Womens Rugby – Spirits are high as UCC rise to the top!

ULLR travelled down to the Farm on Wednesday 24th February, preparing for a highly anticipated match between the two sides. The first half saw both teams come out with guns a blazing. UCC kicked off playing towards the dog track. UL employed the use of their full back on plenty occasions to fly up the wing, but was fortunately stopped many a time by Cliona O Shaughnessy’s chop tackles. UL was camped down in UCC’s 22 for the first 20 minutes, where UCC showed great defence and prevented them from crossing the whitewash. With a break from Laura Sheehan, not surprisingly scoring the opening try of the game which was simply converted by Ellen Murphy. The latter of the first half was still being played at a fast pace but had many breaks in play due to a few knock ons. The scrums were very even between the both sides, with Becky O Sullivan stealing many of UL’s scrums giving UCC the added advantage. UL hit back with their first try of the game (Converted). With minutes to go in the first half, the back line once again displayed their perfected lines, with Ciara Scanlan crashing the ball through UL’s defence on many occasion but UCC were unsuccessful in their attempts.

The second half got underway with a slight wind in favour of ULLR, UCC knew a level head was needed to win this game. The pack put in a massive effort to gain ground, the rucks were secure and settled, giving Murphy a chance to set plays up in her own time. The two sides battled it out, as even as it could possibly be, the play stayed in the centre of the field for quite some time until UL managed to steal the ball and put UCC back in their own 22. With fantastic counter rucking from Ciara O Dwyer, it relieved UCC of the pressure. UCC were awarded 2/3 penalties throughout the second half for offside positions from the away team, this gave the pack the chance to show the work that has been put in at training the past number of weeks. On these line out occasions UCC opted for a maul where at each time 15/20 yards were being made, they were no match for the unprepared UL forwards. With the rolling maul came a swift pass to Mairead and over the try line, converted by Ellen Murphy. With tension high between the two sides meant that this was going to be no plain sailing for the ref, a black card was issued to Dinah O’ Mahony for a minor infringement with 15 minutes to go. UL opted for the tap and go, with O Mahony tackling in the next ruck, and a questionable decision from the ref, ULLR was awarded a penalty for UCC’s no.8 for not rolling away… With an insane pressure on the UCC girls, forward of the match; O Dwyer, managed to counter ruck once again and the ball was safely beyone the half way point again. With UCC gaining ground momentously, there was a break in play for ULLR being offside again. 10 metres out from UL’s try line, the Cork girls were given a scrum for a knock on. The most miraculous moment of the game was soon to follow when O’ Mahony popped to Murphy, she side stepped two defenders and forced herself over the try line (Not converted). Giving UCC a 7 point lead. ULLR kicked off again and the ref being questionable once again when asked how long was left, putting the UCC girls under severe pressure. Fantastic work from the forwards only then for the ball to eventually be kicked out into touch. A historic win for UCC Ladies Rugby after years of attempting to beat one of their biggest rivals 

Forward of the match: Ciara O Dwyer

Backs of the match: Ciara Scanlan, Ellen Murphy and Mairead Ní Chathasaigh


1. Orla Rea
2. Becky O Sullivan
3. Kelly Brady
4. Sarah O Donovan
5. Hannah O’Sullivan
6. Ciara O Dwyer
7. Hannah Lane
8. Dinah O Mahony
9. Ellen Murphy
10. Mairead Ní Chathasaigh
11. Ciara Scanlan
12. Jill O Donnell
13. Cliona O Shaughnessy
14. Rebecca Crowley
15. Laura Sheehan