Athy Women had plenty to celebrate on Saturday evening after turning over local rivals Newbridge in the final of Division 4 of the women’s Leinster League. The Athy women, in their first ever season, were ecstatic with the win against a more experienced Newbridge team who had already beaten them twice in the league.
Women’s Leinster League Division 4 final
Nerves got the better of a skilled Newbridge side, who were unable to finish off countless chances to cross the Athy line, and a breakaway try against the run of play was the difference on the scoreline at the final whistle.
A great crowd turned out to cheer on the home side, and view the excellent display of women’s rugby, with all four of the Leinster League finals taking place in the Showgrounds.
Conditions on Saturday were very difficult with heavy rain and a driving wind down the length of the pitch, this made it hard for both side to pass the ball about and play good rugby. Newbridge were up for a match and were well drilled.
With the difficult conditions underfoot the match was a low scoring affair, but the tackling ability of both sides was tested to the limit. The first twenty minutes were scoreless with both sides looking for a good start.
Athy broke the deadlock after half an hour, from a scrum on the Athy 22 meter line, the Athy back line displayed great levels of skill and passed the ball right out to the left wing, where Aisling Connolly sprinted from within the Athy Half to touch down for the only try of the match. The conversion was left of the posts, leaving the score Athy 5 – Newbridge 0.
Newbridge responded right from the restart and with some good play and broke through the Athy defence, some great tackling from the Athy back line saved the day and held the visitors out.
Newbridge had a great opportunity a few minutes later when they were awarded a penalty about 10 meters from the Athy try line. This time the visitors put the ball through the hands and out numbered Athy on the left wing. Only for a poor pass and resultant knock-on the visitors should have touched down, instead they turned over possession to Athy who were able to kick the ball down the field and relieve the pressure. The score remained 5 – 0 to Athy at the break.
In the second half, the Newbridge women threw everything at home side but their own handling errors cost them dearly. Time after time they pressured the Athy line only to fumble the ball before crossing the whitewash.
Eventually Athy were able to relive the pressure after Newbridge conceded three penalties in a row, this allowed the home side to work their way up the field and hold out for the final whistle.
Mairead Bradley, Breda Curtis, Samantha Barry, Rachel Chambers, Jui Faherty, Katie Kavanagh, Catherine Stynes, Sonia Keegan, Michelle McGrath, Emma Dunlea, Laura Fennin, Shelly Foley, Stephanie Fennelly, Lynda Condell, Aileen Langton, Hannah Casey, Sarah Gahan, Danielle Breen, Shelia Russell, Anto Rock, Aishling Connolly, Amy Coyle.
Leanne Bracken, Char Walker, Laura Cogan, Laura Coates, Gina Byrne, Dee Rooney, Angela Doyle, Fiona Behan, Aisling Mahon, Aisling O’Hora, Aoife Whelan, Sinead Dixon, amy Gibson, Caroline Gavin, Kaylee Cogan, Alison Carey, Laura Walsh, Rachel Hughes, Linda O’Shaughnessy and Marie Cash