Munster 2-20 Leinster 2-16
Rising Clare star Aaron Shanagher’s late goal sealed a 46th GAA Interprovincial hurling title for Munster in Thurles this evening.
Shanagher, brought on as 50th-minute sub, netted nine minutes later to complete a come-from-behind victory for Anthony Daly’s Munster.
In an entertaining fixture at Semple Stadium, watched by just 592 spectators, the sides traded goals within a minute of each other midway through the second half.
But as Munster emptied their bench in the second half, subs made a big impact as Waterford’s Stephen Bennett lofted over the lead score five minutes from time, before Shanagher’s late intervention sealed victory for Daly’s men.
Leinster, champions in 2014, were five points ahead on three occasions in the second half but Munster reeled them in to clinch a first crown since 2013, as they hit 1-05 without reply in the closing minutes.
Having drawn level at 1-14 apiece, when Clare’s David Reidy netted midway through the second half, Munster were rocked by the concession of a goal from Leinster’s next attack, Wexford’s Lee Chin on target as the sides traded goals within a minute.
But there was life left in Munster and Cork’s Alan Cadogan made a big impact in the second half – knifing three points from play – as Limerick’s Barry Nash chipped in with a brace.
With the sides deadlocked late on, Waterford’s Stephen Bennett landed the lead score five minutes from time before Shanagher’s goal sealed it.
Leinster were 1-11 to 0-10 clear at half-time, having fallen four points down in the early exchanges.
Reid was Leinster’s leading light in the opening half, hitting 1-02 of his 1-04 from play, as Kilkenny team-mate Walter Walsh and Laois man Charles Dwyer picked off two points each.
Seamus Callanan had two early points as Munster surged into a 0-04 to 0-00 advantage within seven minutes but Leinster, with Reid prominent, worked their way back into contention and were level at 0-06 apiece midway through the half.
A pair of Dan McCormack points gave Munster some breathing space again but a run of 1-03 without reply from Leinster, playing without suspended Colin Fennelly and concussed Ryan O’Dwyer, put them in the ascendancy.
Reid’s goal arrived five minutes before half-time as he cut in from the left touchline before firing in a shot that squirted beneath Darren Gleeson and into the Killinan End net.
Reid added a free and Leinster were four points clear – 1-10 to 0-09 – before Callanan (free) and Dwyer traded points before the break.
But Munster were unlucky not to raise a green flag of their own in the first half when Reidy scorched a shot off James Dempsey’s crossbar in the 13th minute, with Callanan on hand to pick up the pieces for a point.
MUNSTER: D Gleeson (Tipperary); B Coughlan (Waterford), J Barry (Tipperary), N Connors (Waterford); D Byrnes (Limerick) (0-01), C Dillon (Clare), P Maher (Tipperary); B Maher (Tipperary), J Barron (Waterford) (0-01); D McCormack (Tipperary) (0-02), M Breen (Tipperary) (0-01), Shane Bennett (Waterford); J O’Dwyer (Tipperary), S Callanan (Tipperary) (0-07, 4f, 1 65), D Reidy (Clare) (1-02).
Subs: N McGrath (Tipperary) for Shane Bennett (h.t.), A Cadogan (Cork) (0-03) for B Maher (h.t.), B Nash (Limerick) (0-02) for McCormack (h.t.), S Dowling (Limerick) for O’Dwyer (50), A Shanagher (Clare) (1-00) for Breen (50), Stephen Bennett (Waterford) (0-01) for Barron (51), S Fives (Waterford) for Coughlan (55), T Murnane (Kerry) for Dillon (55), C Lynch (Limerick) for Callanan (60+1).
LEINSTER: J Dempsey (Offaly); M Whelan (Laois), T Doyle (Westmeath), L Ryan (Wexford); P Walsh (Kilkenny), K Joyce (Kilkenny), C Crummey (Dublin); C Fogarty (Kilkenny), S Ryan (Offaly); W Walsh (Kilkenny) (0-04), L Chin (Wexford) (1-01), C Dwyer (Laois) (0-02); S Dooley (Offaly) (0-01), TJ Reid (Kilkenny) (1-06, 0-04f), G Keegan (Kildare) (0-02).
Referee: A Kelly (Galway).