Saturday 3 December 2016

Falvey hails his heroines' work-rate as Munster retain title

Munster Women 15-7 Leinster Women

Published 11/09/2015 | 02:30

Winger Laura O'Mahony in action against Leinster
Winger Laura O'Mahony in action against Leinster
Women's Interprovincial Series, Thomond Park, Limerick 5/9/2015 Munster vs Leinster Munster's Niamh Briggs lifts the trophy Mandatory Credit ?INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Munster squad celebrate back-to-back titles

A hard-fought win for the Munster Women in their final game of the interprovincial series sealed their 11th Championship title.

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The side, captained by Ireland full-back Niamh Briggs, saw off a tough Leinster challenge in Thomond Park last Saturday to retain the coveted trophy.

Munster began their campaign with an 8-3 win over Connacht in Galway followed by a 43-0 victory over Ulster in Thomond Park.

In a Munster side featuring a combination of experience and youth, Shannon's Valerie Power and Chloe Pearse earned their first caps during the series, along with Edel Murphy from UL Bohemian and Highfield's Ellen Murphy and Jayne Pennefather.

In his second year as head coach, Wayne Falvey has led his charges to consecutive interprovincial titles and said the province have the right structures in place to continue to build into the future.

"It was an absolutely fantastic occasion," he said. "To put in such a great performance on the day and retain the cup against a strong Leinster side in Thomond Park was probably the icing on the cake. The squad is made up of a great bunch of players who have a huge work-rate. Fahey put everything they had into winning the inter-pro and they are the ones that deserve all the accolades.

"We started training for the series back in April so we have had almost six months of preparations under our belts. There was a huge amount of effort put in from the girls, who trained every week for two nights on the pitch and two nights in the gym.

Building

"Building from last year, we put in place training centres in Cork, Limerick and Tralee to allow the girls do their strength and conditioning and skills sessions within their own regions and I think it really paid off."

Falvey said the introduction of a Munster 'A' squad this season has helped progress players and has facilitated an extended selection panel for the senior squad.

"We're the only province this year that set up an 'A' squad which has proved to be very successful," he said.

"This squad is overseen by development officer Amanda Greensmith and former international Laura Guest, and its main aim has been to develop players and facilitate the next generation of Munster Women representatives.

"Since its introduction it has also given the senior management team more of a platform for selection and has created many more options for us going forward."

The Munster players will now begin preparing with their clubs for the All Ireland League as Falvey and his team focus on Munster's three-in-a-row title challenge.

"The girls will go back into training with their clubs and we'll sit down and have a complete review of the campaign to see where we can improve on going forward," he said.

"That will be rolled out from January as our inter-pro season plan kicks off for the next season. For now we'll just enjoy this year's success and hopefully see some of our players go forward to represent Ireland."

Munster - Valerie Power (Shannon); Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (Highfield), Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohs), Nicola Scully (Highfield) , Laura O'Mahony (Tralee); Niamh Briggs (UL Bohs), Ellen Murphy (Highfield); Fiona Reidy (UL Bohs),y Desmond (Highfield), Leah Lyons (Highfield); Róisín Ormond (Highfield), Elaine Anthony (Highfield); Siobhan Fleming (Tralee), Ciara Griffin (Tralee), Heather O'Brien (Highfield). Reps: Zoe Grattagh (Highfield), Maura Collins (Abbeyfeale), Niamh English (Highfield), Gerda Coyne (Highfield), Chloe Pearse (Shannon), Mona Fehily (Highfield), Jayne Pennefather (Highfield), Edel Murphy (UL Bohs).

Irish Independent

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