, but Leinster hit four points without reply as substitute Aidan Fogarty scored from his first touch, while Hogan, Power and Michael Rice were also on target.

Munster got a point back thanks to a sixth Eoin Kelly effort to lead 1-10 to 0-10 as the game entered the final quarter.

Yet, the closing 15 minutes firmly belonged to Leinster. Hogan's goal came at a crucial stage and paved the way for the win.

And although Power failed to convert a late penalty, following a foul on Laois' Tommy Fitzgerald, it mattered little as Leinster prevailed to send Kilkenny's Tommy Walsh up to accept the cup after the game.

Scorers for Leinster: R Power 0-09 (0-06f, 0-01 '65', 0-01 pen), R Hogan 1-01, J O'Connor, A Fogarty, E Brennan, E Larkin, M Rice 0-01 each.

Scorers for Munster: E Kelly 0-07 (0-06f), A Shaughnessy 1-00, B O'Connor 0-02, N Gilligan, J Gardiner, Paul Kelly 0-01 each.

LEINSTER: PJ Ryan (Kilkenny); J Dalton (Kilkenny), J Tyrrell (Kilkenny), D Franks (Offaly); T Walsh (Kilkenny), R Fallon (Dublin), J O'Connor (Wexford); R Hanniffy (Offaly), E Coady (Carlow); M Rice (Kilkenny), B Murtagh (Westmeath), E Larkin (Kilkenny); E Brennan (Kilkenny), R Power (Kilkenny), R Hogan (Kilkenny).

Subs used: B Hogan (Kilkenny) for Coady (half-time), A Fogarty (Kilkenny) for Murtagh (34 mins), D Horan (Offaly) for Dalton (44), T Fitzgerald (Laois) for Larkin (60).

MUNSTER: B Cummins (Tipperary); C O'Brien (Tipperary), P Curran (Tipperary), S Hickey (Limerick); J Gardiner (Cork), G Quinn (Clare), S Óg Ó hAilpín(Cork); T Kenny (Cork), B O'Connell (Clare); P Kelly (Tipperary), T Carmody (Clare), B O'Connor (Cork); A O'Shaughnessy (Limerick), E Kelly (Waterford), N Gilligan (Clare).

Subs used: D Óg Cusack (Cork) for Cummins (half-time), L Corbett (Tipperary) for Carmody (41 mins), D Fanning (Tipperary) for Quinn (43), S Callinan (Tipperary) for O'Shaughnessy (56).

Referee: Pat Greene (Galway)

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