Belvo girls hang on to retain title in thriller
Under Saturday night lights at Donnybrook, Old Belvedere and UL Bohemian played out a thriller fitting of the Women's All-Ireland League final, with Old Belvedere winning 19-17 to retain the title.
The reigning champions began showing strong intent in attack. In the ninth minute the Belvo girls registered the opening score via a try from German-born wing Franziska Klappoth.
Some sublime high balls from Ireland captain Niamh Briggs helped shift the momentum, and Bohs hooker Fiona Hayes drove over. Briggs converted.
But the Dublin 4 side sparked back into life with a try from Emer O'Malley, converted by Nora Stapleton, for a 12-7 half-time lead.
After the interval, out-half Stapleton beat several tacklers for a stunning solo touchdown, but Bohs centre Syphonia Pua responded to make it 19-12.
Bohs camped on the five-metre line in the dying moments and wing Liz Burke scored in the final play of the game.
However, following a missed conversion by Briggs, Old Belvedere hung on.
Old Belvedere - B O'Donovan, H Rooney (E O'Byrne White 40), E O'Malley, A Donnelly, F Klappoth, N Stapleton, K Dane, F O'Brien, S Lynch (F Gleeson 64), A Egan, E Dunne, S Moore (ML Reilly 40), R O'Donnell, N Fitzgerald, S Spence.
UL Bohemian - A Staunton, K English (C Keohane 40), S Pua, D Nic A Bhaird (M O'Donnell 53), L Burke, N Briggs, L Beamish (L Galvin 70), F Reidy, F Hayes, L Barbour, A O'Sullivan, S Hartigan, M Darcy, S Radic (E Murphy 40), C Pearse.
Ref - G Glennon (IRFU)
Women's All-Ireland League