Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Leinster Women’s League finals

A summary of last Saturday’s finals at Edenderry Rugby Club by Sarah Lennon…

Women's Rugby column

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The Leinster Women’s League finals took place in Edenderry on Saturday in the culmination of the league season in Divisions 1-4. Teams from all across the province were in attendance with Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford, Westmeath and Carlow all represented. There was a great atmosphere in the Edenderry Rugby Club, despite the weather and copious amounts of mud on display and all four games were played in great competitive spirit.

The Division 4 final was between Old Belvedere J2 and CYM. Both of these teams were in their very first league campaign and they had topped their groups en route to the semi-finals. The teams had won convincingly in their respective semi-finals so a close affair was predicted. The day commenced with this final and ultimately it was CYM who prevailed 12-0 with two early tries proving crucial.

In Division 3, Arklow took on Gorey in a local derby. Arklow were favourites having topped the group but the two previous encounters had been decided by a single score on each occasion and Gorey were out to win the one that mattered. It was the experienced Amazons that won on the day howeve,r completing a hattrick of wins over Gorey for the season.

The Division 2 final saw Mullingar take on Tullow. Both of these teams were very experienced and Mullingar went into the game as favourites having won all 9 of their league matches. Tullow knew that if they wanted to win they would have to do something that they hadn’t managed in the two league games between the teams and score! However, in an extraordinary match, the score was tied 0-0 after 100 minutes of rugby and as there were no cards to break the tie it was a penalty shootout. Tullow held their nerve and were successful with one of their three allocated kicks. It was enough to seal the title for the Carlow ladies.

The last match to kick off was the Leinster Division 1 match between Old Belvedere J1 and Clondalkin. Like the other finals, the teams appeared to be closely matched. In their two previous matches, Belvo had one narrow win and the other match was drawn. A large crowd gathered to enjoy the highlight match of the day and the two teams set off in very competitive fashion right from the outset. A tight affair unfolded, as predicted but it was Belvo’ who took a slender 5-0 lead into half time. Despite dominating possession and territory, Belvo’ couldn’t capitalise in the second half and their lead remained vulnerable. With the clock ticking on towards the 80 minute mark, great work from the forwards saw the Belvo ladies crash over for a second try. MVP Hannah Tyrell couldn’t add the extras from out wide, but it mattered not as it was the final act of the match and Old Belvedere were crowned Division 1 Champions.

Congratulations were due to all who took part, organised, refereed and ‘spectated’ on a day where all seasons were truly on display. Congratulations to all the winners @cymrugby, @arklowrfc, @tullowrfc and @oldbelvoladies

Sarah Lennon (@sarahlennon08) is passionate about all things rugby. A Leinster Season Ticket holder since the Donnybrook days, a supporter of the Irish teams home and abroad and can regularly be seen cheering on Junior Rugby at Stillorgan RFC (a labour of love). As well as spectating, she dabbles in playing a bit and is a member of Old Belvedere RFC and fully paid up member of the front row union.

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