Ulster boss Joe Kernan further enhanced his impressive managerial CV when he guided his province to their 29th Inter-Provincial football championship title.
And it was a delighted Kernan who afterwards revealed that the seeds have been sown for a revival of interest in the competition overall.
“It was a fine game and I thought my players stood up to be counted when it was needed most,” he said.
“We were in a bit of difficulty in the third quarter when Munster scored their goal, but the introduction of a number of substitutes helped us to finish strongly. We got the last five points of the match and that was crucial to our success.
“I feel that maybe a closer look should be taken as to just where the competition can be accommodated in the fixtures calendar. Taking the final to London proved a good decision and I think the whole competition can now be boosted.”
Ulster skipper Stephen O’Neill received the trophy afterwards from GAA President Christy Cooney and said: “It’s particularly satisfying that we should be getting this cup as the 125th anniversary celebrations of the GAA reach a climax. The squad and our management team have worked very hard to achieve this.”
Munster manager Ger O’Sullivan had beefed up his side considerably and although Cork players Nicholas Murphy and Daniel Goulding in particular made a big impact, Ulster’s cohesion and teamwork stood them in good stead.
Kernan’s men led by 0-8 to 0-4 at the break, but the first-half was overshadowed by an injury to Ciaran McKeever that necessitated his removal to hospital where initial fears that he had sustained a fractured leg were subsequently proved unfounded.
It was after Waterford’s Gary Hurney had fired in the only goal of the game early in the second period that Munster gained in confidence, but with Kevin Hughes busy in midfield and Conor Gormley exerting his influence at the back, Ulster maintained their momentum.
Derry’s Gerard O’Kane capped a splendid year for him by pocketing two Ulster points and when Down’s Danny Hughes was pitched into the attack, he lost no time in making his mark. Two scores from Hughes helped underpin Ulster’s win while his Down colleague Dan Gordon, who was also sprung from the bench, contributed a fine score from play.
Just as he had done in the semi-final win over Leinster, Gormley swung over a superb score .
Despite the efforts of Goulding and his Cork colleague Donnacha O’Connor, Munster were unable to prise open the Ulster rearguard in the closing stages during which Kernan’s side maximised the scoring opportunities that came their way.