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Women's Rugby; Season Roundup

The seemingly never ending women's rugby season finally came to a conclusion at the weekend. Last season saw the final group games played at the end of March, while this season with the change in format and following the raft of cancellations during the big freeze, the season went on until mid May.

The lower Leinster leagues were done and dusted in March. In Division 4. Edenderry pipped Tullow to secure the Spring title but failed to make it a double losing 10 - 0 to Clondalkin in the Leinster Cup final. In Division 3, Garda RFC were very impressive in taking the title ahead of Wexford and New Ross.

The All Ireland Cup and Shield also took place with UL Bohs securing the Cup with an extremely close 25-22 win over Cooke. St Mary's secured the All Ireland Plate with a 19-7 win over Division 2 outfit, City of Derry. Galwegians won the Paul Flood Leinster Cup (again proving that Athenry's in Leinster) beating Old Belvedere 22-3 in the final.

Derry were one of four teams looking to secure promotion to Division 1 next season alongside Tralee, Shannon and the sole Leinster contender Navan. In the end it was Navan who prevailed with two excellent wins against Shannon and Tralee and will take a place in Division 1 from next season at the expense of Clonmel.

In AIL Division 1 UL Bohs secured the league and cup double (they also secured the Munster cup). The Limerick ladies were worthy winners, losing once all season and conceding a measly 52 points in 14 matches. The only blot on their copybook came in the form of a walkover given to bottom side Clonmel. Highfield finished in second place, ensuring an all Munster top two this season.

Old Belvedere were the early pace setters in their debut season in Division 1, but a sticky patch either side of the new year with 4 consecutive defeats saw them slip down the table. A fine finish to the season however, with 3 wins out of four saw them cement 3rd place. Belvo were the best placed of all the Leinster contingent with Blackrock and St Mary's struggling. Blackrock won only one game at home all season and four in total, while Mary's won only 3 matches but did secure silverware with the All Ireland shield.

Galwegians and Cooke finished in midtable, but Galwegians were delighted with their season, securing silverware for the first time, while Clonmel had a season to forget awarding their opponents 5 walkovers during the campaign and duly finished bottom.

The summer break will be a welcome sight for many players, particularly the International panel who had the World Cup in the Summer just gone. Next season promises to be an even more exciting season with new teams such as Tallaght being set up. Women looking to play next season should look out for open days being advertised at tag venues or contact your local club, further info is found on the Leinster webpage


by Sarah Lennon, © 2011-05-19