Women’s Rugby – Clontarf v Balbriggan

The Women’s team headed to Castle Avenue on Sunday for Round 8 of their Leinster league. Though they were missing a few girls they welcomed back experienced campaigners Sandra McAleer, Anne O’Brien and Leanne Whyte. The game started with Clontarf on the front foot and Balbriggan seemed to be still in the dressing room as they were playing 2nd fiddle for the first 15 mins. Tarf missed an easy 3 point kick in front of the posts and whatever Olivia Malone said to the girls in the huddle it worked. Straight from the drop out a knock on by Tarf on the half way line gave Balbriggan a scrum. Joanne Moore took it from Rachel and sprinted to inside the Tarf 22. Great clearing by Tracey McFadden  and Therese Tormey meant quick ball to Dearbhla…she spun it wide and Irene Selva sprinted in from 20 metres to touchdown….missed conv but they were off. Siobhan Verdon caught the kick off and immediately attacked. As she was tackled she popped to Lynn Malone who made 20 metres. Slick handling between backs and forwards freed Val Van Veen 20 metres from the line, Karen Heffernan trundled forward and Eadaoin Cannon cleared out presenting it on a plate for Rachel a wonderful backline move saw Dearbhla loop Siobhan Verdon and pop to Irene who drew the winger and she timed her pass to Kelly Morgan who touched down conversion added but it was a wonderful phase of play excellently finished off. From the kick off and ‘The Enforcer’ Lorna McKenna was off. She made 30 metres before a quick blindside move saw Joanne Moore beat 3 defenders only to be stopped 20 metres out. Ball was spun out and Steph Campbell who carried so much ball today, made inroads. She offloaded to Tracey McFadden who released Dearbhla who ran outside the cover to score. An injury to Tracey saw Anne O’Brien come off the bench and within minutes she was causing Tarf heartache…foraging in the breakdown and turning ball over as  their forwards carried towards the line. Some resolute defending from the 15 girls held Tarf out until half time. 17-0. 2nd half kicked off and Joanne Moore gathered on her 22. A quick side step and she was away. 75metres later 4 defenders beaten and she off loaded to Anne. Quick ruck ball and Irene carried it further. Ball out and Dearbhla beat a stretched defence to score at the post. The try was converted bringing the score to 24-0. Again they kicked towards Joanne and same result. 40 metres later and she set it up. Carries from Therese and Karen sucked in the defence and saw Tarf concede a scrum. Olivia picked and carried to score in the right hand corner. From the right hand touchline Dearbh nailed it. The next 15 mins saw the game toing and froing but some great Balbriggan defence kept Tarf at bay. A long clearance saw Tarf knock on scrum..Pick by Olivia and a 15 metre carry by Lorna saw her crash over in the right hand corner. Again Dearbhla nailed the conversion from the touchline. The final 20 mins saw numerous changes but Leanne Whyte was back to her best with a carry when she went through 6 Tarf girls to 15 metres from the line. Ruth Morgan went blind and there was Steph Campbell who ran in to touch down. She so richly deserved it after all her grafting today but I guarantee she didn’t celebrate as much when Donegal LAST won Sam. Tarf got a reward for their efforts in the final moments and final score 43-5. A great win for the girls in a tough contest. We’d like to wish the Clontarf girl who got a serious knock at the end all the best and hopefully she’ll be back playing very soon.

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