Tullamore came out on top against Rathdrum in the Women’s All Ireland Plate Final at Dubarry Park on Sunday afternoon.

We traveled to Dubarry Park on Sunday morning in the expectation of covering, Ulster players, Larissa Muldoon and Nikki Caughey in the Shield Final for Railway Union. Unfortunately an extremely late withdrawal by Old Belvedere meant that our two heroes were not going to appear but we did manage to find Ulster ladies involved in the two other matches. 😀

The Plate Final between Rathdrum and Tullamore presented us with, one of our favourite referees, Grainne Crabtree, and the ex City of Derry player had her work cut out in a feisty encounter between two determined sides.

The first thirty minutes was high on commitment but low on skills as both teams battled for dominance in the middle of the park. Rathdrum looked to have got the edge when centre Sammy McCoy crossed out left for the only score of the first half.

Tullamore recovered some of the form that saw them qualify for the AIL as the first half neared an end but the Rathdrum defence held firm and the teams turned round with Rathdrum leading 5 – 0.

The second half was a different story as Tullamore’s Nichola Fryday, Emer Phelan and Ciara Farrell began to make more ground with strong carries. Sure enough they got their breakthrough mid way through the second half as centre Ciara Dunican found space out wide to break from deep. Pauline Keating converted and Tullamore led 7 – 5.

Once they got their noses in front Tullamore appeared to play with a lot more confidence and only a superb rear guard defence from Rathdrum prevented further scores. However, in the closing minutes Tullamore’s prop Alma Egan ran an excellent line to wrong foot the Rathdrum defence allowing Egan to spring clear from, what now must be, at least sixty yards 😯  to score under the posts. Keating converted to wrap up the game for tullamore 14 – 5.

Picture credit John McMurtry.