Bank of Ireland Leinster Women League Finals
March 31, 2016 12:00 am client
Come and join us on Saturday 2nd April, where Donnybrook Stadium will host the Bank of Ireland Leinster Women’s League Finals.
We kick off with an early start of 11am, so be sure to bring your family and friends to support your team, it’s guaranteed to be a great showcase of women’s rugby!
Entry is €;5 for adults and U16 go FREE!
Seven teams made up this year’s division 4 contest, where Navan, Wanderers, Tallaght, Portlaoise and Blackrock J1’s battled it out for silverware. The first game of the finals day will see a clash between Wanderers & Portlaoise. On the 13th March, Wanderers gave an impressive display against Division 3 league finalists NUIM Barnhall and ran out deserving winners with a 41-17 result for their first match of the Paul Cusack Cup. In only their second season of competitive rugby, this will be wanderers first ever league final.
On March 6th, after a close play off battle, Portlaoise defeated second in the table Navan by 12 points to 8 to reach their league final, in the face of Navan’s impressive 6 win streak throughout the season. Despite a 16-12 triumph over Wanderers in their first league clash, De La Salle Palmerstown FC fell by the wayside reducing the initial 8 team Div 4 league to 7 for a fighting finish. 4 points separated Blackrock J1’s and Tallaght RFC from the bottom of the Div 4 league table, and both teams have now commenced their Paul Cusack Cup campaigns. Blackrock J1’s came close to their first win of the cup crusade on March 13th but were beaten by a triumphant Greystones side in a final score of 33-22. On the same day, Tallaght battled it out against the Div 2’s Arklow “Amazons” who warrior-ed their way to an impressive 59-7. Division 4 kick-off Wanderers Vs Portlaoise 11 am.
A dominating and front running pair Gorey and NUIM Barnhall will have their chance to claim the Div 3 League title when they KO at 11.30 am. Gorey racked up the points in the early stages of the league with huge try scores resulting in a 29-5 win over middle of the table Athy and a 88-7 victory over a struggling Clontarf side. However, they met their match during their first clash with a dominant Barnall side who also sported victories of up to 50 points against Garda Westmanstown, Athy and Clontarf.
The first Gorey and Barnhall encounter resulted in a close 12-8 win for Barnhall while their second meeting reflected a similar score of 12-5 in favour of Gorey. With not much between the teams and their score lines, this final is set to be a riveting showcase of rugby! Troubles with numbers resulted in conceded games from a fatigued Garda/Westmantown and Clontarf sides on more than one occasion, placing both teams in the red zone of the table. Strong and varying performances from Longford, Balbriggan and Athy place them in a solid position for next year’s title, and so for their stab at the 2016 Paul Cusack cup! Division 3 Kick off Gorey v NUIM Barnhall 11.30am.
Division 2 consisted of 8 teams this year, with Tullamore, CYM, Tullow and Kilkenny all fighting for a place in the final. This division saw lots of walkovers with conceded games given by Suttonians, Wexford Wanderers and Arklow with the NM Falcons finding their feet and struggling at times through the season. Tullamore sit at the top of the table, with Tullow being the only team to affect their perfect score. Tullamore’s first clash with Tullow on home soil ended resulted in 0-0 draw while their away performance against caused a 7-0 defeat.
Tullamore automatically qualified for the finals finishing top of the league with a string of strong performances and a point’s tally of 59. CYM saw off Tullow in the semi-final with a 20-7 win. In their fixtures this season Tullamore saw off CYM 41-0 and in the return fixture Tullamore were victorious by only 5 points at a score of 8-3. The gap may close even more on the day of the finals. There is no doubt the Division 2 final will be a hotly contested affair. Division 2 Kick off Tullamore v CYM 1.30pm.
This year’s Division 1 final, and last game of finals day is set to be an enthralling battle between an Edenderry and Rathdrum sides who have proved their physicality, ability and skill throughout a league which is rife with top class tries, injuries and close battles. Last year’s Division 1 winners Mullingar went into the semi-finals joint top with Edenderry and were eventually denied an opportunity to defend their title which saw a MVP win for Heifer Louise Kelly. There will be no doubt that the ladies from Mullingar will feature in the top of the Division 1 table again next year. The second semi-final saw Edenderry beat Railway Union J1’s 43-10 a score which serves as a reminder of their strength all season, losing only 2 games throughout the league campaign.
Looking past the top four in Division 1 we see some teams that have struggled in the top tier of women’s rugby in Leinster both in performance, through injury or simply from adjusting to the tougher contests. Carlow Coyotes, strong contenders in each competition they have featured in since their first game a few seasons ago found the going tough due to a number of key injuries and transfers. Old Belvedere J1’s had mixed fortunes throughout the league and will aim to build on some of their stronger contests this season.
Clondalkin and New Ross found the going toughest this season both teams prop up Division 1 with 9 and 6 points respectively. Division 1 Kick off Edenderry v Rathdrum 2.00pm
Best of luck to all of the teams on the day. Whatever the outcome in all four finals, a fantastic day showcasing the Women’s game is guaranteed!