UL BOHEMIANS 17 BLACKROCK COLLEGE 0, Dubarry Park
Scorers: UL Bohemians: Tries: Paula O'Connor, Patrique Kelly; Cons: Nicole Fitzgerald, Sarah Jane Cody; Pen: Nicole Fitzgerald
UL Bohemians completed a prized League and Cup double for the second successive season when they retained the Women's All-Ireland League Division 1 title by defeating Blackrock 17-0 in a well-contested decider at Dubarry Park.
UL Bohs had defeated their keenest of rivals more comfortably when capturing the Cup a fortnight earlier at the Athlone venue.
They were the better, more composed side overall, but Blackrock deserved far more than a barren scoreline from this skilful battle on a firm pitch and in a testing swirling breeze that grew colder as the game progressed.
The on-field intensity ensured that the players never felt the nip after the holders got off to a promising start when Nicole Fitzgerald opened their account with a seventh minute penalty.
However, 'Rock gradually gained the upperhand despite facing the elements and piled on the pressure for the mid-section of this half but simply could not penetrate sterling UL Bohs defending.
The champions then showed their mettle and cutting edge to finish the half strongly and Paula O'Connor finished off good play for a 31st minute try, converted by Fitzgerald before the out-half sustained a nasty leg injury that saw her replaced by Sandra Williams.
In added time, Patrique Kelly grabbed the crucial killer score which Sarah Jane Cody converted with the final kick of the half for a 17-0 lead that flattered the champions at that stage.
Blackrock did not help their cause when Tania Rosser was yellow carded shortly after the restart and UL Bohs were comfortably in control for long spells until they lost Mairead Kelly to the sin-bin.
Blackrock, with Debbie Clarke putting in a tremendous effort, pounded UL Bohs inside their 22 for much of the final quarter but they simply could not unlock steadfast and organised defending by the Munster side for whom Joy Neville and captain Kelly were outstanding.
UL BOHEMIANS: SJ Cody; A Hutchings, M Kelly, P Kelly (capt), N Kavanagh; N Fitzgerald, L Beamish; F Coghlan, K Sheehan, G Burke, C Mahon, F Reidy, L Austin, P O'Connor, J Neville.
Replacements used: S Williams for Fitzgerald (39 mins), F Hayes for Mahon (66).
BLACKROCK: C Peters; J Doyle, A Davis, G Davitt, A Tyrell; S Houston, T Rosser (capt); S Corcoran, Y Nolan, E McManamly, SJ Comerford, D O'Brien, J Leacy, O Brennan, D Clarke.
Replacements used: M Mulville for Tyrell (60 mins).
Referee: David Connolly (Connacht)
WOMEN'S ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE DIVISION 2 FINAL: Saturday, April 24
OLD BELVEDERE 28 CITY OF DERRY 3, Dubarry Park
Scorers: Old Belvedere: Tries: Nora Stapleton 2, Ruth Gleeson, Marie Therese Bolger; Con: Elaine Colahan; Pens: Elaine Colahan 2
City of Derry: Pen: Rachel Lennox
While the men's team were busy regaining their AIB League status against Portadown, the women from City of Derry went chasing their own silverware but for the second year in a row at Dubarry Park, City of Derry were bridesmaids in the Women's League Division 2 decider.
Old Belvedere proved too slick and pacy to ease to a comfortable 28-3 triumph after a delayed kick off to Saturday afternoon's proceedings.
The northerners had the help of the freshening breeze in the opening period and opened the scoring with a Rachel Lennox penalty after 13 minutes.
But 'Belvo steadily came more into the game as the half progressed and Elaine Colahan's 28th-minute penalty had the teams level 3-3 at the break.
Within a minute of the restart, Old Belvedere had grabbed the lead when Ireland international Nora Stapleton scampered in for a try on the right and, five minutes later, Colahan's second penalty put the Dubliners 11-3 to the good.
Although City of Derry, who secured promotion this season, battled willingly to the bitter end, Old Belvedere took firmer control on the action with Ruth Gleeson notching their second try before the hour mark.
Centre Stapleton, the standout performer in this game, finished off some fine interplay for her second try, this time on the left, before Marie Therese Bolger powered over in the closing moments for the victors' fourth touchdown.
Colahan's conversion completed the action and the clearcut 28-3 margin.
OLD BELVEDERE: E McElhinney; R Gleeson, N Stapleton, S Reid, E Mitchell; E Colahan, F Gleeson (capt); A Massina, M Doyle, A Kelly, S Moore, J Stack, R O'Donnell, R McIlroy, MT Bolger.
Replacements used: C Byrne for Doyle, J McGregor for Massina, S Ferney for Stack, C Roche for Mitchell.
CITY OF DERRY: A McCaffrey; B McDermott, SL Jackson, K Holmes, R Fleming; R Lennox, N Nethercott; EM Pineiro, G Crabtree, G Lynch, K Shaw, K Boyle, M Carsley, L Clarke, D Dixon (capt).
Replacements used: H Lindsay for McCaffrey, S Tinney for Fleming, K Canavan for McDermott, D Crabtree for G Crabtree.
Referee: David O'Brien (Connacht)