Three-try Leinster banished the blues of twelve months ago by beating champions Munster for the IWRFU Interprovincial Championship title at Clontarf RFC on Saturday.
IWRFU INTERPRO FINAL: Saturday, November 26
Munster 7 Leinster 17, Clontarf RFC
Scorers: Munster: Try: Jean Lonergan; Con: Sarah-Jane Belton
Leinster: Tries: Tania Rosser, Lynne Cantwell, Grace Davitt; Con: Joanne O'Sullivan
Leinster drew 20-20 with Munster in last season's decider, allowing the ladies in red to retain the title they also won in 2001, 2002 and 2003. But Munster's bid for a five-timer was blown asunder in the first half of Saturday's final. Leinster cut loose for a 17-0 half-time lead.
Coached by Shane McEntee, Leinster hit the front in the fifth minute when Blackrock and Ireland scrum half Tania Rosser touched down after a lineout steal. Ironically, winger Lynne Cantwell, who was Munster's try scoring hero in last year's Interpro decider, bagged Leinster's second try, which was converted by Joanne O'Sullivan. A third touchdown followed before the break from Boyne winger Grace Davitt to almost put the hosts out of sight.
Substitute Jean Lonergan replied for Munster after a charge down on Leinster fly-half Julie Craig late in the second half, but there was to be no denying McEntee's side.
Leinster lock and captain Caroline Mahon said afterwards: "We couldn't believe we were 17-0 up at the break but we knew Munster would come out all guns blazing and they did but our defence was fantastic. I'm delighted for this team to have finally won the title because we were gutted last year to lose out and we've proved that we are the best team in Ireland."
The third/fourth place play-off went Ulster's way as they beat Connacht 12-0.
MUNSTER: Jeanette Feighery; Mairead Kelly, Stacey Kucharchuk, Patrique Kelly (capt), Amanda Greensmith; Sarah-Jane Belton, Louise Beamish; Marie Barrett, Emma Stanley, Laura Guest, Tracy O'Dwyer, Deirdre O'Brien, Rachel Tucker, Eimear O'Sullivan, Joy Neville.
LEINSTER: Joanne O'Sullivan; Grace Davitt, Shannon Houston, Ailish Egan, Lynne Cantwell; Julie Craig, Tania Rosser; Fiona Coghlan, Shirley Corcoran, Sandra McAleer, Germaine Healy, Caroline Mahon (capt), Sinead Ryan, Yvonne Nolan, Orla Brennan.