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Women’s All-Ireland Cup Finals: Results Round-Up

Women’s All-Ireland Cup Finals: Results Round-Up

Women’s All-Ireland Cup Finals: Results Round-Up

UL Bohemians captain Fiona Hayes and her team-mates celebrate after winning the Women's All-Ireland Cup final against Blackrock in Ashbourne ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Those in attendance at Ashbourne Rugby Club today were treated to a fantastic festival of Irish Women’s club rugby as UL Bohemians, Railway Union and Cooke were crowned All-Ireland Cup, Plate and Shield champions respectively.

WOMEN’S ALL-IRELAND CUP FINAL:

UL BOHEMIANS 17 BLACKROCK 5, Ashbourne RFC
Scorers: UL Bohemians: Tries: Laura Sheehan, Aine Staunton; Cons: Niamh Briggs 2; Pen: Niamh Briggs
Blackrock: Try: Caoimhe Molloy
HT: UL Bohemians 7 Blackrock 0

Irish Rugby TV: Women’s All-Ireland Cup Final Highlights

Ben Martin’s well-drilled UL Bohemians team claimed the Women’s All-Ireland Cup for a record sixth time with a 17-5 final win over Blackrock in this afternoon’s main event at Ashbourne RFC.

It was a tense final with a coveted trophy at stake and the knowledge that the sides will meeting again at the semi-final stage of the Women’s All-Ireland League in two weeks’ time. Bohs broke the deadlock with Laura Sheehan’s try and took control of the game thanks to a second hand effort from Aine Staunton.

“We started a bit shaky,” admitted cup-winning captain Fiona Hayes. “I think the first 20 minutes didn’t go our way. There were a lot of mistakes, but we regrouped. I’m very proud of the girls and delighted we came away with the win today.”

Blackrock too got a better handle on the game. They drove hard at the Bohs line in the second half and got some reward from a tap penalty. Caoimhe Molloy took the ball at pace and powered home. Hannah O’Connor’s conversion attempt bounced back off the post and ‘Rock found it difficult to regain territory from there.

“They’ve come on a lot,” said Hayes of their Dublin opponents. “They’re a very young side and you can see that their fitness levels have come up. They play a nice style of rugby and it’s good to see them on the up. We like playing against a fast-playing team like that.”

UL BOHEMIANS: Aine Staunton; Stephanie Nunan, Enya Breen, Rachel Allen-Connolly, Laura Sheehan; Niamh Briggs, Helen McDermott; Fiona Hayes (capt), Kate Sheehan, Fiona Reidy, Claire Bennett, Aoife O’Sullivan, Chloe Pearse, Clodagh O’Halloran, Sarah Quin.

Replacements: Sarah O’Gorman, Edel Murphy, Geena Behan, Sarah Garrett, Caoimhe Tiernan, Laura O’Mahony, Rosie Newton.

BLACKROCK: Ellen Taite; Natasja Behan, Alison Coleman, Maeve Og O’Leary, Ray Lawless; Jackie Shiels, Niamh Griffin; Caoimhe Molloy, Ann Marie Rooney, Manuela McCarthy, Judy Bobbett, Mairead Holohan, Meadbh Scally, Grace Kelly, Hannah O’Connor.

Replacements: Lena Fitzsimons, Meadhbh O’Callaghan, Aoife Browne, Tess Meade, Jenni Burke, Laura Delaney, Amy Cotter.

WOMEN’S ALL-IRELAND PLATE FINAL:

RAILWAY UNION 25 OLD BELVEDERE 8, Ashbourne RFC
Scorers: Railway Union: Tries: Emer O’Mahony, Stephanie Carroll, Emma Taylor, Larissa Muldoon; Con: Claire Keohane; Pen: Claire Keohane
Old Belvedere: Try: Alice O’Dowd; Pen: Jemma Jackson
HT: Railway Union 8 Old Belvedere 8

Last year’s All-Ireland Cup winners Railway Union ensured their finals day efforts would not go unrewarded with a 25-8 victory over Old Belvedere in the All-Ireland Plate decider. These sides will also meet in the league semi-finals on Saturday, April 13, and ‘Belvo know they are a lot closer to their Dublin rivals than the scoreline suggests.

With the smell of gunpowder in the air from the adjacent rifle range, Old Belvedere fired the first shot through Jemma Jackson’s penalty. Railway replied with a full throttle try from Emer O’Mahony and looked to extend their lead but ‘Belvo’s scramble defence denied Claire Keohane’s chip over the top and Aoife McDermott’s race to the line.

Old Belvedere tied the game at eight points each with a brilliantly worked try from Alice O’Dowd, the prop finishing out wide after Nora Stapleton’s deft offload put Lesley Ring in the clear. Sene Naoupu and Linda Djougang were sprung from the bench as Josh Brown’s ‘Belvo outfit chased further scores and they came agonisingly close to a score when the overlap pass to Ellen Murphy fell short.

However, Railway regrouped and showed their clinical edge, particularly when releasing speedy winger Stephanie Carroll for a terrific finish in the right corner after being released by slick running and passes from Meg Kendal, Claire Keohane and Katelyn Faust. That made it 13-8 early in the third quarter.

The ever-influential Emma Taylor, who started at number 8, powered in under the posts for a deserved try before Larissa Muldoon picked and sniped from the base of the scrum to provide some late gloss. Out-half Keohane nailed a tough final conversion to confirm a 17-point winning margin for Josh Brown’s charges.

RAILWAY UNION: Larissa Muldoon; Stephanie Carroll, Niamh Byrne (capt), Meg Kendal, Emer O’Mahony; Claire Keohane, Molly Scuffil-McCabe; Shirley Corcoran, Chloe Blackmore, Katie O’Dwyer, Siobhan McCarthy, Aoife McDermott, Claire Coombes, Emma Murphy, Emma Taylor.

Replacements: Aimee Clarke, Lisa Callan, Sonia McDermott, Meaghan Kenny, Katelyn Faust, Lecky Dunne, Erin Coll.

OLD BELVEDERE: Ellen Murphy; Grace Miller, Elise O’Byrne-White, Ailbhe Dowling, Fiona Tuite; Nora Stapleton, Jemma Jackson; Jessica Spain, Victoria Dabanovich-O’Mahony, Alice O’Dowd, Jan Carroll, Roisin O’Donnell, Lesley Ring, Niamh Ni Dhroma, Sharon Lynch.

Replacements: Linda Djougang, Oonagh Hynes, Clodagh Dunne, Claire McLaughlin, Kathryn Dane, Senetina Fanene, Gemma Matthews.

WOMEN’S ALL-IRELAND SHIELD FINAL:

COOKE 15 TRALEE 10, Ashbourne RFC
Scorers: Cooke: Tries: Eliza Downey, Beth Cregan; Con: Vicky Irwin; Pen: Vicky Irwin
Tralee: Try: Christine Arthurs; Con: Laoise O’Driscoll; Pen: Laoise O’Driscoll
HT: Cooke 8 Tralee 3

Cooke wrapped up their season at national level with a hard fought 15-10 win over Tralee in the Women’s All-Ireland Shield final. Wayne Kelly’s side had their hearts set on silverware after finishing outside of the league play-off spots, and tries from Eliza Downey and captain Beth Cregan either side of half-time proved crucial.

Cooke had every right to be wary of Tralee. A handful of Shield winners from 2014 were back for another final including ex-Ireland international Siobhan Fleming and her former Munster team-mate Riona Kennedy. Laoise O’Driscoll had experience of playing in the American Women’s Premier League and it was her penalty that gave Tralee a 3-0 lead.

Cooke needed an injection of pace from Downey and the in-form winger surged past a succession of players on the right wing, using a timely injection of pace and a strong hand-off to put herself clear for the try-line. Cooke looked to kick on early in the second half and Vicky Irwin’s work off the back of a scrum gave number 8 Cregan the chance to go in under the posts.

Irwin’s conversion was an important strike as the resilient Tralee team were right back in the hunt with an intercept try from replacement Christine Arthurs. “We didn’t know which way it was going to go towards the end. It was very physical,” admitted Cooke skipper Cregan. “This is very much a rebuilding year for us.

“There’s a lot of girls out there in their first senior season and they are starting games for us.  Our girls have got a lot of experience this year and we’ll be looking to step it up next season.”

COOKE: Claire Johnston; Eliza Downey, Kelly McCormill, Amanda Morton, Maeve Liston; Vicky Irwin, Hannah Kilgore; Ilse van Staden, Emma Kearney, Aishling O’Connell, Naomi McCullagh, Shannon Heapes, Marie-Louise Barter, Lesley Megarity, Beth Cregan (capt).

Replacements: Sophie Allen, Hannah Beattie, Caoimhe Rooney, Laura Cairns, Kate Keaney.

TRALEE: Riona Kennedy; Sinead O’Connor, Noreen Murphy, Laoise O’Driscoll, Muirne Wall; Anna Murphy, Ashlyn Fong; Maura Collins, Katie Harnett, Irene Dillane, Nuala O’Connor, Ellie Daly, Ashlea Sheehy, Siobhan Fleming, Caolann Healy.

Replacements: Michaela Murphy, Maria Harnett, Christine Arthurs, Donna McGovern, Emma Bourke.