St Mary’s College RFC Women completed their expected return to the Women’s All Ireland League yesterday afternoon with a 20 – 10 win against a spirited Tralee RFC Women’s side.
Mary’s had been the favourites for a return, after their relegation this time last season, and the Leinster side justified that tag throughout the season. However, it’s good for the Women’s game that their knock out opponents, Tralee and Malone (in the previous round) made them work hard for the honour.
Due to a conflict of fixtures with the Women’s AIL Final we were only able to capture the first half hour of this game, so apologies if the report an pictures are somewhat incomplete.
Paula Fitzpatrick topped and tail the scoring for St Mary’s with the Ireland international bagging the first try in the first quarter. Shayne Richardson added the conversion to give the Dublin side a 7 – 0 lead.
Mary’s continued to dominate the first quarter and after a period of sustained pressure hooker Emma Kiernan found the line after a series of driving mauls at close range. The try went unconverted but Richardson stepped up shortly after to knock over a successful penalty to extend the lead to 15 – 0.
Tralee did manage to break out towards the end of the first half to grab a try of their own taking the score at half time to 15 – 5 in St Mary’s favour.
The Munster side pulled the score back to 15 – 10 in a tense second half with their second try but Fitzpatrick crossed for her second in the closing stages to give St Mary’s a 20 – 10 win.
St Mary’s will now take part the Women’s All Ireland League next season replacing Tullamore.