Munster end 16-year wait as Leinster Girls take fourth in a row
Munster celebrate their first win in the Women’s Interprovincials for 16 years. Picture:  Pat Cashman

Munster celebrate their first win in the Women’s Interprovincials for 16 years. Picture: Pat Cashman

Munster won the Women's Interprovincials for the first time for 16 years at Mount Wolseley as Leinster took their fourth Girls' title in a row.

The Munster women beat Ulster 5-3 as Leinster defeated Connacht 7-1 and while there was a three way tie for first with two wins, the southern province prevailed thanks to their aggregate number of individual matches won.

“I've been playing Interprovincials since I was 14 and have never won one between girls' and women's,” said Ennis’ Sarah Cunningham, who is now 28. 'We didn't know how to celebrate when we won!”

Ulster appeared in control when the final day arrived having already beaten both Connacht and Leinster but the Munster foursomes pairings secured 2.5 points from three in the opening session to send shock waves through the Ulster camp.

Jean O'Driscoll (Muskerry) and debutant Clodagh Coughlan (Douglas) added two further points to the board in the afternoon singles and when Paula Walsh (Doneraile) halved with Niamh McSherry (Lurgan) in the final match, Munster’s victory was confirmed. 

The margins couldn't have been slimmer as with two wins each Munster, Ulster and Leinster could have ultimately won - however it was Munster with the most individual match wins, 16 compared to 14 for Leinster and Ulster

In the Girls’ matches — notable for the presence the youngest player in the history of the competition in 11-year-old Olivia Costello for Connacht — Leinster proved strongest for the fourth year in a row.

They beat Connacht 7-1 with Roscommon Golf Club’s Olivia taking Kilkenny’s Jan Browne to the 17th in her singles.

'These are a great bunch of girls,” said Leinster captain Stephanie McNiff. 'I joked with them that they were to go out and win it for my last year but I couldn't be prouder of how they present themselves both on and off the course.”

The Women's and Girls' Interprovincials will next year be held at Slieve Russell from July 7-9.

Women’s Interprovincials, Mount Wolseley

Detailed scores

Munster 5, Ulster 3 (Munster names first)

Foursomes:

S Sexton & J O’Driscoll bt L Simpson & L Coffey 1h;

R Thompson & P Walsh halved with J Fawcett & J Allen;

S Cunningham & C Coughlan bt N McSherry & M Cummins 1h.

Singles:

Thompson lost to Coffey 2h;

O’Driscoll bt K Dwyer 1h;

Sexton lost to Cummins 2&1;

Coughlan bt Simpson 2&1;

Walsh halved with McSherry.

Connacht 1, Leinster 7 (Connacht names first)

Foursomes

E Gilmore & H Hall lost to C Casey & M Doyle 4&3;

B O’Brien & M Kelly bt D Smith & L Mernagh 2&1;

S Burke & C O’Connor lost to E Metcalfe & E Corcoran 3&2.

Singles

Burke lost to Casey 2&1;

M Rooney lost to Metcalfe 4&3;

Kelly lost to M Dowling 1h;

O’Brien lost to Corcoran 3&2;

Gilmore lost to Doyle 4&3.

Final standings: 1 Munster 2 pts (16 - 8); 2, Ulster 2 (14.5-9.5); 3, Leinster 2 (14.5-9.5); 4, Connacht 0 (3-21).

Girls’ Interprovincials

Detailed scores

Munster 6, Ulster 2 (Munster names first)

Foursomes:

A Dawson & R Connolly bt R Gardner & M O’Hara 5&4;

N O’Dwyer & C Griffin bt O McCrystal & T Laverty 5&4;

S Hegarty & M Sharkey lost to K Poots & E Rodgers 5&4.

Singles:

Dawson bt Gardner 6&5;

O’Dwyer bt O’Hara 1h;

Hegarty bt Poots 2&1;

Griffin bt Laverty 5&3;

E Walsh lost to E Rodgers 3&1.

Connacht 1, Leinster 7 (Connacht names first)

Foursomes:

A Bowler & S Lohan lost to L Temple Lang & E Fleming 4&3;

O Costello & V Conlon lost to J Browne & L Masding 6&5;

A Greham & C Mulrooney bt C Screene & E Murray 6&4.

Singles

Bowler lost to Temple Lang 4&2;

Greham lost to Screene 6&5;

Costello lost to Browne 2&1;

Mulrooney lost to E Fleming 3&2;

K Coleman lost to C O’Grady 3&2

Final standings: 1, Leinster 3pts; 2, Munster 2; 3. Ulster 1; 4, Connacht 0.