There was double disappointment for Highfield’s women’s team last Sunday as they lost their second All-Ireland final in the space of eight days.
The Cork girls have had a season to remember, with some excellent wins, but unfortunately they came a-cropper in Sunday’s All-Ireland Division One final, going down 10-8 to UL Bohemians.
Highfield, who are captained by Alison Donnelly, the Irish Women’s Rugby Football Union’s PRO, also missed out on All-Ireland Cup success when they lost 20-12 to Blackrock in the April 21 cup final.
Having become the first team to beat Bohs in the league proper, Highfield went into Sunday’s league decider, played at Portlaoise RFC, with plenty of confidence but they were left trailing 10-0 by the defending champions.
Credibly, they shored the gap up to two points but a missed conversion left the Cork side chasing the game and Bohs had enough power and pace to see out the win – what was a record sixth consecutive All-Ireland title for the Limerick club.
The victory made up in some part for the disappointment that Coleman Finn suffered with the men’s team in the AIB League Division One semi-finals. Centre Finn is part of the coaching team for the Bohs women.
In the Division Two final, Clonmel swept to a 22-7 victory over Navan. The Tipperary girls hit the front inside 14 minutes when Irish international Jean Lonergan went over for a try, which Niamh Briggs converted.
Navan, who defended stoutly for much of the first half, had their good work rewarded in the final minute of the half when Ciara Kennedy touched down under the posts for Aoife Ryan to converted and level at 7-7.
But Clonmel proved too strong in the second half with two more tries and five points from the boot of Briggs seeing them home.