Nic a Bhaird brace seals title
UL 17-8 DCU
Eadaoin Liddy's desperation to make tackles summed up the difference between these teams in this closely-fought decider at Dubarry Park, Athlone.
UL's blindside flanker delivered consecutive driveback tackles late on to help Colm Skehan's side secure victory.
It was far from a one-woman show though, and she might even concede MVP to her back-row buddy Deirbhle Nic a Bhaird who chipped in with two tries.
The game was played at four-lung pace, as both teams practically ran the ball from everywhere, and both IRFU officials present will have reams of intel to bring back to their debriefing section for their post-Six Nations rebuild.
Both sides threatened with plenty early before Nic a Bhaird's and Hanniffy's loud knocking at the DCU door created enough space wide right for Ashlea Sheehy to score the opening try.
DCU then replied just eight minutes later when a spilled lineout deep in their own half was returned with venom by Anna Doyle from 60m.
She was again instrumental on the half-hour when another burst led to a penalty which Ciara McDonnell slotted for the half-time lead.
Liddy was rebuffed twice from close range before Nic a Bhaird crossed in the 50th minute for a lead they would not surrender.
Nic a Bhaird then forced her way through on 65 minutes to secure the game, copperfastened by Liddy's late efforts.
UL - R Newton; A Sheehy, C Hanniffy, E Breen, K English; R Gavin, H McDermott; E McMahon, R Dunne, E McNicholas; S Ni Uallachain, C McLoughlin; E Liddy, J Hewitt, D Nic a Bhaird. Reps: M Lambert, M O'Dwyer, S Hogg, A O'Grady, M Lewis, A Lucey, S Carroll.
DCU - K Cullen; K Doonan, A Doyle, E Hooban, A Lyons; C McDonnell, N Griffin; E Lackey, L Power, C Quirke; J McSorley, S Kilburn; AM Dunphy, A Reilly, M Hopkins. Reps: K O'Brien, E Kealy, L McCleery, M Scufil-McCabe, H Boylan, M Scully, R Armitage.
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