Leinster came within ten minutes of completing an interprovincial clean-sweep at Grange Road last weekend but three from four titles represented a more than decent return.
The one that got away proved the women’s senior title as former international Suzanne Beaney struck ten minutes from time to cancel out Cathy McKean’s earlier opener to earn the draw Ulster needed to take the women’s title.
Friday night’s win over Munster had been supplemented by Nicci Daly’s single-goal winner over Connacht on Saturday.
The game-breaker, though, proved to be Alice Garrad’s fortuitous effort for Ulster against Munster to make it 2-0. It was the only tie of the tournament to be decided by more than one goal and came in the wake of southern hesitation after a lifted shot into Sinead McCarthy’s body.
The Ulster women reacted quickest to roll goalwards and Garrad nipped in for a simple touch to secure the goal which ultimately proved vital.
On the men’s senior side, Stephen Butler and Graham Shaw enjoyed what is likely to be their interpro swansong as they jointly lifted the cup.
Friday’s big win over Ulster, combined with Munster and the northern province’s 2-2 draw on Saturday meant the blues needed only a draw on Sunday.
They went one better as Andy McConnell got in around the back of club mate David Harte to grab the winner after Gareth Watkins had earlier grabbed his fourth goal of the tournament.
At U-21 level, the equation was a similar one on Sunday as just a draw was needed to claim the title. Goals from Davy Carson, Brian Doherty and Stephen Cole outdid Dan Hobbs’ pair of corners in their 3-2 win over Munster.
And Leinster’s U-21 women matched that feat in style. They overcame a tough opening battle against Munster to ease past South East on Saturday, captain Anna O’Flanagan leading from the front with a hat-trick before taking the laurels in the winner-takes-all decider with Ulster on Sunday, Railway duo Nikki Evans and Kate McKenna grabbing the goals.
Senior and U21 Interprovincials, Grange Road, Dublin
Ulster 1 (S Quinn) Connacht 0; Munster 0 Leinster 1 (J McDonnell); Leinster 1 (N Daly) Connacht 0; Ulster 2 (S Beaney, A Garrad) Munster 0; Connacht 1 (T Melvin) Munster 2 (A Connery, S McCarthy); Ulster 1 (S Beaney) Leinster 1 (C McKean); Final standings (pts/goal diff): 1 Ulster 7 pts (+3); 2 Leinster 7 pts (+2); 3 Munster 3 pts (-2); 4 Connacht 0 pts (-3).
U21 Women Leinster 3 (N Farrell, H Matthews, N Evans) Munster 2 (K Campbell 2); Ulster 4 (K Hewitt, E Thornbury, S McClure, J Kyle) South East 0; Munster 1 (K Murphy) South East 2 (M Byrne, C Murphy); Leinster 3 (A O’Flanagan 3) South East 0; Munster 0 Ulster 6 (E Thornbury 2, K Lammey, K Steenson, J Kyle, K Hewitt); Ulster 0 Leinster 2 (N Evans, K McKenna) Final standings (pts/goal diff): 1 Leinster 9 pts (+6); 2 Ulster 6 pts (+8); 3 South East 3 pts (-6); 4 Munster 0 pts (-8).
* All the photos from Saturday and Sunday's action can be viewed at the following links: