20 Jun, 03:31
Four Ireland players - Brian O'Driscoll, Jonathan Sexton, Paul O'Connell and Jamie Heaslip - have been included in the British & Irish Lions team for Saturday's first Test against Australia in Brisbane.
IRELAND WOMEN 18 WALES WOMEN 3, Ashbourne RFC
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Niamh Briggs, Tania Rosser, Joy Neville; Pen: Niamh Briggs
Wales: Pen: Non Evans
Ireland beat Wales for the first time since 2005 to boost their chances of bettering last year's third place finish in the RBS Women's 6 Nations.
After losing last time out to defending champions England, Kevin West's charges returned to Ashbourne RFC, a venue they are quickly turning into a fortress.
They fell behind to a fifth minute penalty from experienced place-kicker Non Evans, who scored eight points in Wales' Triple Crown-clinching victory over Ireland last year.
The Welsh had the better of the play in the opening 20 minutes, and Evans was off target with a second penalty attempt.
But Fiona Coghlan and her team-mates gradually turned the screw and they scored at a crucial stage to nudge 5-3 ahead for half-time.
On the quarter-hour mark, a well-worked attack saw talented full-back Niamh Briggs race half the length of the pitch before touching down in the left corner to hand the hosts a lead they won not relinquish.
West's side grew in confidence and they were they held their composure during a fragmented spell coming up to the break, when hooker Chris Fanning was flashed a yellow card and Wales captain Mellissa Berry followed her into the sin-bin, eight minutes later.
Having gone close to scoring a second try on the stroke of half-time - Briggs fumbled possession after a good set-up from flanker Claire Molloy - Ireland cleverly pinned Wales back early in the second period, robbing them of field position and edging the battle up front.
Crucially, Ireland were next to score when they created an overlap and scrum half Tania Rosser exploited the space in the Welsh defence and score out wide.
Briggs was a whisker away from scoring her second try - the grounding was not sufficient for the match officials - but the Clonmel star followed up with a 72nd minute penalty.
Yet Ireland finished the game in style with a late pushover effort from hard-working back rower Joy Neville, whose third try of the campaign moved the winning margin out to 15 points and rounded off Ireland's fourth win in 15 meetings with Wales.
It was a very encouraging display from the girls in green and will boost their confidence ahead of next Friday's final Championship encounter with Scotland at Ashbourne RFC (kick-off 7.30pm).
IRELAND WOMEN: Niamh Briggs (Clonmel/Munster); Amy Davis (Blackrock/Leinster), Joanne O'Sullivan (Richmond/Exile), Grace Davitt (Blackrock/Leinster), Alison Miller (Portlaoise/Connacht); Helen Brosnan (Highfield/Munster), Tania Rosser (Blackrock/Leinster); Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster) (capt), Chris Fanning (Highfield/Munster), Lauren Day (Cooke/Ulster), Kate O'Loughlin (Clonmel/Munster), Marie Louise Reilly (Navan/Leinster), Orla Brennan (Blackrock/Leinster), Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), Joy Neville (UL Bohemians/Munster).
Replacements used: Louise Austin (UL Bohemians/Munster) for Day (61 mins), Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster) for Davis (67), Sinead Ryan (Navan/Leinster) for Molloy (71). Not used: Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster), Carol Staunton (Galwegians/Connacht), Shannon Houston (Blackrock/Leinster).
WALES WOMEN: Mared Evans (UWIC); Aimee Young (UWIC), Ceri Redman (UWIC), Naomi Thomas (Cardiff Harlequins), Non Evans (Cardiff Harlequins); Awen Thomas (Unattached), Amy Day (Bristol); Catrin Edwards (Cardiff Harlequins), Rhian Bowden (UWIC), Jenny Davies (Waterloo), Gemma Hallett (Pontyclun), Rachel Taylor (Cardiff Harlequins), Catrina Nicholas (Cardiff Harlequins), Jamie Kift (Bristol), Mellissa Berry (Northumbria) (capt).
Replacements: Claire Horgan (Saracens), Louise Horgan (Saracens), Claire Donovan (Saracens), Lisa Newton (UWIC), Laura Prosser (Cardiff Harlequins), Kay Rees (Harlequins), Caryl James (Cardiff Harlequins).
Referee: Eric Gauzins (France)