It was heartbreak for Ireland Women as Wales scored a late try to claim victory at the UCD Bowl on Sunday afternoon. The result leaves Ireland with only 3 wins in their 12 outings under the current management team.
Both teams took the opportunity to look at their squad depth with Ireland including five uncapped players in their squad, Leinster’s Judy Bobbett the only start, and Wales adding four new caps to build on the eight players capped last week by the Welsh in their loss to Spain.
In a scrappy first half the only score came from a Linda Djougang try after good work by Eimear Considine, who proved to be Ireland’s biggest threat. The try went unconverted and the teams turned round with Ireland leading 5 – 0, both sides happy to see the end of a penalty strewn first half.
There was a bit more action after the break as Ireland doubled their lead after a try by Enya Breen with Considine again prominent in the build up. Breen easily exploiting a 2 on 1 in the Welsh defence to go over for her unconverted try.
Wales hit back shortly after with Robyn Wilkins penalty to take the score to 10 – 3 and as wales started to bring on some of their more experience players in the final quarter they started to take control.
The seasoned Sioned Harries made an immediate impact to burst through the Ireland centre field defence to score close to the posts, Wilkins converting to tie the game a 10-all on the 68th minute.
However, Ireland looked as though they had done enough when Ellen Murphy landed a 74th minute penalty to push the home side three points clear.
Wales looked for a response and they finally found it in the closing minutes as Ireland conceded a couple of late penalties to position Wales in the Ireland 22 with a line out. After a series of dabs at the line by the Welsh pack, scrum half Keira Bevan spotted a gap to dart over for the winning score.
IRELAND WOMEN: Eimear Considine, Lauren Delany, Enya Breen, Sene Naoupu, Beibhinn Parsons, Ellen Murphy, Nicole Cronin,Laura Feely, Cliodhna Moloney, Linda Djougang, Nichola Fryday, Judy Bobbett, Ciara Griffin (C), Edel McMahon, Anna Caplice. Replacements: Hannah O’Connor, Victoria Dabanovich-O’Mahony, Anne-Marie O’Hora, Kathryn Dane, Niamh Ni Dhroma, Michelle Claffey, Katie O’Dwyer, Larissa Muldoon.
WALES WOMEN: Kayleigh Powel, Paige Randall, Alecs Donovan, Robyn Wilkins, Courtney Keight, Elinor Snowsill, Ffion Lewis, Gwenllian Pyrs, Kelsey Jones, Amy Evans, Natalia John, Gwen Crabb, Alex Callender, Bethan Lewis, Siwan Lillicrap (C). Replacements: Keira Bevan, Robyn Lock, Megan Webb, Sioned Harries, Carys Phillips, Cerys Hale, Rebekah O’Loughlin, Gwenllian Jenkins.
120 match pictures below courtesy of Bob Given Photography