Terenure College v Cork Con

Cork Con End Five Year Wait For 1A Silverware

Cork Constitution ended a wait since 2019 to take home Division 1A silverware, down to 14 men at the finish and for a time 12 men was all they had, James Taylor was a big catalyst scoring 18 points.

The Dublin dominance of 1A is over. Cork Con who have endured some painful years since the 2019 win have gotten their reward for a stellar season in a cracking final against Terenure. 

Jonny Holland’s men dug deep and when they had it cut out with limited numbers they kept that defence strong and when Taylor had a shot at the posts he ensured they had points. Terenure’s reign is over but they gave it everything.

Cork Con started brighter and won a penalty on the Nure 10m line they kicked for the corner. The lineout maul superb and the phase ended with Rob Hedderman driving over for the opening try. James Taylor landed the conversion for an early 7-0 lead.

Nure had possession but could not grab a score immediately in response. Shy of the 20th minute Taylor struck a penalty from near halfway to silence the noisy Nure section and put the Cork side ahead 10-0.

Then the game changed. Con down to 14 men as John Forde was shown a straight red card for a high tackle that looked like the elbow being used. Aran Egan landed a penalty minutes later as Nure looked to build on that numerical advantage. 

Well that was until Con grabbed their second try. Another penalty kicked to the corner and another incredible lineout maul resulted in Billy Scannell crossing on the half hour mark and Taylor added the extras. 

Terenure in the final ten minutes did grab their opening try when Jordan Coughlan crossed the whitewash and Egan reduced the arrears to seven points. Niall Kenneally was sent to the bin late in the opening half but Con held up Nure from scoring a try late on to lead 17-10 at the interval.

Into the second half an early doors saw Con down to 12 players when Sean Duffy was shown a yellow card. Nure would grab their opening score of the half a minute later as Egan dotted down, the conversion to level just missed the target.

Two further Taylor penalties helped Con move 23-15 clear. Terenure, who had the massive numerical advantage added a third try when Adam LaGrue raced clear and crossed the whitewash Egan converting for a one point game. Terenure almost added a second in a flash, Egan sped clear soon after the restart having spotted a gap and offloaded to Conor Phillips on the left wing, he put on the afterburners but was held up in the crossing.

Down at the other end Taylor struck his fourth penalty and Con moved four points clear just after the hour mark. When Nure came knocking on the door shy of the 70th minute mark Con soaked up the pressure and won a crucial turnover when it looked like the Dubliners were about to pounce. 

And turning defence into attack Taylor fired a penalty to touch and minutes later substitute Danny Sheahan powered over from close range and Taylor slotted the conversion for a 33-22 lead. 

UL Bohemian v Railway Union

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.

 

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