The Bank of Ireland Leinster Women’s League Finals took place over two different days at Naas RFC to decide who would claim promotion from each of the four divisions.

The Division 2, 3 and 4 finals took place on Saturday, with the Division 1 final played on Tuesday evening.

Division 3 Final – MU Barnhall RFC 12 Dublin University FC 10 

The first match of the day was the Division 3 Final between Dublin University and MU Barnhall RFC.

Both sides enjoyed an excellent season in the league meaning this was set to be an evenly-matched contest throughout.

Right from the kick-off, Barnhall played with huge intensity through their forwards. Despite the pressure Trinity’s defence was solid with one try 20 minutes in being Barnhall’s only reward for all their possession.

Just before the break a penalty from DUFC out-half Honor McNamara cut Barnhall’s lead to two.

Barnhall started the second half on the attack, eager to make up for their missed opportunities in the first period.

When they were awarded a penalty in midfield, out-half Orfhlaith Murray found touch in the Trinity 22. It was Murray who finished under the Dublin University posts off a Barnhall scrum, adding the conversion to make it a two-score game.

Dublin University were handed a route back into the game when Barnhall lock Orla Fitzsimons was penalised at a lineout and shown a yellow card deep into the second half.

Trinity took full advantage of the yellow card and began to move up the pitch into Barnhall’s 22. Inches from the line Jane Leahy dived over and grounded under the posts.

In the end, momentum swung back towards Barnhall. Dublin University knocked-on in the middle of the pitch and Barnhall kicked the ball out to jubilant celebrations from their following.

Barnhall will move up to Division 2 next season while Dublin University can be very proud of their performance in the final and throughout the season only a year on from possible relegation. Player of the game was awarded to MU Barnhall’s Katelynn Doran.

Division 2 Final – Wicklow RFC 29 Edenderry RFC 12

Wicklow’s win in the Division 2 final represents their second promotion in three years.

They also went the entire league season unbeaten and will play Division 1 rugby in 2019/20.

Aoibhin Stone, Rachel Griffey, Kayleigh Sullivan, Meagan Parkinson, and Mia Sheridan were the try scorers on the day as Wicklow maintained their remarkable success over recent years.

Edenderry had their chances but were outmuscled in the end. Even though they were beaten on the day Edenderry’s Grainne Vaugh was named the player of the match.

Division 4 Final – Naas RFC 19 Portlaoise RFC 10

Naas rounded off a remarkable league campaign with the Division 4 title in the last final of the day.

In a game that swung one way and then the other, Portlaoise took an early lead through a Clare O’Connell penalty but were 5-3 down at half-time after Naas crossed for the game’s first try.

O’Connell went over for a try for Portlaoise early in the second half, which she converted herself to make it 10-5.

But it was to be Portlaoise’s last score as Naas added two converted tries including one at the death to get their hands on the silverware. Nass RFC’s Cliodhna O’Connor was named Player of the Game.

Unfortunately, Portlaoise’s defeat marks a third straight final loss in Division 4 having lost to Port Dara Falcons in the 2017/18 final and to Wanderers in 2016/17.

Division 1 Final – Tullow RFC 18 Suttonians 26 (AET)

Due to a bereavement, the Division 1 finals were rescheduled to take place on Tuesday in Naas RFC.

In a repeat of the 2017/18 Division 2 final Tullow again faced Suttonians. Suttonians were aiming for the perfect season with a record of 14 wins from 14 in the league.

From the kick-off Tullow were relentless in attack, unleashing the strength of their forwards and the speed of their backs.

Tullow struck the first blow with a penalty quickly followed by a try, Suttonians fought back to get a try of their own leaving it 13-5 at half-time.

While it was all Tullow in the first half Suttonians fought their way back into the game to make the second half theirs. At full-time, the score was tied, 18-18.

Suttonians took control of extra-time moving deep into Tullow’s 22 a number of times with clever kicks and blistering runs. A penalty and another try moved the Dublin team eight points ahead, a lead which proved to be insurmountable for Tullow.

An enthralling game which went end to end, Suttonians had just enough to get the win and clinch the Division 1 title. While Suttonians came away with the trophy Tullow’s Chloe Farrell was named the player of the game.

Suttonians will now progress as Leinster’s candidate for AIL promotion. Best of luck to the team and their management in the weeks ahead.

Thanks to all in Naas RFC for hosting the finals day.

Results:

Division 1 – Tullow RFC 18 Suttonians 26 (AET)
Division 2 – Wicklow RFC 29 Edenderry RFC 12
Division 3 – Dublin University FC 10 MU Barnhall RFC 12
Division 4 – Naas RFC 19 Portlaoise RFC 10

Player of the Game awards:

Division 1 – Chloe Farrell, Tullow RFC
Division 2 – Grainne Vaugh, Edenderry RFC
Division 3 – Katelynn Doran, MU Barnhall RFC
Division 4 – Cliodhna O’Connor, Naas RFC