Leinster and Ulster Dominate Interpros

Last weekend saw the best of Irish provincial talent at Under 21, Senior and Veteran level play for the title of Interprovincial Champions at UCD Sports Centre in Dublin. This year’s event was hosted by the Leinster Branch and they were seeking to claim victory on home ground.

In the Under 21’s, Leinster’s bright young stars delivered the title with some excellent displays. Against Munster, despite a spirited showing from Niamh Buttimer and Deirdre Murphy who claimed 4 points, Leinster claimed a 6-4 victory – O’Rourke and Syzsmanski of St.Johns and Flood of UCD all in inspiring form. A welcome return to action in the Under 21’s for Ulster’s Claire Nelson wasn’t enough to stop Leinster as they claimed a 6-3 victory and confirmed the title. Julie-Anne Forbes recorded a good win in the tie of the match – a titanic 5 setter against Rebecca Irwin.

In the Veterans, Leinster again claimed the title – not without fighting off a spirited charge from Ulster in a tie that went to the final match between Kevin Mackey and Norman Nabney. Ulster’s Pawel Sulkowski recorded excellent victories over Pemberton and the legendary Tommy Caffrey – Sulkowski was to be later named Tommy Caffrey Player of the tournament – so it was apt that he faced off against the great man to earn this award. Aside from the excellent play, this match will also be remembered for the outstanding sportsmanship on display – William Cherry giving up a point at a crucial stage of his match with Tommy Caffrey exemplifies the spirit that the Interpros should be played in. Mackey held his nerve to close out a thrilling 5-setter against Nabney to secure the title for Leinster. Ulster claimed 2nd place, with Munster in 3rd.

In the Seniors, again Ulster and Leinster dominated Munster and Connacht.  Highlights for Munster were Declan O’Brien’s wins over Gavin Maguire and Daryl Strong. Edel O’Reilly also battled hard to claim a thrilling 5-setter over Sabina Devereaux. However the defining match was in Session 3 where Leinster and Ulster clashed. Ashley Robinson (Clogher), along with Amanda Mogey (Carnmoney) and Ashley Givan (Dungannon) were the Ulster Senior stars, remaining undefeated throughout the 3 series event, but Robinson was the undoubted star as he reversed the National Championship final to take out John Murphy 3-2, setting Ulster on the winning way. Gavin Maguire(UCD) claimed a point with a win over Daryl Strong and National Champion Murphy showed his class to defeat Peter Graham to leave Ulster 4:2 ahead. Amanda Mogey claimed the vital 5th point for Ulster with a win over Devereaux before Robinson completed his tournament with a win over Maguire.

Speaking in the aftermath of a succesful event, Leinster Chair Richar Butler stated;

‘The Leinster Branch was pleased to host this event, our thanks go to Tony Martin, Event Referee, and his team; to UCD for the use of their facilities; and to Bewleys Hotel for their hospitality at the Championship dinner.  We congratulate all the players who got the opportunity to represent their province, with special congratulations to the Ulster team on achieving 3 in a row in the Senior event, and also to the Leinster teams for their 11 in a row in the Veterans, and their 9 in a row in the U21 Championships”.

Full results available here