Clondalkin came into this game as underdogs having lost twice already this season to their opponents Suttonians

From first tackle, made by Claire Winters, the tone for the game was set: hard hits and quick line speed.

After a number of penalties from both sides for infractions at the breakdown, Suttonians made a fine break down the wing but Elaine Matthews, aka ‘Beast’, took the winger into touch in a magnificent all-or-nothing tackle just outside the 22.

Back in possession, Suttonians won another penalty for a high tackle and opted for the line-out.

From there they crossed the whitewash to get the first score of the game with eight minutes on the clock.

Suttonians Paul Flood Plate Final

Clondalkin took possession from the restart but spilled the ball at the opposition 22.

Suttonians took possession, playing advantage but Clondalkin’s excellent defensive play was once again demonstrated, keeping Suttonians in their half.

Second row Niamh McDonnell won the ball back for the Clonettes with an interception, taking it back inside Suttonians 22.

With continued strong runs from Aine Heffernan and Sara Phelan, a number of penalties were awarded to Clondalkin, however, they chose to keep pushing for the line.

This extended period of pressure would go to waste as a wide pass was intercepted leading to a long chase down the pitch by Siobhan Tierney-Mooney who managed to track back in time to stop the try.

Suttonians didn’t wait long to make up for this missed opportunity.

Paul Flood Plate Final

Soon after, they took advantage of gap in the Clondalkin line to add a converted try to their score, making it 12-0.

Suttonians were on the attack again after the restart.

Some strong running brought them back into the Clondalkin 22, but a third try was prevented by Sarah Jane Masterson who a forced forward pass.

Before the end of the first half Clondalkin got their first score on the board.

A flash of hands opened the door for Sara Phelan to run down the wing and score to make it 12-5 at the break.

Paul Flood Plate Final

At the start of the second half Clondalkin marched upfield with the help of a great kick from Siobhan Tierney-Mooney who hit touch just outside of the Suttonians’ 22.

However, Clondalkin were once again unable to convert their efforts to points.

Despite some extended spells of possession, and the introduction of Melissa Kavanagh 12 minutes into the second half which gave Clondalkin a much-needed boost, Suttonians would get the next score.

After a quick tap they crossed the line to add five more points to the scoreboard.

Tierney-Mooney scored a wonderful try after claiming a Brid Holohan kick to make it 17-10, but there was no time to draw level.

At Donnybrook: Suttonians 17 Clondalkin 10, Bank of Ireland Paul Flood Plate Final, Saturday, April 22