Abbeyfeale 19 Youghal 26
The Youghal Women’s XV took to the road for their first competitive outing of the season when they made the journey to take on Abbeyfeale in the league. The rustiness, after the summer lay off, was evident as the first quarter was littered with handling errors. The youthful home team had the majority of possession early on but couldn’t make an impact on the scoreboard because of some bone crunching tackles, with Karen O’Mahoney particularly impressive. The Youghal side got the opening score following a break from Sinead Fitzgerald, who made light work of the opposition fly-half, and great support play from her experienced sister, Una Fitzgerald, who fed a perfectly timed pass to the fancy footed Lucy Barry, who bagged her side the 5 pointer.
Both sides had a player sin binned within minutes of each other and the loss of Sarah Hogan in the centre left a target area for the Abbeyfeale side. Their hardworking inside centre found the gap, running in a solo try from inside her own half. This was converted to give Abbeyfeale a 2 point lead. The visitors knuckled down and strong running around the fringe sucked in the Abbeyfeale defense, and when the ball was whipped out to Katie Sheehan she had the room to brush off the home sides full back, for Youghal’s second try. At half time the score was Abbeyfeale 7, Youghal 12.
With both sides still well in the game, the intensity levels rose and it became obvious that whoever wanted to win this, would have to fight hard for it. Lucy Barry was the first to add to the score line again in this half when she evaded the cover for her second try, which with the conversion gave the visitors a 12 point lead. The home team, to their credit hit back and after a concerted period of pressure crossed for two tries, one of which was converted which left the two teams locked together on 19 points each as the game went into the last quarter. Both sides had chances to score but the scores remained level as the clock was running down. With two minutes remaining the ball found it’s way to Katie Sheehan, who’s determined run saw her scoring a very impressive try. When Katie kicked the conversion it was the icing on the cake and the culmination of an extremely gutsy performance by the Youghal team. The final score was Abbeyfeale 19, Youghal 26.
Best for Youghal: Caroline Griffin for her great enthusiasm and clever play throughout.
Others to Impress; D. Fitzgerald,C. O’Flaherty, K. O’Mahoney, U. Fitzgerald, A. O’Flaherty, S. Fitzgerald, L. Barry, S. Hogan (Capt), K. Sheehan, S. O’Sullivan.