24 Mar 2016
Preview of the Leinster League Womens Div 2 Final.
Saturday 2nd of April will be a big day for Tullamore RFC. The club will be hosting an U-12 boys blitz which will see 24 teams playing in Tullamore, building lifelong friendships and having the craic. The 1st Team will travel to Limerick to play in the Ulster Bank League Div 2C against Old Crescent. But it is to Donnybrook where a large section of the Tullamore RFC support will be travelling to see the Tullamore Women, who topped the table by 8 points, take on CYM in the League Final.
The day promises to be action packed as there are 4 finals to be played on the 2 pitches, followed by Leinster playing Munster in the Aviva stadium at 5:30 pm. The first match will see Wanderers play Portlaoise at 11am. Wanderers are coached by Tullamore man David Neville, while Portlaoise is the home club of Irish International heroine, Alison Miller, who scored 3 tries in Irelands recent success over Scotland. Then at 11:30am the Division 3 final will be played between Gorey and Barnhall, before the Division 2 final between Tullamore and CYM at 1:30pm. Finally the Division 1 final kicks off at 2pm and will be contested by Edenderry and Rathdrum. Edenderry pipped Mullingar to land top spot on the table, but Rathdrum played very well in the semi final to turn over Mullingar, and this final is far from a sure thing for the Co Offaly side.
However, back to the Division 2 final. Tullamore have done very well this season so far and have used their large squad to good effect. They have only lost one game all league and that was to Tullow. In the 11 league games they played, they only conceded 18 points, and have earned 9 bonus points, this despite the fact that they received 3 walkovers from teams lower down the table. There are numerous links to Offaly in the CYM team, the younger Neville brother, Niall, is the head coach of CYM, and indeed two of their players Rachel Horan and Mairead Kavanagh have both played tag rugby in Tullamore.
Tullamore have won the 2 league games to date, although the last game on the 13th December 2015 was a very close affair, with Tullamore winning 8 – 3, but defending their line against a very strong attack for the last 10 minutes. The Ladies will know not to underestimate the side based in Terneure, who have excellent players all over the pitch and like to play an expansive game similar to Tullamore. Having said that, the preparation has gone well, the work has been done and the target is in sight. The ability is there as is the determination. If the Girls in Red and Black bring their “A” game, they should prevail.
Tullamore will also play CYM the following week in the Quarter Final of the Cup. That will have no bearing on Saturday though, as the Women will want to capture the League Title after being denied in last year’s final. There is also a feeling that topping the table and having such a good season so far would be poor consolation if they did not get over the line this time.
The team has yet to be selected, with a number of tough calls to be made in certain positions, but the panel will be made up of:
Ciara Farrell, Vicki Cobbe, Evelyn Browne, Alma Egan, Sarah Coffey, Katie Murray, Katie Byrne, Veronica Smyth, Katie O Brien, Patrice Browne, Aoife Molloy, Chloe Lowry, Nichola Fryday, Roisin Feighery, Emer Phelan, Lauren Keenahan, Brigid Hyland, Pauline Keating, Jill Draper, Rose Dunne, Grace Flynn, Claire Currams, Claire Cantwell, Tara Evans, Eimear Daly and Kim Cobbe.