Paul Flood and Paul Cusack Cup finalists are confirmed
April 17, 2023 12:00 pm Daniel Kelly
The Semi-Finals of the Bank of Ireland Leinster Women’s Paul Flood and Paul Cusack Cups have recently taken place, with the Finals set for this Saturday in the SETU Carlow Sports Campus.
Bank of Ireland Paul Flood Cup Semi-Finals
Mullingar 22 Tullamore 27
This Bank of Ireland Paul Flood Cup semi-final doubled as a Midlands Cup final, adding extra spice to a match that didn’t even need it at Shay Murtagh Park.
For a long time, Mullingar made the running in this one, sparked by a hat-trick of tries by the brilliant Ciara Wynne.
In the beginning, the strength of the Tullamore pack was taking a lot out of the Mullingar defence, strong carries opening up the outside for Shannon Touhey to cross the whitewash.
It was to be the last score for the Tullamore women for the first half as Mullingar came back with Ciara Wynne nipping between tacklers for out-half Ciara Foxe to add on the extras for 7-5 after 25 minutes.
Mullingar were in the mood to add insult to injury, sweeping forward for two more tries to make it 17-5 at the interval.
On resumption, Tullamore hit Mullingar with everything they had, the pack working very hard to put lock prop Eve Tarpey over for Becky Gavin to add the conversion.
Back came Mullingar to knock on the door they eventually burst open for Wynne to complete her hat-trick.
However, the Offaly girls had enough in the tank for lock Caoimhe Guinan to power to the line.
In the last 10 minutes, Tullamore took over the game as their forwards carried the heavier threat to deliver the tying try through Clare Leonard.
And, in the tense late minutes, Sinead Rigney secured a place in the final with the decisive try three minutes from the end.
The second semi-final will take place on Sunday when Tullow host PortDara Falcons.
Scorers: Mullingar – C Wynne 3 tries; G Young try; C Foxe con. Tullamore – E Tarpey, S Touhey, C Guinan, C Leonard, S Rigney try each; B Gavin con.
Tullow 48 PortDara Falcons 15
Terrific Tullow powered their way to the Bank of Ireland Leinster Women’s Flood Cup final at Blackgates on Sunday.
The size and strength of the hometown forwards told the story, imposing themselves at close quarters before the time was right to release an assured back division.
The stellar work up front was rewarded with a fast start which was reflected in the fact loose-head Joanna Mahon ended up with a hat-trick.
PortDara began to battle their way back into the game, prop Ruth Whittle making the line from a slick move down the blindside.
The visitors were able to muster enough resolve to strike for two tries midway through the second period.
The pressure from back-to-back penalties created the front-foot ball for scrum-half Kate Tynan to snipe for five points.
Then, replacement Hannah Kearon broke from deep to go half the length of the pitch and left-wing Louise Scully was on hand to complete the job.
By then, however, Tullow had moved well clear as tries from Shelly Faulkner, Grace Kelly, a brace by Chloe Farrell and the completion of Mahon’s hat-trick had made it a foregone conclusion.
Scorers: Tullow – J Mahon 3 tries; C Farrell 2 tries; S Faulkner, G Kelly try each; C Dempsey 4 cons. PortDara – R Whittle, K Tynan, L Scully try each.
Bank of Ireland Paul Cusack Cup Semi-Finals
Tullamore 5 New Ross 53
New Ross continued their impressive season with near-perfect performance in Spollanstown.
An early set-piece move from the scrum involving Emma Flood, Jess Sutton and Kathryn Dempsey found full-back Anna Breen shooting over down the left.
It was the trigger for the concerted pressure that produced further tries by Flood (2) and Jen Dunne, the later converted by Cora Cousins, made for a 22-point lead.
Tullamore were by no means played off the field and through constant pressure, they struck off the back of a scrum 20 metres out with great work from Fiona Dixon to release Amy Berry for a try.
On the stroke of half time, Kathryn Dempsey found herself with support outside her and space to move, taking advantage of the stretched defence to ghost over for Cousins to convert for by 29-5 at the interval.
Despite the best efforts of Tullamore’s forwards, the flow of play continues to place pressure on their defence.
Carol Kavanagh, Annie Moloney, Eabha Cullen added tries before Dempsey notched her second try close to the end.
Scorers: Tullamore – A Berry try. New Ross – K Dempsey, E Flood 2 tries each; J Dunne, C Kavanagh, A Moloney, A Breen, E Cullen try each; C Cousins 3 cons; M Crowdle con.
Wicklow 17 Greystones 5
The cutting edge of Wicklow enabled them to come out three tries-to-one winner at Ashtown Lane.
Greystones started strongly, enjoying loads of possession in the blazing sunshine, Ana Iraizoz and Emer Meagher prominent on the ball.
The balance of play shifted in the second quarter as Wicklow began to find a foothold through the half-backs Megan McConnell and Alex McGuinness.
It all came together for the home side to strike for two tries in three minutes. Left-wing Saoirse O’Reilly and McGuinness finished off the tries, O’Reilly converting the second for a 12-point lead.
Greystones were far from fully out of it with Leah Kearney and Aisling Darby breaking the line more than once ahead of a superb solo-try by Eva Steritt in injury-time.
After the break, Greystones were committed in turning away Wicklow’s repeated attacks, Amy O’Mahony and Lauren Sweeney leading the charge.
They also showed promise on the ball where Michelle Colgan played extremely well in her last game before retiring.
Eventually, Wicklow crossed following an excellent move through the backs for full-back Jen Madden to touch down in the corner in the 76th minute.
Scorers: Wicklow – S O’Reilly try, con; A McGuinness, J Madden try each. Greystones – E Sterritt try.