Munster's Siobhan Fleming lifts the cup in triumph after her side clinched the interprovincial series with victory over Leinster at Thomond Park
THE Munster Women's team eased past Leinster 11-5 at Thomond Park on Saturday afternoon to be crowned IRFU Women's Interprovincial Champions in the final match of their campaign.
Munster regained the Championship crown by the very narrowest of margins after defeating two-in-a-row title hunters Leinster. In Laura Guest's first season in charge, Munster's second win of the campaign saw them pip Leinster on scoring difference.
With Munster and Leinster finishing with two victories and 10 Championship points apiece, it was the Reds who were crowned champions thanks to their +29 scoring differential, compared to Leinster's +27.
With Ciara Griffin, Niamh Kavanagh and goal-kicking scrum half Ellen Murphy leading the charge, Munster built a 6-0 interval lead with Murphy splitting the posts after eight and 11 minutes.
Munster also added a 50th minute try as former Ireland hooker Gillian Bourke powered over on the end of maul.
The conversion was missed and Leinster hit back with a try from scrum half Ailsa Hughes.
However, Munster held on stoutly to claim a famous success.
MUNSTER WOMEN: Laura O'Mahony (UL Bohemians); Laura Sheehan (UL Bohemians), Aine Staunton (UL Bohemians), Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemians), Syphonia Pua (UL Bohemians); Rachel Allen (UL Bohemians), Ellen Murphy (Old Belvedere); Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemians), Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians), Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemians), Siobhan McCarthy (Railway Union), Chloe Pearse (UL Bohemians), Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians), Siobhan Fleming (Tralee) (capt), Anna Caplice (UL Bohemians). Replacements: Leah Lyons (Highfield), Maura Collins (Tralee), Zoe Grattage (Highfield), Roisin Ormond (Ballincollig), Edel Murphy (UL Bohemians), Christine Arthurs (Highfield), Valerie Power (Shannon), Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (UL Bohemians).
LEINSTER WOMEN: Nicole Carroll (Suttonians); Aimee Clarke (Railway Union), Aine Donnelly (Old Belvedere), Michelle Claffey (Blackrock), Susan Vaughan (Railway Union); Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere), Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union); Lindsay Peat (Railway Union), Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union), Fiona O'Brien (Old Belvedere), Aoife McDermott (Railway Union), Orla Fitzsimons (St. Mary's), Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere), Ciara Cooney (Railway Union), Paula Fitzpatrick (St Mary's) (capt). Replacements: Jennie Finlay (Old Belvedere), Caoimhe Molloy (Gorey), Christy Haney (St. Mary's), Rachel Horan (CYM), Meg Kendal (Railway Union), Megan Parkinson (Wicklow), Meaghan Kenny (Railway Union), Maria Kenny (Old Belvedere).