Balbriggan Senior Ladies team continued their recent run of good form with a convincing 36-0 win over a determined CYM on Sunday.
Balbriggan absorbed some early pressure from the visitors before the ever alert Emily Kitson spotted a gap in the CYM defence and shot through for the opening score with Shannon Campbell converting. Balbriggan had the momentum now and were soon camped on CYM’s line again. A relieving kick by the CYM 10 didn’t find touch and was gathered by full back Sarah McDonald who swiftly counterattacked. Good support and passing from the backs saw Laura Browne touch down in the left corner to extend the lead.
Credit to CYM who got themselves back into the game and enjoyed a period of territorial dominance but the home defence held strong and kept them at bay to go in 12-0 to the good at half time.
Balbriggan regrouped at the break and came out firing at the start of the second half. Emily was controlling the game at 10 and kept pushing and probing the visitors defence and eventually the pressure paid off when a penalty try was awarded when Rachel Fanning was high-tackled close to the line. The resulting yellow card for CYM put even more pressure on the visitors.
Despite a great defensive effort by CYM the extra number counted when Emily capped a player of the match performance when taking a quick penalty to herself and darted over for her second score of the game. Shannon was unlucky to see her conversion rebound off the post. The hosts now had the bit between their teeth and some sweeping attacking play saw Rachel cross for another try, converted by Shannon to extend the lead. There was still time for another score by Laura McDonald against a tiring CYM defence. Final Score Balbriggan 36 CYM 0.
This was Balbriggan’s fourth win on the bounce and leaves them in second place in the League, three points behind leaders Wicklow. Next up is Wicklow who Balbriggan will be hosting on Sunday 26th November. This will be played as part of a double header with the Mens First XV so all support is welcome. Bring the Noise!
In a highly anticipated clash between Balbriggan and Portlaoise on Sunday, the two teams, both vying for promotion, battled it out in a thrilling encounter. Balbriggan, accustomed to traveling to Portlaoise in their pursuit of promotion over recent years, made several changes to their lineup for this away game.
Graham Reynolds returned to the Hooker position, replacing Stephen Dowling, while Conor Caldwell was replaced by Eoin Hannigan. In the openside position, Ciaran Hannigan came in for Mark Faye. The backline also saw changes, with Cal O’Connor taking the place of Brian Mollohan, and Floyd Runswue stepping in for Jack Scannell.
The first half kicked off with Balbriggan setting the tone with their kick-off. Portlaoise sent the ball into touch, and from the lineout, Balbriggan executed a well-planned move. Kyle Healy’s precise kick mounted pressure on the Portlaoise 15, leading to Balbriggan gaining possession deep in Portlaoise’s half. Despite a lineout hiccup, James Gibbs managed to clean it up and make a strong break. Quick play by Michael Walls and a powerful carry by Ciaran Hannigan put Balbriggan on the front foot.
Sensing a scoring opportunity, Balbriggan shifted the ball to the backs. A slick switch between Michael Walls and Tomas Murphy allowed the fullback a chance to break the line. Unfortunately, the ball was ripped in contact, allowing Portlaoise to clear their lines. Balbriggan’s lineout troubles gave Portlaoise a scrum outside their 22. Balbriggan’s formidable front 8 applied serious pressure, leading to a knock-on. James Gibbs seized the opportunity and found Cal O’Connor, who, with a good pass, set up Tomas Murphy and Kyle Healy for a 2v1 situation. However, poor execution and communication let Portlaoise off the hook, as the pass ended up in touch.
From the ensuing lineout, Adam O’Connor managed to regain possession for his team, but Balbriggan’s scrappy play and insufficient support at the rucks allowed Portlaoise to snatch the ball with a penalty, clearing their lines and ending Balbriggan’s attacking pressure.
A poorly executed lineout by Portlaoise for a non-straight throw allowed Balbriggan to reset and run a good move from the scrum. Callum Breeds made a powerful carry off the back of the scrum, but it was followed by good hands from Graham Reynolds to put Adam O’Connor in space. Balbriggan linked well with their backs, and a well-timed offload from Cal O’Connor set Tomas Murphy free, but another ruck penalty halted Balbriggan’s momentum.
Portlaoise found their touch on Balbriggan’s 10-meter line, but the lineout didn’t go as planned with another non-straight throw. Balbriggan regained possession through a scrum, and Callum Breeds made a determined carry, followed by good link play with the backs, resulting in Tomas Murphy making a significant break. However, Balbriggan once again conceded a penalty at the breakdown, letting Portlaoise off the hook.
From the ensuing lineout, Portlaoise opted for a maul and made valuable yards. However, they failed to support their players breaking off, allowing James Gibbs to steal the ball back for Balbriggan. A penalty followed, and Balbriggan cleared their lines. A fantastic kick from Kyle Healy brought play to the halfway line, but Portlaoise were penalized for being offside, awarding Balbriggan a penalty. However, Balbriggan’s lineout didn’t go as planned, and Portlaoise regained possession, shifting the ball to the backs. A combination tackle from Graeme O’Reilly and Paul O’Connor led to Paul O’Connor ripping the ball and finding Cal O’Connor, who kicked deep into Portlaoise’s half.
Balbriggan chased hard, and Tomas Murphy, Floyd Runswue, and Callum Breeds applied pressure to the Portlaoise 10, forcing him to bring play up to the halfway line. A good lineout take from Eoin Hannigan and a move from the backs opened up space for Paul O’Connor to kick effectively behind the rushing defence. From the resulting lineout, Ciaran Hannigan disrupted again, and James Gibbs nearly made a great break from the resulting breakdown.
Adam O’Connor made a strong carry, and the ball was shifted out to the backs, where Fiachra Tuckey’s deft hands found Paul O’Connor, who set Tomas Murphy in space. Murphy executed a brilliant dummy to break through the middle of the field, but Balbriggan’s poor rucking resulted in another ruck penalty. Portlaoise found a good touch on Balbriggan’s 10-meter line, but the lineout did not go as planned, resulting in another non-straight throw. Balbriggan regained possession through a scrum, and Callum Breeds made a powerful carry off the back of the scrum, followed by good hands from Graham Reynolds to put Adam O’Connor in space.
Balbriggan linked well with the backs, and a lovely offload from Cal O’Connor set Tomas Murphy free. Murphy drew in his man and found Kyle Healy, who used his power and strength effectively. However, poor rucking again resulted in Balbriggan giving away a penalty at the breakdown, allowing Portlaoise an easy out. The penalty count was proving costly for Balbriggan, stalling their attacking efforts.
Portlaoise had their moments, making inroads and displaying good continuity in their attacks. However, strong defence, including a massive combined hit from Ciaran Hannigan and Graeme O’Reilly, kept Portlaoise at bay. But Balbriggan’s ill-discipline at the ruck allowed Portlaoise to set up lineouts and gain penalties in Balbriggan’s half.
In the first half, Portlaoise’s persistence paid off as they opted for a lineout and executed a well-worked move that allowed their No. 8 to crash over the line, securing the first score of the game. Paul O’Connor attempted to restart the game with a deep kick, but a solid chase and the 10’s clearance found Tomas Murphy, who returned a decent kick.
Balbriggan’s chase, led by Callum Breeds and Ciaran O’Donoghue, forced Portlaoise to move the ball wide into space. Cal and Paul O’Connor shut down the attack, but a high tackle by Paul O’Connor resulted in a yellow card. Portlaoise chose a kick to touch, but Callum Breeds and Ciaran O’Donoghue managed to win the ball back. Surprisingly, the referee deemed Balbriggan to have infringed and awarded Portlaoise a penalty.
Portlaoise’s lineout was disrupted by Balbriggan’s truck and trailer, allowing Balbriggan to clear their lines. After a scrappy phase at lineout time, Balbriggan put themselves under pressure in their own half but managed to clear their lines, with Portlaoise kicking the ball back to Balbriggan. As the first half neared its end, Balbriggan earned a penalty and kicked the ball to touch to conclude the half.
Balbriggan received the second-half kick-off, with Callum Breeds taking the ball and feeding Michael Walls to find a good touch. From the resulting lineout, Portlaoise executed a maul and initiated a series of attacks and kicks, resulting in a 22-meter dropout. However, Balbriggan was penalized for offside at the ruck, allowing Portlaoise to kick a penalty and extend their lead to 8-0 in the second half.
Paul O’Connor’s poor restart gave Portlaoise a scrum, but Balbriggan’s power and strong scrummaging from Adam O’Connor, Graham Reynolds, and Ciaran O’Donoghue gave Balbriggan a penalty. Paul O’Connor attempted to find touch but missed, allowing Portlaoise to clear their lines and find touch at the halfway line.
Balbriggan’s lineout was lost, and poor tackling and a breakdown infringement resulted in Portlaoise extending their lead to 11-0. Balbriggan restarted the game with the introduction of Cillian Reynolds, and from Paul O’Connor’s kick-off and a good chase from Graeme O’Reilly, the Portlaoise 10 attempted an audacious offload, which was knocked on by their prop forward. Balbriggan capitalized on the resulting scrum, orchestrating a well-executed set-piece move. James Gibbs passed beautifully to Paul O’Connor, who carried strongly down the 10-channel. Good support play from Floyd Runswue and Ciaran Hannigan cleared the ruck, but Portlaoise was penalized for being offside, granting Balbriggan a penalty.
Quick thinking from James Gibbs led to a quick tap penalty, and with strong support from Graeme O’Reilly, they carried the ball further. However, the referee blew his whistle, and Paul O’Connor stepped up to knock over three points. From the ensuing restart, Callum Breeds collected the ball, and Michael Walls cleared but missed touch. Adam O’Connor made a good tackle but failed to roll away, resulting in the referee awarding Portlaoise a penalty, which landed 5 meters out from Balbriggan’s line.
Portlaoise initiated a maul and was rewarded with a try, extending their lead to 16-3. Balbriggan was now facing an uphill battle, with penalties proving to be detrimental to their game plan. A good restart, however, saw Graeme O’Reilly slip off a tackle, and Portlaoise sprang into action with a well-structured play. They hoisted the ball cross-field, but the referee penalized them for being offside and ahead of the kicker.
A quick tap penalty from Michael Walls set Adam O’Connor free, and he made a good carry. James Gibbs then found Cal O’Connor, who exhibited good footwork and gained extra yards. Strong carries from Graeme O’Reilly and Ciaran O’Donoghue allowed the backs to launch an attack. Michael Walls executed a switch with Paul O’Connor, who then found Adam O’Connor with an excellent offload. Adam reset the play for his team, and Callum Breeds, making a powerful carry down the left-hand side, found Floyd Runswue with a nice offload to gain extra meters.
Floyd Runswue was supported well by Cillian Reynolds, who made his presence felt significantly after being introduced onto the field. After a well-executed dummy line from Ciaran O’Donoghue, James Gibbs found Fiachra Tuckey, who ran straight and hard at the Portlaoise defence, with good ruck ball allowing Michael Walls to find Adam O’Connor. Adam took on the defence again but was stopped just short.
The backs then displayed excellent movement, with quick hands from Paul O’Connor to Michael Walls. Walls found Tomas Murphy, who used his guile and skilful hands to locate Cal O’Connor and allow him to score a try, bringing the score to 16-10 and raising Balbriggan’s hopes.
A good restart was taken by Graeme O’Reilly, and Fiachra Tuckey’s follow-up carry forced Portlaoise onto the back foot. However, Balbriggan’s poor rucking resulted in them losing possession on the 10-meter line, allowing Portlaoise to kick a goal and restore their lead to 19-10.
The introduction of Jamie Kinninmont saw Balbriggan quicken the pace at ruck time. The nippy scrumhalf, coming back from a hamstring injury, showcased his skills with accurate passes and sniping runs. He came close to scoring a try but sadly knocked on due to good defence from the Portlaoise players.
Portlaoise managed to secure two more scores in quick succession, one from a lineout and another from Graham Reynolds, who initially thought he had stolen the ball but was told to release. Portlaoise exploited the short side to cross the line.
Despite the setbacks, Balbriggan showed resilience and responded with two tries of their own. The first came when Graeme O’Reilly recaptured Paul O’Connor’s restart and put Balbriggan deep into Portlaoise territory. Adam O’Connor and Ciaran Hannigan combined for a well-worked try. The second try was a result of excellent hands, with Michael Walls and Graeme O’Reilly setting up Graham Reynolds on the wing, who then fed Kyle Healy to race down the flank. Good cover defence allowed Balbriggan to regroup and attack the other side of the defence, giving the backs an opportunity to form a cohesive move. Cal O’Connor ran in for his second try of the match, but it proved to be a bridge too far for Balbriggan, as a high penalty count proved detrimental.
The final score was 34-22 in favour of Portlaoise. Balbriggan will need to address their penalty issues in the coming week as they prepare for their next Leinster League game at home against Roscrea next Sunday 26th Nov at Bowhill.
Purchase your Christmas Tree from Balbriggan RFC this year.
Our Har Dunne quality trees will be available to all – you can pre-order a tree online via www.balbriggan-rfc.sumupstore.com (recommended), or come up to the club and browse on the days they’re available. Please note, we will have limited availability, so don’t delay!
We will have stands available for purchase, and you can also arrange collection and recycling of your tree, so no pesky pine needles in the car in Jan!
Balbriggan vs. Ratoath Match Report – November 5th, 2023
In a highly anticipated match, Balbriggan faced off against Ratoath on a crisp Sunday afternoon. Balbriggan had already secured promotion to Leinster 2B, but their competitive spirit remained undiminished. Coach Michael Walls and Graham Reynolds seized the opportunity to make several changes to the lineup, injecting fresh energy into the team. Eoin Hannigan earned a start, Reece Mooney replaced Ciaran O’Donoghue, Mark Faye moved to the seven spot in place of Ciaran Hannigan, and Fiachra Tuckey took over at number 6. The backline remained unchanged, maintaining continuity.
The first half of the game started with a burst of energy, as Eoin Hannigan’s powerful run from the restart gave Balbriggan RFC the momentum they needed. The Balbriggan pack showcased their structured play, moving the ball skilfully and stretching Ratoath’s defence. Notable carries from players like Mark Faye and Adam O’Connor laid the foundation for Balbriggan’s early dominance. Quick thinking from scrumhalf James Gibbs led to a superb pass that put Michael Walls in space on the left wing. This resulted in sustained pressure from Balbriggan and eventually led to a penalty, which they opted to kick to the corner. A dangerous maul followed, with Adam O’Connor making a strong run but narrowly missing the try line. Despite Ratoath’s strong defence, James Gibbs managed to snipe his way over for a well-earned try from the ensuing ruck. Balbriggan’s tails were up after the restart, with the likes of Graeme O’Reilly and Adam O’Connor consistently making powerful carries to set up the backs for go-forward ball. Tomas Murphy and Kyle Healy made strong efforts on the left wing, but Ratoath’s defence held firm. An unfortunate turnover resulted in a period of kick tennis and some daring offloads, with Balbriggan eventually earning a penalty due to Ratoath’s breakdown infringements. This break in play allowed Balbriggan to regroup. Balbriggan’s lineout functioned seamlessly, and a solid run from Paul O’Connor, combined with an exquisite offload from Eoin Hannigan, put Callum Breeds in open space down the left touchline. The backs and forwards combined effectively for a substantial gain, but a knock-on when offloading to Kyle Healy and Reece Mooney let Ratoath off the hook. Despite this, both teams displayed
commendable attacking and defensive play. Ratoath gained possession after the resulting scrum, but they faced relentless pressure from Balbriggan’s defence. A knock-on from Ratoath eventually gave Balbriggan an opportunity to clear their lines. Paul O’Connor found a good touch, setting up Balbriggan for another attacking opportunity.
From the subsequent lineout, Balbriggan executed a well-structured play. A strong carry from Conor Caldwell and a well-timed pass allowed Paul O’Connor to make further ground. However, a knock-on in the Ratoath 22 denied Balbriggan another scoring chance. Ratoath, under pressure, struggled to exit their own half. Balbriggan’s strong defence, featuring both backs and forwards making solid tackles, combined with a counter-ruck from Adam O’Connor and Graeme O’Reilly, resulted in a turnover and a penalty.
Balbriggan’s supporters rejoiced as they cleared their lines. Paul O’Connor found a good touch again, and from the ensuing lineout, Balbriggan swiftly transitioned into their attacking shape. Conor Caldwell’s powerful scrum restart put Ratoath in a difficult position, compelling them to kick the ball away. Conor Caldwell capitalized on this, and Michael Walls pinned Ratoath deep in their own territory once more. Ratoath struggled to make headway, and Balbriggan maintained their defensive stance. Stephen Dowling and Graeme O’Reilly nearly secured a turnover, but Ratoath managed a chip kick that Tomas Murphy expertly dealt with. Balbriggan’s ensuing ruck saw Fiachra Tuckey step in as the first receiver, releasing Mark Faye with a crisp pass. Michael Walls then found open space in Ratoath’s half, allowing Brian Mollohan to draw in a defender with an exceptional offload, which, in turn, set Jack Scannell free down the wing. Jack Scannell came tantalizingly close to scoring, but Ratoath managed to halt his progress. Nevertheless, Jack Scannell found Adam O’Connor in support, and with strong support from Callum Breeds and Reece Mooney, Balbriggan secured the ball and looked to capitalize on the opportunity. A precise carry and pass from Conor Caldwell to Michael Walls enabled Brian Mollohan to make a game-changing move, breaking through Ratoath’s defence and setting up Tomas Murphy for a try, expertly drawing in the last two defenders before passing to Paul O’Connor to finish the play. This marked the end of an eventful first half.
The second half commenced with Balbriggan opting to kick deep and pin Ratoath back. The defensive efforts from Mark Faye and Brian Mollohan allowed Adam O’Connor to secure a valuable steal. Balbriggan chose to go for the corner, and their strong maul and powerful forward play allowed Graeme O’Reilly to score a well-executed try. Paul O’Connor converted from the sideline, and Balbriggan gained further momentum. Conor Caldwell collected the ball cleanly from the restart, and Fiachra Tuckey made an impactful carry, enabling Michael Walls to clear Balbriggan’s lines. A series of knock-ons and poor rucking ensued, resulting in a Ratoath lineout just outside Balbriggan’s 22. Intense pressure forced Ratoath to lose possession as Callum Breeds stole the lineout. Michael Walls, keen to maintain the pressure, noticed an absence of wingers and placed a deep kick into Ratoath’s 22. With a relentless work rate and solid defence, Stephen Dowling and Graeme O’Reilly nearly secured a turnover, but Ratoath managed a deft chip kick. Tomas Murphy reacted swiftly, recovering the ball and setting the stage for Balbriggan’s attacking play. Fiachra Tuckey took on the role of the first receiver from the resulting ruck and delivered an accurate pass to Mark Faye. The ball eventually found its way to Michael Walls, who took advantage of open space and drove deep into Ratoath’s half. However, Ratoath displayed determination in defence, managing to eventually clear their lines. Balbriggan’s persistent efforts led to them regaining possession, and from the ensuing lineout, a maul was formed. This set the stage for an impressive move by the backs, with Kyle Healy almost reaching the try line. Ratoath’s defence, though, held firm, preventing a try. Despite some strong carries from Floyd Runswue and Conor Caldwell, Balbriggan found themselves just meters away from Ratoath’s line. Unfortunately, poor rucking allowed Ratoath to steal the ball, putting Balbriggan on the defensive once more. The match continued with both teams displaying resilience and intensity. A back-and-forth encounter led to a moment of drama when a scuffle between Stephen Dowling and Ratoath’s number 12 resulted in cards for both players. Despite the heated exchange, the second half continued with Balbriggan firmly camped in Ratoath’s half.
Balbriggan maintained their determination and secured the win against a formidable Ratoath side,
marking a significant step as they moved into Leinster 2B for the next stage of the Leinster League.
Their next challenge awaits them in the form of an away game against Portlaoise in the 2B Leinster
League. The Balbriggan RFC team welcomes all supporters and looks forward to seeing you there on
Balbriggan RFC vs. Garda RFC Post-Match Report
The eagerly anticipated showdown between Balbriggan RFC and Garda RFC unfolded in a thrilling
encounter that had high stakes for both teams. Balbriggan was on a mission to secure promotion to
2B, while Garda RFC had similar aspirations, setting the stage for an exciting contest.
In the lead up to the game, an injury to Jamie Kinnott forced Balbriggan to make some personnel
changes. Notable shifts included James Gibbs moving from the wing to scrumhalf and Jack Scannell
taking his place on the wing. Adjustments in the forward pack saw Callum Breeds replacing Stephen
Dowling in the back row, and Graham Reynolds transitioning to the hooker position.
Balbriggan began the first half with the determination to put up a dominant performance and secure
early promotion. The forwards, including stalwarts like Adam O’Connor, Ciaran O’Donoghue, Ciaran
Hannigan, Conor Caldwell, and Mark Faye, combined seamlessly with Michael Walls and Paul
O’Connor to set the stage for their backline, featuring Jack Scannell, Kyle Healy, and Captain Tomas
This early pressure resulted in a strong scrum, and Paul O’Connor’s determination led to an early try
for Balbriggan RFC. His successful conversion bolstered Balbriggan’s confidence, and they continued
their attacking onslaught. Just five minutes in, Adam O’Connor’s raw strength allowed him to carry
two defenders over the line, securing Balbriggan’s second try. Unfortunately, the conversion attempt
was unsuccessful, but Balbriggan was in control with a 12-0 lead.
However, Garda RFC wasn’t ready to concede. A penalty against Callum Breeds for a high tackle
provided Garda with an opportunity to gain a foothold in Balbriggan’s territory. They capitalized on
this sustained pressure, showcasing their teamwork between forwards and backs, and successfully
converted their try. Balbriggan found themselves under their posts, bewildered by the sudden turn
As the first half progressed, both teams began to cancel each other out, and Balbriggan gave away a
series of penalties, particularly at the ruck, which favoured Garda. Despite resolute defence from
players like Graeme O’Reilly, Brian Mollohan, and Adam O’Connor, Balbriggan momentarily lost
concentration, allowing Garda RFC to score another try, making it 12-12 after 31 minutes.
Balbriggan restarted the game with renewed determination but continued to give away penalties,
particularly for high tackles. With some backchat to the referee, these penalties were marched
forward by 20 meters, giving Garda RFC a chance to end the first half 15-12 in their favour.
Despite the penalties, Balbriggan had alot going for them with strong performances in set pieces,
defence, and attack. The second half kicked off with Balbriggan showing a chip on their shoulder.
Strong carries from forwards like Conor Caldwell and Graeme O’Reilly laid the foundation for a
beautiful try by hooker Graham Reynolds in the corner. Fullback Tomas Murphy and Paul O’Connor
orchestrated this well-executed move, with Brian Mollohan’s jinking run down the right-hand side
being a highlight. Balbriggan regained the lead after Paul O’Connor’s conversion, and they didn’t look
Garda RFC managed to secure a penalty in the middle of the second half, narrowing the gap to 18-19
with 25 minutes left. The stakes were high, and both teams fought hard for victory.
Ciaran Hannigan, who had displayed excellence in the loose and lineouts, was replaced by Fiachra
Tuckey due to a facial injury, and Jack Scannell, who had been solid and dangerous on the wing, was
substituted by Josh McNamee with 19 minutes to go.
Balbriggan RFC applied relentless pressure, earning a penalty that Paul O’Connor confidently
converted, extending their lead to 18-22. A subsequent penalty made it 25-18 with only nine minutes
Garda RFC rallied with just five minutes left. Balbriggan conceded a penalty, which Garda kicked to
the corner. From the resulting lineout, Garda utilized a powerful maul to crash over the line, but their
conversion attempt hit the post, leaving the score at 23-25 in Balbriggan RFC’s favour.
With three minutes to go, Garda RFC had to work their way up the pitch and pushed hard to mount a
final challenge. In their desperation, they conceded a costly kickable penalty at the ruck on their 10-
meter line. After a brief consultation with the referee, Captain Tomas Murphy instructed kicker Paul
O’Connor to go for the posts.
In a dramatic conclusion to the game, Paul O’Connor maintained his composure and converted a 41-
meter penalty, securing a crucial victory for Balbriggan RFC at Westmanstown. This victory proved
decisive and guaranteed Balbriggan’s promotion to 2B.
With unwavering courage and relentless effort, Balbriggan RFC demonstrated their determination to
emerge victorious against a formidable Garda RFC side.
In addition to the official IRFU przies, Balbriggan RFC have 4 hampers to be won. You can purchase your tickets from the link below, or by scanning the QR code on the poster. You can also buy them in the coffee shop in the clubhouse.
Please remember, ALL proceeds from the sale of these tickets stay in the club, so we need your support.
Link for tickets: https://app.galabid.com/balbrigganrfc
Busy Sunday at the Club, 5 matches, a “Try It Out” session and blitz matches for minis, and on top of that the Stingers were away at a Blitz in Wicklow. A minutes silence was held at the start of the senior matches and Stinhers Blitz in Memory of Patricia Early, wife of Club Stalwart Mick, and grandmother of Stingers player Cormac.
Busy day and overall great results.
The U6/7s were at their first blitz of the season in Skerries, they had a great morning in the sunshine.
The U12 girls were away at a blitz in Navan RFC, with many girls playing for the first time.
The U181/2 won their cup semis final and now await the final on the bank holiday weekend.
Next up were the ladies who were playing the early pace setters in Div 2, New Ross. It was the Balbriggan girls who came out on top with a bonus point 32 – 18 win. Shannon Campbell playing her first home game with the senior team was very accurate with her boot converting all but 2 of her conversions and most being out on the sideline. Another making her home debut was second row Kate Murphy, who had to leave the game early with a wrist injury – we wish her a speedy recovery. With a growing injury list, Tracey Mcfadden was persuaded out of retirement for this match, and her experience was evident in keeping the pack in order and ensuring they dominated the scrum.
The last match of the day was the IXV league game against Arklow. After their loss to North Meath the team were left with no option but to win their remaining games to ensure that they qualify for Div 2b. It was evident that the team were aware of this as they stared with a determination to ensure that they didn’t come unstuck again. There was very fluid movement across the backs which had Arklow scrambling to keep up with the pace. The try line was beckoning, but Paul O’Connor tried to go himself when James Gibbs would have been in. He did redeem himself by getting over after the ensuing ruck. He then added three points from a penalty which was cancelled out by Arlow. They had been attacking but the Balbriggan defence held firm. While it was all Balbriggan at the early stage, Arklow defended well. Graham O’Reilly was making some good runs and gaining ground and the ball was then let out across the backs but they were just not able to finish. Brian Mollahan changed this when he ran from deep and with some inter-passing got himself over the line. Paul O’Connor converted. His namesake Adam was having no success at the scrum when he was penalized three times in a row when the more experienced observer would think that his elder opposite number was pulling the wool over the refs eyes. Luckily, it did not cost Balbriggan points. Fiacra Tuckey replaced Grambo who had to come off with a shoulder injury and he made his presence felt with the third try before the break.
Jamie Kinninmont got over for a try when he had talked the pack over the final fiver metres, Paul O’Connor added the extras from the sideline. Graham Reynolds finished off the scoring with a lovely try off the back of a scrum down the blindside. O’Connor again added the points from the corner. This was a much better display. The last ten minutes also gave the opportunity to give some of he younger players a run. Final score 35 – 3. Next week, the men are away to Garda – all support would be welcome.
A reminder that training is on for both seniors teams on Tuesday and Thursday at 7.30pm – all welcome.
To round off the day the Stingers were undefeated in their Wicklow blitz with Skipper Andy scoring three tries, along with Oisin Matthews, who also scored a hat-trick!
Club membership for Season 2023-24 is open. Thanks to all our members who have already paid their membership.
Membership can be paid through our club payment system on Clubforce through the following link – https://balbrigganrfc.clubforce.com/products/membership
Balbriggan mens team went on thier annual trip to Bilbao last weekend.
A great weekend was had in the lovely Spanish sunshine.
Balbriggan would like to thank Gernika Rugby Club for a great match and amazing hospitality, and we hope to see them again soon.
Balbriggan Senior Ladies team kicked off their Leinster league campaign with a narrow defeat on the road against Wicklow.
In conditions so wet the local animals were seen walking around 2 by 2, both teams put on a fantastic display of rugby.
After some early home pressure Balbriggan dominated the first half and got their reward when debutante centre Rachel Fanning forced her way for a thoroughly deserved try. Laura McDonald’s conversion gave us a 0-7 lead at the break.
Wicklow’s greater squad size told in the second half when, despite a Herculean defensive effort by Balbriggan, they were able to cross for 2 tries to seal the victory. Final score: Wicklow 12 Balbriggan 7.
A great performance from all 14 ladies who traveled with Rachel deservedly voted player of the match for her excellent performance on both sides of the ball. A special mention also to our other debutantes Lou McCleery playing in the unfamiliar position of out half and Tilly Meade playing her first ever game of rugby.
Next up for the ladies is a home game against UCD, next Sunday. All support is very welcome.