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2022/23 Energia All-Ireland Women’s Cup, Plate & Shield Final Preview

2022/23 Energia All-Ireland Women’s Cup, Plate & Shield Final Preview

Energia All-Ireland Cup Final, Templeville Road, Dublin 20/3/2022 Railway Union vs UL Bohemian Railway Union's Lindsay Peat jumps through the winners board Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Evan Treacy

It’s Cup weekend for teams in the Women’s Division of the Energia All-Ireland League with three trophies up for grabs. Pairings in the Cup, Plate and Shield Finals are based on final placings in what was a one-off round robin format to facilitate the changeover to World Rugby’s unified calendar.

UL Bohemian’s Clodagh O’Halloran with Lindsay Peat of Railway Union after the game – Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Evan Treacy

Energia All-Ireland Women’s Cup Final

Sunday April 23rd 2023

Railway Union v UL Bohemian, Templeville Road, 2:30pm

Templeville Road hosts the main event where there’s a live stream on Irish Rugby’s YouTube channel of Railway Union and UL Bohemian in the Energia All-Ireland Women’s Cup Final.

It’s a repeat of the 2022 decider and Railway Union will be gunning to retain their trophy in a season where they tasted defeat in an AIL final for the first time.

Railway were worthy winners last season when a 51-12 win over UL Bohs completed a league and cup double. Railway will again bring the favourites’ tag into this one – they secured 40 points from a possible 40 as the only unbeaten team in the cup series.

UL Bohs’ only defeat in the series was to Sunday’s opponents and while they’ve been making strides in this campaign, they’d have to go back over three years to the covid interrupted season of 2019/20 for their last win over Railway.

Railway Union v UL Bohemian – Last 5 Meetings: 

2022/23: UL Bohemian 05-24 Railway Union (Apr 1st, Cup Series)

2022/23: Railway Union 55-17 Ul Bohemian (Sep 17th, AIL)

2021/22: UL Bohemian 14-31 Railway Union (Feb 12th AIL)

2021/22: Railway Union 37-10 UL Bohemian (Oct 23rd, AIL)

2019/20: Railway Union 12-18 UL Bohemian (Jan 25th, Cup Semi-Final)

Energia Women’s All-Ireland League Division 1, Stradbrook, Dublin 8/10/2022 Blackrock College vs Galwegians – Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Nick Elliott

Energia All-Ireland Women’s Plate Final

Galwegians v Blackrock College, Crowley Park, 2:30pm

Blackrock College come into their Energia All-Ireland Women’s Plate Final as holders but will expect a stern test in defence of their trophy heading west to face Galwegians in Crowley Park.

The selection of players for Interprovincial, Celtic Challenge and Women’s TikTok Six Nations impacted several teams and the current Energia AIL Champions finished fourth in the round-robin.

Galwegians finished sixth in the regular season, but have put in a strong showing in 2023. Easter Weekend saw them finish third in the round-robin with a statement win over Ballincollig while their 2nd XV won the Bank Of Ireland Connacht Women’s Cup 24 hours later.

Weather and pitch conditions forced the cancellation of their round-robin game in March, but Blackrock College are unbeaten against ‘Wegians since 2017.

Galwegians v Blackrock College – Last 5 Meetings:

2022/23: Blackrock College 36-19 Galwegians (Oct 8th, AIL)

2021/22: Blackrock College 57-05 Galwegians (Mar 5th, Plate Semi-Final)

2021/22: Galwegians 05-19 Blackrock College (Nov 6th, AIL)

2019/20: Blackrock College 72-14 Galwegians (Oct 12th, AIL)

2018/19: Galwegians 10-22 Blackrock College (Jan 26th, AIL)

Old Belvedere’s Fiona Tuite is tackled by Ella Roberts of Wicklow – Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

Energia All-Ireland Women’s Shield Final

Sunday April 23rd 2023

Wicklow v Old Belvedere, Ashtown Lane, 2:30pm

It’s a mark of Old Belvedere’s pedigree that they finished 4th or higher in every round-robin at AIL level since their promotion in 2010 right up to December 2022. Classified in 6th place after this series, they’ll head to Ashtown Lane with a point to prove.

Wicklow can already call their 2022/23 season a success – a 5th placed finish in the Energia All-Ireland League. It’s a long way from their 63-0 defeat to Sunday’s opposition in their first ever Energia All-Ireland League game back in September 2021.

The Conference final win against Galwegians in December was a major fillip for the club – They’ll back themselves to perform in another trophy game at home.

Wicklow v Old Belvedere – Last 3 Meetings:

2022/23: Wicklow 17-05 Old Belvedere (Feb 4th, Cup Series)

2022/23: Old Belvedere 17-08 Wicklow (Nov 12th, AIL)

2021/22: Wicklow 0-63 Old Belvedere (Sep 24th, AIL)