Yesterday evening, overcast and gloom, rapidly became a downpour as Ireland Legends took on England Legends at Malone RFC.
The event was initiated by Ireland’s Rosie Folley as part of the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup with donations at the match contributed to the DEBRA and Wooden Spoon charities.
The first 20 minutes had a ‘non contact’ element with ‘bibbed’ players from both sides going to ground, when touched.
Ireland took a deserved lead, when after a number of phases, left wing,Paddy Kelly scored behind the posts. Rachel ‘Psycho’ Reid converted to give Ireland a 7 – 0 lead.
England started to dominate possession and territory and it was no surprise when right wing George Roberts scored in the corner. From far out Ceri Large kicked a fine conversion to level the score.
With the ‘bibbed’ players retiring, the game became full on. This suited the English pack. A series of pick and goes sucked in the Irish defence before Roberts was again released to scamper over mid way out from the posts. The conversion was missed to leave the score 7 – 12 in England’s favour at the break.
In the second half the poor conditions deteriorated even further as the downpour intensified. Handling became difficult, with the ball becoming the proverbial bar of soap.
England continued to dominate territory and possession, but despite camping for very long periods in the Irish ’22’, they were unable to break a stubborn Irish defence.
The game appeared to be petering out, when Ireland launched, their best of very few second half attacks.
In the final moments Jeanette Feighery crossed mid way out to level the score, giving Ireland the chance to take the lead through the conversion.
Unfortunately, for the home crowd, the conversion was missed and referee, Alain Rolland, celebrating his 62nd birthday, blew for full time. Both teams sharing the plaudits, with a final score of Ireland Legends 12 England Legends 12.
Ireland: Lauren Day, Marie Barrett, Laura Guest, Fiona Hayes, Joss Hanrahan, Elaine Collins, Gill Bourke, Sharon Lynch, Rosie Foley, Caroline Mahon, Lorraine Noade, Therese Kennedy, Jill Henderson, Jen Leacy, Rachel Reid, Debbie O’Connor, Siobhan Fleming, Wendy Keenan, Diane Nixon, Jackie McCarthy , Magali Dolo, Anne-Marie McAllister, Nicola Doyle, Edel Coen, Tania Rosser, Amy Davis, Siobhan O’Donovan, Elimar Flynn, Sinead Cosgrove, Patrique Kelly, Helen Brosnan, Carole Ann Byrne, Jacqui Horan, Grace Davitt, Olivia Brown, Mairead Kelly, Jeannette Feighery, Annie Parsons, Bridget Montgomery, Joy Sparkes, Maeve Quirke, Mel Nash, Nicki Milne, Maura Coulter, Fiona Coghlan.
England: Helen Clayton, Gill Burns, Nicky Meston, Cath Spence, Louise Latter, Helen Harding, Susan Dorrington, Sue Day, Valerie Blackett, Maxine Edwards, Claire Purdy, Mercedes Foy, Shelley Rae, Jane Coats, Emma Layland, Vicky Macqueen, Susie Appleby, Vanessa Gray, Lois Moulding, Jenny Lynn, Anne O’Flynn, Ceri Large, Becky Essex, Jo Poore.