UL Bohemian’s continued on their winning ways with a comfortable 15 – 0 win against Old Belvedere in the final of the Women’s All Ireland League Playoffs. The result means that Bohs beat every other side twice in a formidable league campaign, this win reversing their only regular season defeat after Blevo claimed a 19 – 0 win in early January.
Their stats for the season are hugely impressive. Played 16, won 15, lost one and they picked up 12 try bonus points on the way together with another free scoring display in their semi-final win against Cooke. Truly worthy champions and not boring at all! 😆
Boh’s largely dominated the first half with the breeze and the slope in their favour but they struggled to get on the scoreboard until their pack took matters in hand to claim a penalty try at the start of the second quarter. Belvo were restricted to the odd break from Nora Stapleton but most of the first half saw them fight a rear guard action with scrum half Kathryn Dane prominent in defence.
As the end of the first half approached I was wondering if seven points was going to be enough but a late penalty from Niamh Briggs extended the lead to 10 points in what was proving to be a tight game.
Belvo came out in the second half with all guns blazing and though they enjoyed the bulk of territory and possession in the third quarter they seldom ventured into the Bohs 22 as Boh’s fullback Aine Staunton carefully marshalled her defence.
Indeed, it was a break from Staunton that decided the game in Boh’s favour as the fullback ran the ball from her own half up to the Belvo line before being hauled down inches short by Dane. A few plays later Briggs sent over a immaculate cross field kick for winger Laura Sheehan to catch and fall over the line to score. The conversion was missed from out wide but with Boh’s leading 15 – 0 with 16 minutes left the game was all but over.
Belvo looked for a response but a bit of punch had went out of their play and Boh’s were able to hold on reasonably comfortably to claim the Women’s All Ireland League for the second successive season.
Final score: UL Bohemian 15 Old Belvedere 0
UL Bohemian: Aine Saunton, Laura O’Mahony, Mairead Kelly, Rachel Allen, Laura Sheehan, Niamh Briggs, Nicole Cronin, Fiona Hayes (c), Gillian Bourke, Fiona Reidy, Sara Hartigan, Chloe Pearse, Edel Murphy, Anna Caplice, Ciara Griffin. Replacements: Tara McCarthy, Clodagh O’Halloran, Stephen Nunan, Aoife O’Sullivan, Sorcha Holohan, Claire Keohane, Syphonia Pua.
Old Belvedere: Maria Kenny, Ailbhe Dowling, Elise O’Byrne White, Sene Naoupu, Gemma Matthews, Nora Stapleton, Kathryn Dane, Linda Djougang, Stephanie Barman, Fiona O’Brien (c), Oonagh Hynes, Roisin O’Donnell, Lesley Ring, Franziska Klappoth, Sharon Lynch. Replacements: Jennie Finlay, Grace McCormack, Jan Carroll, Sophie Spence, Ellen Murphy, Aine Donnelly, Alex White.