When the Derry girls ask you to cover their match, you just do it. And so with that, I ended up at Tullamore Rugby Club on Sunday afternoon as Tullamore hosted City of Derry Ladies for the AIL promotion play off. Haven’t been there before, it’s a nice set up.

I ddin’t know much about the hosts beyond the fact that they have been shaking things up in the Leinster Women’s League and the have Irish International Nichola Fryday in their number. It was going to be a tough game for the Ulster girls.

And so it proved. City of Derry had a poor first half after a long journey. Their hosts cut them no slack and, roared on by a volatile home crowd, Tullamore crossed for six tries in a one sided first half. Three of the scores were converted giving the Offaly outfit a 36 – 0 lead at the break.

Derry improved considerably on the restart and, despite conceding two further tries, they showed considerable resolve to get a grip on the game and ended up with a well worked score of their own through Ciara McGurk, converted by Ciara Moore.

The final twenty minutes of the game were fairly even and with no further scores the game ended as a 46 – 7 win for Tullamore.

Tullamore now go into AIL Women’s Division One and Derry will spend the summer rueing their slow start and working on their fitness for next season.