The Carlow Coyotes beat Old Belvedere 6-5 /P>
THANKFULLY, by the time the full time whistle blew, the sound of (in your best Dublin 4 accent) "Come Own Belvo" had been hushed by the howling of the Carlow Coyotes.
The Carlow ladies give a three howl cry after every huddle and after winning the Division 2 league final on Saturday the howling continued into the early hours of Sunday morning.
After the game Carlow's out half Lisa Doyle couldn't contain her delight.
"It didn't matter what they were going to score against us, we were always going to dig deep and come back, it's one thing about our team, we never give up and we played rugby like the Coyotes play rugby, it was tough out there but we did it," smiled the number 10.
"We had all the ball the whole game, we let them in for one stupid try, one little lapse of concentration for a split second and our defensive lines were poor but we regrouped and got back on track, we play as a team, once we got our rhythm we worked well and it was really tough but we got there, celebrations tonight will be in Scraggs Alley, they're our sponsor so hopefully plenty of free drink," she continued.
Carlow captain Catriona Cassidy found it difficult to speak as her dog and Carlow Coyote mascot Russell insisted on congratulating her with a series of licks, paws and pants.
"This is Russel, the girls decided that he kinda looks like a Coyote so we wrapped this pink maine around his neck and he became our mascot," laughed the number eight.
"We played so well, completely owned the play and some of the girls were outstanding, when you think Maureen only started playing rugby two years ago when the club started up and look at her now. But I've played with loads of rugby teams but I've never seen anything like the spirit and bonding that we have here in Carlow, it's just fantastic," said Catriona.
The game itself wasn't a classic but there was some superb moments of Carlow brilliance.
An early break from Jen Ardill got the pulses racing but some good defence by Belvedere quenched the attack. The Dubliners did seem to have the upper-hand in the scrum but they lacked a certain cut and thrust and that bite needed to create something special.
Carlow had exactly those things in abundance and none more so than Maureen Young.
However, her captain's point about miss Young only taking up the game recently came through when the flier of a full back went tearing into the opposing half and looked like she would never be stopped. The Carlow number 15 however, misjudged the try line and dived to the ground at the 5m line.
Ten minutes before the break Carlow did take the lead and it was through back row Ailbhe O'Nolan when she converted a penalty to give Carlow a deserved advantage.
Their opponents though, right on half time, got in for a sucker punch of a try.
A missed placed clearance kick landed with full back Hayley Whyte and she ran left and right until she eventually ran over to give Old Belvo a 5-3 lead.
Carlow came out fighting in the second half and once again completely owned the ball.
It did seem at times though that their possession would not be rewarded as they went through phase after phase but the Old Belvo defence held firm.
Eventually, with 10 minutes to go Belvedere could take no more and conceded a penalty straight in front of the posts.
Ailbhe O'Nolan did the business and Carlow held out for a glorious one-point win.
Carlow: Maureen Young, Gillian Cullen, Regina Curran, Niav Cahill, Edel Hayden, Lisa Doyle, Meagan Parkinson, Catriona Cassidy, Ailbhe O'Nolan, Louise Kelly, Jen Ardill, Joanna Mahon, Aisling Green, Valerie Timmons, Erin Byrne.