Ladies All Ireland Cup Final
UL Bohemians seal treble with cup final win over Blackrock
Maeve D’arcy’s side was beaten just once all season.
UL Bohemians 26 Blackrock 17 Aisling Crowe reports from Dubarry Park UL BOHEMIANS CROWNED a campaign that was near flawless with victory in the All-Ireland Cup final today against Blackrock. The Limerick team added the final trophy of the season to their Munster Cup and All-Ireland League triumphs to secure at hat-trick of titles. Maeve D’arcy’s team was beaten just once during a season that encompassed the newly-expanded League format of 14 games for each team, an approach which was hailed as a success by the teams involved. On the Athlone pitch, winger Liz Bourke opened the scoring, dashing down the flank after 14 minutes for UL Bohemians’ first try of the game which was converted by full back Edel Murphy for a 7-0 lead. Five minutes later Sarah Hartigan crashed over the line under the posts for the second try, again Murphy was unerring with the conversion. Blackrock hit back through their breakthrough star of the season Eimear Corri, the Portlaoise teenager engaging turbo down the right wing after good passing movement in the backs to give the Dublin team five points. The scores remained static for the remaining 15 minutes of the half but UL Bohemians extended their lead three minutes after the restart when Chloe Pearse, playing at number eight, was the forward in possession of the ball when the pack rumbled over the line. Again Murphy, who also stars as the Kerry ladies’ goalkeeper added the two points to stretch the lead to 16 points. It didn’t last long however as Carmela Morey claimed Blackrock’s second try of the game on 50 minutes. Good play from both teams kept fans entertained and Bourke grabbed her second, and UL Bohemians’ fourth, try of the afternoon when crossing the white line on 63 minutes to make it 26 – 10 to the league champions. Blackrock refused to give in and continued to scrap hard for scores with Niamh Griffin crossing for their third try, which was converted by Michelle Claffey. However time ran out on their attempt at a comeback success and it was UL Bohemians who tasted the victory champagne at the final whistle, for the third time this season. “It was a good, open game of rugby between two strong teams,” said John Keane, representing the champions. “It is great to end the season like this, winning all three competitions and losing one match during the entire season.” Blackrock too had positives to take from Sunday’s performance after a season which as thrown into turmoil half way through by a complete change in coaching personnel at Christmas. “It was a tough game and small errors cost us those 14 points in the first half which made the difference to the game,” explained Blackrock coach Richie Marsh.
“We were in the ascendancy early in the first half and again in the second, it was the middle period of the first half when they did the damage.” “They played a smart game and their set-piece was very good which they were able to utilise in terms of territory and playing the game in our half of the field. They ran hard and took advantage of some soft tackling"