Coolmine Rugby Club has been confirmed as the venue for next Saturday’s Energia All-Ireland Women’s Cup and Plate finals, which will see Railway Union and Galwegians try to retain their respective titles.
Railway Union and UL Bohemian will meet in the Cup final for the third straight year, as the Dubliners, who finished top of the Cup Series table after the round robin stage, look to claim a famous three-in-a-row.
The game kicks off at 2.45pm and will be streamed live on Irish Rugby TV’s YouTube channel, with commentary from The Club Scene Podcast’s Daragh Frawley and record-breaking former Ireland winger Alison Miller.
Coached by Miller’s former international team-mate, Fiona Hayes, UL are currently top of the All-Ireland League standings and unbeaten in both League and Cup action this season. They edged out Railway at home in November, taking a 10-7 verdict thanks to a crucial Kate Flannery penalty.
While Flannery has been impressing with the Clovers in the Celtic Challenge of late, Stephen Costelloe’s Railway side have been in free-scoring form in the Cup. Ex-Ireland prop Lindsay Peat has led the way with four tries, scoring twice against both Ballincollig and Wicklow.
Railway were comprehensive 51-12 winners when the teams met in the 2022 decider, and they kept hold of the trophy last April when Chisom Ugwueru, who is now a regular try-scoring threat for UL Bohs, ran in a superb solo score in a 28-12 final win.
Meanwhile, Saturday’s curtain raiser in Coolmine (kick-off 12.30pm) will see Cooke and reigning champions Galwegians go head-to-head in the Plate final.
They finished third and fourth in the table respectively, following their clash at Newforge Sports Complex last weekend. Cooke took the spoils on home soil, winning 21-17 thanks to converted tries from Ilse van Staden, Kelly McCormill, and Tara O’Neill.
Cooke also triumphed 34-10 when the sides met at Crowley Park last month, but ‘Wegians can draw on their experience of winning the Plate last season. Tries from Ursula Sammon, Mairéad Coyne, Emily Gavin, and Fiona Scally saw them beat Blackrock College 25-19.
Blackrock were the Plate holders at the time, having overcome Cooke in the 2022 decider. Captained by centre McCormill, the Belfast outfit led 12-7 before a Jackie Shiels-inspired ‘Rock bounced back to win by a dozen points.
ENERGIA ALL-IRELAND WOMEN’S CUP FINAL:
Saturday, January 26 –
RAILWAY UNION v UL BOHEMIAN, Coolmine RFC, 2.45pm (live on Irish Rugby TV)
ENERGIA ALL-IRELAND WOMEN’S PLATE FINAL:
Saturday, January 26 –
GALWEGIANS v COOKE, Coolmine RFC, 12.30pm