UL Bohs new Munster women's champions
UL Bohemian claimed the Munster Women's Senior Cup last weekend in a thrilling 30-17 decider against Highfield at Garryowen FC.
The Limerick club will represent Munster when they host the Ulster cup winners on Saturday, March 19 in the All-Ireland semi-final.
In an impressive season for the Limerick outfit, Bohs finished top of the All Ireland League but were overcome by Old Belvedere in the play-offs to narrowly lose out on the title.
"With the disappointment of the league we were delighted with the opportunity to contest for the Munster Cup and were well up for it", said team coordinator John Keane.
"We badly wanted the title but knew we were up against it. Highfield are our long-standing rivals and we love playing them. There's only two senior Division 1 teams in Munster so when we come up against them the quality of play is always very good.
"There was no doubt that Highfield travelled to win and it was touch and go for a long time, but we came out well in the end with a great win."
Coached by Mike Storey, Bohs have a formidable squad that include Ireland internationals Fiona Reidy and Fiona Hayes - both were in the match day squad against England in last week's Six Nations clash and flew back from Twickenham in time to start for their club's contention for the cup.
"We have a great squad and Mike is doing a fantastic job," continued Keane. "We're after getting in some new talent as well that include two U-18 international Sevens players in Robyn Gleeson, who featured in the final, and Kate English, who is currently dual status with Clonmel and is hoping to join us in September."
Focusing on the future, Keane said Bohs will continue to develop players at underage level and is confident the club will maintain their overall successes.
"Women's rugby at Bohs is continuing to progress and we are very proud of our achievements. We have won 12 out of 13 All-Ireland League titles which is a phenomenal record," he stressed.
"We have a photo in our clubhouse with seven of our players pictured that won the Grand Slam 2013 so we certainly have provided quality players to the Ireland set-up.
"We have a nice set up of underage girls and we're focusing on their development to keep the standard high at UL Bohs.
"Our first ambition is to win the All-Ireland Cup and that's only two games away. We know that whoever our opposition will be, they will be very strong but we've everything going for us and hopefully we'll be rewarded with the title."
UL Bohemian squad v Highfield: Backs: Aine Staunton, Lizabeth Burke, Deirbhile Nic a Bhard, Mairead Kelly, Rosie Newton, Helen McDermott, Robyn Gleeson. Forwards: Fiona Hayes, Liz Buckley, Fiona Reidy, Aoife O'Sullivan, Sara Hartigan, Meabh Darcy (Captain), Edel Murphy, Chloe Pearse. Replacements: Cassandra Iannucci, Tara McCarthy, Anna Caplice, Christine Costelloe, Hannah Davey, Syphonia Pau, Niamh O'Sullivan.