Monday 20 November 2017

McCarthys keep it in the family

Mother and daughter Eileen and Elaine McCarthy who helped Bantry Bay capture the Women’s Div 1 Plate
Mother and daughter Eileen and Elaine McCarthy who helped Bantry Bay capture the Women’s Div 1 Plate

After a long, hard season, the finals of the Munster Women's Division 1 Cup and Plate took place last weekend, with two excellent games crowning a fantastic year for women's rugby in the province.

UL Bohemians were capturing the AIL Cup title on the same day as Thurles and Shannon in the Cup, and Bantry Bay and Dungarvan-Youghal in the plate, looked to be crowned queens of Munster for 2017.

At Nenagh RFC, Shannon opened the scoring after 15 minutes through a try by Aisling Duhig but Thurles soon struck back with Aisling O'Hagen touching down, converted by Megan Callahan.

Shannon got a second try through Lea O'Dwyer, with Valerie Power adding the extras to hand them a 12-7 half-time lead at half-time.

Nicola Sweeney's try levelled matters, before Megan Callahan slotted a sideline conversion to hand Thurles the lead for the first time.

Thurles held off the Shannon wave and secured yet another title for the Mid-Tipp outfit, who have had a fantastic season.

In the Plate, Bantry Bay travelled to Bandon in their first ever final, and kept their cool to win the Plate against Youghal/Dungarvan 57-12.

It was a memorable day in particular for the McCarthy clan, whose mother and daughter pairing of Eileen and Elaine bridged the generational gap to win the trophy for their team.

Con ramp up drive for five

Cork Constitution are seeking a Bateman Cup five-in-a-row as they travel to Dublin tomorrow to take on Old Belvedere in the Bateman Cup final (12.45) at Anglesea Road - live on RTE 2.

Con are targeting a treble, having landed the Munster Senior Cup and booked an All-Ireland League final- they face Clontarf on Saturday week.

The Corkmen thrashed Buccaneers 63-0 in the Bateman Cup semis, and are favourites against Belvo, who beat Ballynahinch 44-14 to reach the decider but have been relegated from Division 1 of the UBL

Munster have dominated the Bateman Cup in recent years, with Con's last four added to the previous years by Garryowen (2012) and Bruff (2011).

Scrum-half Tomás Quinlan kicked a late penalty to see off Lansdowne in a dramatic AIL semi-final, and he will be crucial again if Brian Hickey's side are to capture yet another Bateman Cup.

UL Bohs seal treble

UL Bohemians added the final trophy of the season to their Munster Senior Cup and All-Ireland League triumphs, beating Blackrock to secure a tremendous hat-trick of women's senior titles.

Mike Storey's charges were beaten just once during the season.

On the Athlone pitch, winger Liz Burke opened the scoring, dashing down the flank after 14 minutes. Edel Murphy added the extras.

Five minutes later, Sarah Hartigan crashed in under the posts, and again Murphy converted.

Blackrock hit back through their breakthrough star of the season, Eimear Corri, the Portlaoise teenager engaging turbo speed down the right wing after a good passing movement among the backs.

The scores remained static for the remaining 15 minutes of the first half but UL Bohs extended their lead three minutes after the restart when Chloe Pearse, playing at No 8, was in possession of the ball when the pack rumbled over the line.

Again Murphy, who also stars as the Kerry Ladies Gaelic football goalkeeper, added the two points to stretch the lead to 16 points.

It did not last long, however, as Carmela Morey responded with Blackrock's second try on 50 minutes.

Good play from both teams kept the supporters entertained.

UL sealed the treble when Burke grabbed her second try in the 63rd minute to make it 26-10 to the league champions.

Irish Independent

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