Connaught 42 Ulster 41
Ulster got off to a good start by winning the tap down and taking the first score of the game. The next few scores went one for one but then a couple of turnovers by Ulster allowed Connaught to take advantage and go into a 3 point lead. Ulster worked hard to cut into the lead and through relentless pressure had it down to one by halftime leaving it 22-21 to Connaught at this stage. The 3rd quarter was good to Connaught and by it’s end they had regained a 3 point lead however it was still all to play for. Ulster came out fighting in the final quarter forcing a number of mistakes from Connaught and with a little over a minute to go the scores were back to level. Connaught were not going to give up easy and managed to force a turnover late on and take the lead with 8 seconds remaining. Overtime was on the cards when Alan Lynch inbounded an excellent long ball for Stephen Hickey to push on to but unfortunately it slipped away from his grasp allowing Connaught to hold out to make it through to the 2012 final.
Muster 38 Leinster 35
Following a short break the teams of Leinster & Munster were introduced by the MC for the day for the 2nd semi-final. The game started with Munster showing they meant business following some aggressive hits from Alan Dineen on a number of the Leinster starters. The game stayed tight early on but Munster took control as the game went on and they led by 6 at half time. Leinster came out strong in the 3rd quarter and began to eat into the lead. With good teamwork and pressure the lead was down to 3 by the end of the quarter. The final period was very tight and pretty much went score for score resulting in Munster holding on to their 3 point lead right to the end.
3rd/4th place off – Leinster 40 Ulster 37
Ulster still hurting from their 1 point defeat earlier came out all guns blazing and dominated the first half. Leinster were struggling to gel together initially allowing Ulster to build an 8 point lead by half time. The cliché of ‘A Game of Two Halves’ was never more applicable here as Leinster were a different team in the second half. Leinster came out like a team possessed as their first half was well below standard. They steadily ate into Ulster's lead and managed to sneak in front late in the 4th quarter. Ulster tried to contain them as best they could but running out of steam they could not stop Leinster's momentum allowing them to hold out for a three point win.
Final – Munster 43 Connaught 32
The early stages saw no quarter given with the intensity and effort high from both sides. It remained tight for most of the first half however Munster had gotten to a 4 point lead by the end of the 3rd quarter. In the final quarter Connaught had to throw caution to the wind to go for everything. This saw them dominate the first 3 minutes or so of the quarter forcing Munster to use up their remaining timeouts along with a couple more turnovers getting the score back to two points. Unfortunately for them they could not keep it up and Munster managed to steady the ship forcing Connaught into mistakes. Due the hard hitting of Alan (affectionately known as 'Ram Rod') Dineen, Connaught were caught too close to the line on a couple of occasions and without any timeouts left had to throw the ball away for the turnovers.
The combination of experience with John McCarty and Joe Reeves along with the youth of Alan Dineen, Martin Coleman and Jonny Mulhall, Munster where able to hold on and push ahead for a convincing victory in the end.
This concluded the 2012 season following a great effort from all the players and volunteers in making it a great season. A big thanks to everyone that was involved. We look forward to the 2013 League and witnessing some more very exciting matches. We would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.