The Women’s All-Ireland League finals took place at Dubarry Park on Saturday, with St. Mary’s College making history by winning their first league title with a 17-0 victory over City of Derry in the Division Two decider.
ALL-IRELAND WOMEN’S LEAGUE DIVISION TWO FINAL: Saturday, April 25
ST. MARY’S COLLEGE 17 CITY OF DERRY 0, Dubarry Park
Scorers: St. Mary’s College: Tries: Aoife Thompson, Muireann Walsh, Paula Fitzpatrick; Con: Sue Hughes
City of Derry: –
The Division Two final kicked off between St. Mary’s College and City of Derry with a slight delay as the Ulster side’s bus broke down on their way to the Athlone venue.
The quick thinking ladies got changed on their bus which ensured that the delay was minimal.
With City of Derry only playing rugby for the past 18 months, they showed true grit and determination as they kept St. Mary’s at bay for the first 25 minutes.
Derry made a number of breaks which threatened, but unfortunately were not converted into a score.
In a swirling breeze that made life difficult at times for both teams, it took St. Mary’s half an hour to pierce a staunch City of Derry defence, Aoife Thompson scampering down the left for a smashing try.
Sue Hughes landed a superb conversion from near the touchline to put St. Mary’s 7-0 ahead at the interval.
Although they had Helen O’Reilly yellow carded just before the break, St. Mary’s generally forced the pace on the resumption although battling City of Derry frequently frustrated them when turning over possession.
But the pressure eventually paid off when the Ulster girls were twice blocked down in quick succession while trying to clear their lines and Muireann Walsh capitalised for a 62nd minute try wide on the right.
Captain Paula Fitzpatrick confirmed St. Mary’s success over gallant City of Derry and promotion to Division One with a last-minute try to seal the 17-0 victory.
Click here for a match report on the Women’s Division One final.