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MU Barnhall Crowned Inaugural Energia All-Ireland Women’s Junior Cup Winners

MU Barnhall Crowned Inaugural Energia All-Ireland Women’s Junior Cup Winners

Energia All-Ireland Women's Junior Cup Final, Shay Murtagh Park, Mullingar 16/4/2023 Tullamore vs MU Barnhall MU Barnhall players celebrate at the end of the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ken Sutton

MU Barnhall were crowned Energia All-Ireland Women’s Junior Cup Champions after a 38-12 win over Tullamore in today’s final.

It was a gripping contest in Shay Murtagh Park with over 400 supporters present to witness the competition’s first final.

“It’s unbelievable. It’s history,” said winning captain Niamh Quinn.”

“We’re so proud that MU Barnhall’s going to be the first name on that cup.”

It was a tense opening period with the sides well matched for workrate, particularly around the break down. MU Barnhall had the first 22 entry on 15 minutes and it yielded the opening score as Ruth Campbell barged through the defensive line and slalomed in for her first try.

It took just 7 phases from the restart for Barnall to register another with Mia Kelly finishing from deep on the stand side.

The Kildare women backed their line-out for the next try for Ciara Faulkner to finish under the posts. Mia Kelly’s raw speed helped her to a score and Faulkner’s impressive touchline conversion brought the score to 24-0 at half time.

Tullamore had shown plenty of attacking ambition in the first half but hadn’t much to show for it. The third quarter completely belonged to the women in red and black.

Catriona Kielty carried hard in every attack and Abaigeal worked the backfield tirelessly to run back any clearing kicks with interest. It was the fullback’s dink over the top that eventually broke Barnhall’s rearguard for Kate McCann to run onto the ball and scythe under the posts.

Barnhall had spent 20 minutes in their own half after the restart,but took massive confidence from their commitment and discipline. Their second half tries came from Ciara Carbery [one of the renowned Athy Carberys] and Campbells 2nd, either side of a deserved try for Sinead Rigney.

Energia All-Ireland Women’s Junior Cup Final, Shay Murtagh Park, Mullingar 16/4/2023 – MU Barnhall players celebrate with the AIL Junior Cup – Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ken Sutton

April 26th 2023

Energia All-Ireland Women’s Junior Cup Final

Tullamore 12 MU Barnhall 38, Shay Murtagh Park

Scorers: Tullamore: Tries: Kate McCann, Sinead Rigney; Con: Abaigeal Connon

MU Barnhall: Tries: Ruth Campbell 2, Mia Kelly, Ciara Faulkner, Emma Larkin, Ciara Carbery, Cons: Ciara Faulkner 4.

HT: Tullamore 0 MU Barnhall 24

TULLAMORE: 15 Abaigeal Connon, 14 Rachel Conroy, 13 Sinéad Rigney, 12 Kate McCann, 11 Clare Leonard; 10 Rebecca Gavin, 9 Aoibhe Kelly; 1 Eve Tarpey, 2 Robin Maher, 3 Sarah Jane OConnor, 4 Ann-Maree Manley, 5 Laura Sampson, 6 Saoirse Quinn, 7 Niamh Hickey, 8 Hannah Foxe. Replacements: 16 Ebony Hogan, 17 Saidhbh McIntyre, 18 Catriona Kielty, 19 Kate Fox, 20 Ellie Flanagan, 21 Veronica Smyth, 22 Eimear Daly.

MU BARNHALL: 15 Lia Branigan, 14 Mia Kelly, 13 Emma Larkin, 12 Katelynn Doran, 11 Lauren Patterson; 10 Ciara Faulkner, 9 Ciara Carbery; 1 Yvonne Hoey, 2 Emma Kiernan, 3 Aoibheann Healy, 4 Koren Dunne, 5 Niamh Quinn, 6 Sarah Haughian, 7 Ruth Campbell, 8 Niamh Fitzgerald. Replacements: 16 Rebecca Francis, 17 Emily Byrne, 18 Michelle Gorman, 19 Orla Fitzsimons, 20 Alex Casey, 21 Sarah Baker, 22 Alannah Fraser, 23 Alison McMurray.

Tullamore’s Sinéad Rigney in action against MU Barnhall’s Katelynn Doran, Emma Larkin and Ciara Carbery – Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ken Sutton

@irishrugby MU Barnhall know how to celebrate! Congrats on winning the Energia All-Ireland Women’s Junior Cup. #thinkofthepossibilities ♬ original sound – Irish Rugby