Date Time Competition Season
28 April 2024 1:45 pm AIL Womens Div 1 2023/24

Match Report

UL Bohs Record 14th Women’s AIL Title

A hat trick from Chisom Ugwueru served as a big catalyst as UL Bohemian recorded their first Women’s AIL win since 2018 claiming the spoils on an historic day in the Aviva Stadium.

To be the first team to claim the honours in a Women’s club final in the Aviva, UL Bohs have had quite the end and end it with a cup and the divisional crown. Fiona Hayes was captain back in 2018 and now her return is marked by their first crown since that season.

Eight tries on the day, an incredible performance and when a winner had to be crowned the real winner was Women’s rugby in Ireland. Two amazing teams showcasing their talent at HQ in the first club final, it shows the level of the Women’s AIL.

Railway attacked with early intent but an early penalty did give UL Bohs the chance to clear their lines. Possession swapped hands for a time but then Chisom Ugwueru was able to run down the channel Bohs were always going to get yards.

When the Clare native gathered on the right wing she raced clear and with some stunning pirouettes got within inches of the line. UL Bohs had their first chance and as they shifted play toward the other flank Aoife Corey slipped the ball to Aoife O’Shaughnessy to score the first ever try in a Women’s Final at headquarters. Kate Flannery slotted the extras for a 7-0 lead after five minutes.

Possession was largely with UL Bohs in the early exchanges but after a Railway error led to a lineout on the Bohs 22, it would result in a try for the Dubliners. The feed did not reach a Robins player and Nikki Caughey barged into the tackle and her offload allowed the veteran Lindsay Peat to speed away to dot down the reply three minutes later. Caughey levelled with a drop kicked conversion from close range.  

With these two teams games will always be cagey and as the opening quarter of an hour transpired it was a physical possession based game between these two sides. UL were using the space well when they could get motoring but Railway were also sharp to play on the counter. 

Playing on such an expansive pitch like the Aviva getting the ball wide to the speedsters certainly was a key tactic. As the Robins attacked the Railway end they shifted to the right channel and once Ugwueru could grasp the ball there was only one outcome from close range.

The Pearl Of Clare dotting down in the right corner to add five points on the board. Flannery just wide with the conversion. Momentum looked to have stayed with Bohs as they camped towards the Railway line minutes later, they were inches away but an error at the breakdown forced a turnover.

Following the scrum Peat again showed the afterburners to charge toward the UL half, after a Caughey penalty found touched Railway claimed the lineout and set on another phase of attacking play. Kayla Waldron took possession and like a hot knife through butter carved her way through the Bohs rearguard and dotted down to level, Caughey put Railway ahead with the resulting conversion.

A real ding dong battle in Lansdowne Road, the Robins were quick to reply having gone behind for the first time. Kate Flannery with a burst through the middle and the Tipp native made terrific ground before being hauled down, Bohs ran the phases well and going to the right wing substitute Eabha Nic Dhonnacha was on hand to slide over for the third try. Flannery missed the kick but the lead was three points between the sides shortly before the half hour mark.

Railway looked lively any time they got forward and to be fair to both sides when they conceded they never really let the heads drop. A big moment arrived with five minutes left in the half as Claire Bennett was shown a yellow card for an infringement. Railway deep in the Bohs half with the numerical advantage had a big chance to score.

Indeed that was the case one minute later. The fruitful Maddy Aberg darting through the Bohs cover and with Caughey converting Railway were 21-17 clear approaching half time. It was a pulsating opening half fitting for the occasion.

We still had time for one final score in the half. Bohs down a key player in their pack attacked with intent deep in the Railway half. The ball popped out to Flannery who kicked cross field to the left channel, the ball missed O’Shaughnessy but Aoife Corey was on hand to gather and score. Flannery saw the conversion trickle wide but Bohs had a slender one point lead which they took to the dressing room, 22-21.

UL Bohs kept the momentum going into the second half. With two minutes elapsed they put Railway under pressure and again were within inches of the try line. Railway defended ferociously well but as UL sprayed for the right wing it was Ugwueru who gathered and pumped the legs to race over in the corner.

After some deliberation using the big screen, the try was awarded and UL Bohs moved 27-21 clear as the conversion again was missed. From the restart Railway gathered and attacked with purpose, it remained 15 v 14 and the Dubliners were using that to full effect. 

Putting the Limerick natives defence under strain shy of the line, they used the width to full effect with captain Niamh Byrne dotting down their fifth try. Caughey was unable to kick for the lead as the conversion drifted to the right and Bohs had a narrow one point lead.

While the second half started at 100 miles an hour the tempo settled and with UL back to 15 players they it started to once again be a cagey affair. Bohs attacked well and the same for Railway but on the hour mark Bohs hit the front again. Brianna Heylmann dotting down after some intense attacking phases by the Robins shy of the Railway line. Flannery added the extra two and UL were ahead 34-27.

Three minutes later Railway hit back. Who else but the veteran Peat to break the cover and dart in for her second try of the contest. Caughey added the extra two points and we were back to a one point game.

The game was stopped when Kayla Waldron suffered a nasty injury and had to depart on a stretcher. Railway close to the line looked to pounce again for a score but Bohs shut shop. Flannery with a clearance kick that proved dividends as Bohs gained possession following a knock on.

Momentum looked to be with the Limerick side and Flannery showed her genius once again to kick in behind the Railway cover and Ugwueru with time and space raced down the fight flank and dotted her for a hat trick. Flannery converted for a 41-33 lead.

UL ensured the win when Corey dotted down for her second try in the final minutes, Flannery converting and the outcome was assured. Railway did grab a late consolation try as Ailsa Hughes went over but the day belonged to Bohs.


UL Bohemian

15Aoife Corey Full-Back 40', 78'
14Chisom Ugwueru Winger 17', 42', 69'
13Stephanie Nunan 23 Centre
12Alana McInerney 22 Centre
11Aoife O’Shaughnessy Winger 5'
10Kate Flannery Fly-Half 6', 61', 70', 79'
9Muirne Wall Scrum-Half
1Ciara O’Dwyer Prop
2Beth Buttimer Hooker
3Fiona Reidy Prop
4Clodagh O’Halloran Lock
5Claire Bennett Lock 35'
6Brianna Heylmann 20 Flanker 60'
7Jane Clohessy 16 Flanker
8Chloe Pearse No. 8
16Lily Brady 7 Hooker
17Ciara McLoughlin Prop
18Nicola Sweeney Prop
19Eva McCormack Lock
20Sarah Garrett 6 Flanker
21Abbie Salter-Townshend Scrum-Half
22Eabha Nic Dhonnacha 12 Centre 28'
23Rachel Allen 13 Centre

Railway Union

15Aimee Clarke 23 Full-Back
14Maddy Aberg Winger 36'
13Niamh Byrne Centre 46'
12Kayla Waldron 21 Centre 24'
11Ava Ryder Winger
10Nikki Caughey 22 Fly-Half 10', 25', 37', 64'
9Ailsa Hughes Scrum-Half
1Grainne O’Loughlin 18 Prop
2Meabh Keegan 16 Hooker
3Megan Collis 20 Prop
4Keelin Brady Lock
5Faith Oviawe Lock
6Katie O’Dwyer Flanker
7Molly Boyne Flanker
8Lindsay Peat No. 8 9', 63'
16Emily Gavin 2 Hooker
17Kirstie Stevenson Prop
18Sophie Barrett 1 Prop
19Salome Trauth Lock
20Patricia Doyle 3 No. 8
21Claire Keohane 12 Scrum-Half
22Dani Franada 10 Full-Back
23Leah Tarpey 15 Centre

Past Meetings

(Round 17)
43 - 22
AIL Womens Div 1
Willow Lodge

Railway Union RFC v UL Bohemian

(Cup Final)
12 - 34
Energia Cup Series
Coolmine Rugby Club

Railway Union v UL Bohemian

(Round 8)
10 - 7
AIL Womens Div 1

UL Bohemian v Railway Union RFC

(Cup Final)
28 - 12
Energia Cup Series
Templeville Road

Railway Union V UL Bohemian

(Round 8)
55 - 17
Energia Cup Series
Willow Lodge

Railway Union RFC v UL Bohemian

(Round 2)
5 - 24
AIL Womens Div 1

UL Bohemian v Railway Union RFC

(Cup Final)
51 - 12
Women's All-Ireland Cup
Templeville Road

Railway Union v UL Bohemian

(T4 - Round 4)
14 - 31
AIL Womens Div 1

UL Bohemian v Railway Union RFC

(T4 - Round 1)
14 - 10
AIL Womens Div 1
Willow Lodge

Railway Union RFC v UL Bohemian

(Round 4)
37 - 10
AIL Womens Div 1
Willow Lodge

Railway Union RFC v UL Bohemian


Aviva Stadium
Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Sandymount, Pembroke West ED, Dublin, County Dublin, Leinster, D04 CA43, Ireland

Diarmuid Kearney is a freelance Sports Journalist based in Co Kerry. He has more than 5 years experience covering domestic and international soccer for different media organisations, while also working for local and national print and digital organisations covering GAA.