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Thursday 14 December 2017

It's a proud Fryday for sisters as women's team fights to the bitter end

Ireland fan Aibhe Twomey from Cork before the Women’s 6 Nations match between Ireland Women and England Women at Donnybrook Picture: PA
Ireland fan Aibhe Twomey from Cork before the Women’s 6 Nations match between Ireland Women and England Women at Donnybrook Picture: PA

Nicola Donnelly

It was a proud Friday for the Fryday sisters despite Ireland's loss, as they cheered on sister Nicola who lined out for a team in pursuit of a Grand Slam.

Rebecca, Jessie and Emma arrived at Old Wesley Stadium in Donnybrook with excitement and nerves for their sister and her teammates.

"It's a proud Friday for the Frydays," Rebecca said. "We are all very excited for the Irish women's team and our sister Nicola."

Unfortunately both the women's team and the Under-20s failed to stop the English juggernaut in matches that were curtain-raisers for today's Six Nations finale at the Aviva.

The women's team fought bravely but ultimately couldn't hold out against a strong English team, losing 34-7.

However, Jessie said the team are "doing fantastic work raising the profile of the sport".

Presentation Brothers Cork players celebrate after beating Glenstal to win the Munster Schools Senior Cup Picture: Sportsfile
Presentation Brothers Cork players celebrate after beating Glenstal to win the Munster Schools Senior Cup Picture: Sportsfile

"And with the Women's World Cup just around the corner here in August, it is certainly exciting times," she said.

St Patrick's Day festival fever was quite obvious as thousands gathered for the annual parades - but it was also a day of rugby extravaganza.

In Munster, Glenstal Abbey took on PBC, of Cork, in the Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Senior Cup final in Thomond Park.

And thousands piled into the RDS at Simmonscourt for the annual Leinster Senior Cup Final as well as the Irish Legends v England Legends match - held this year in memory of the late Munster coach Anthony Foley.

Defending champions Belvedere College took on Blackrock College in a tense Senior Cup game, but in the end Belvo won 10-3.

Rugby fan Alex Doherty (11) from Dalkey said he wasn't there to support any team in particular but "just loves rugby so much".

Shane Byrne and the Irish Legends after beating England Legends at the RDS Picture: Sportsfile
Shane Byrne and the Irish Legends after beating England Legends at the RDS Picture: Sportsfile

"If I was to choose a team to support it would be Blackrock," said Alex, who attended with his dad Colin.

Ten-year-old Juliete Coen, dressed as a Leprechaun, was there with her dad David. "I'm supporting Blackrock," said Juliete, who is also a big Leinster fan.

Painted

Two former Belvedere students, Karl Cawfield from Lucan and Robert St Ledger from Drogheda, dressed the part with their faces painted in the school's black and white colours.

Delighted for their Alma Mater rugby team, Karl said: "I am absolutely ecstatic to see Belvo win two years in a row." Robert said he felt the game was "pretty intense".

Tanya Soroko, whose son Alex (16) attends Belvedere College and whose other son Ivan was the team's scrum coach for the last three years, said the game was "absolutely brilliant".

Meanwhile, across the road at Old Wesley Stadium in Donnybrook, Irish and English fans were able to stay late into the evening for the Under 20s match and the women's Grand Slam match.

Five-year-old Con Twomey, from Killiney, who is a second cousin of Irish team player Tommy O'Brien, and a staunch Leinster supporter, was looking forward to the game.

His mum Patricia, who hails from Limerick and is a Munster fan, said the family is very proud of Tommy.

Irish Independent

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