Kim Littlefield

South East Lions 14

Tallaght 10
Tries: Eileen Shanahan, Kim Littlefield

Women’s Leinster Division 4
Wexford Wanderers RFC

The Tallaght women’s team travelled to Wexford to take on the South East Lions in their final away game of the league campaign.

The blustery and damp conditions made it difficult to play attacking rugby and the flow of the game wasn’t helped by the referee constantly stopping the game to give lengthy lectures to the teams. Nothing much happened for the first half hour as the two packs trundled into each other until one of them turned the ball over. Finally after half an hour, Tallaght wing Roisin Ni Uileagoid made a half break and fed skipper Eileen Shanahan who broke clear to score a fine try to give Tallaght a 5-0 lead.

Tallaght had a strong wind behind them but rarely sought to use it to their advantage as they turned down opportunities to kick for territory. Their discipline let them down too as they conceded a string of penalties. The Lions were camped in the Tallaght twenty-two as the half drew to a close and they eventually forced their way over the line for a try and converted to take a 7-5 lead at half-time.

In the second half with a gale force wind blowing into their faces, Tallaght bizarrely chose to kick several times with predictably mixed results. They looked like they could hurt the Lions out wide, but too often they carried the ball in heavy traffic only for the Lions’ bigger pack to turn them over. The Lions didn’t trust their backs too often but after fifty minutes they went wide and looked certain to score but Tallaght full back Jensen Byrne stopped them scoring with a high tackle. The referee awarded a penalty try and a yellow card for Byrne, which was fair enough, but why he had to stop the game for a full three minutes to give a lengthy explanation of the decision to the player is anyone’s guess.

At 14-5 down Tallaght were now chasing the game and though Aisling Pyke, Chloe Conroy and Ellen Crotty made breaks, they struggled to create real try scoring opportunities. After giving six or seven warnings for high tackles, the referee finally showed the Lions a yellow card for yet another offence deep into added-on time. Tallaght took advantage finally when Kim Littlefield scored a try with the last play of the game to make the final score 14-10 to the Lions.

Head coach Hayley Whyte was pleased with her side’s effort. ”The conditions didn’t help us but suited the Lions perfectly as they wanted to play a tight, forward dominated game. We never really got our attacking game going out wide, although credit to the Lions, their defence was really good. The girls kept fighting to the end though and to get the try with the final play of the game got us a losing bonus point. Lisa O’Connell was our player of the match. She put in a great shift, hitting rucks, making several tackles and carrying strongly. It was a tough, tight game but we’ll learn from it and now have two home games against Kilkenny and Ashbourne to round off our league campaign.”

Player of the match: Lisa O’Connell

Tallaght RFC

  1. Lorraine McManus
  2. Orlaith Plunkett
  3. Samantha Ledden
  4. Martina Fitzpatrick
  5. Abbie Keeley
  6. Kim Littlefield
  7. Lisa O’Connell
  8. Louise Leonard Flood
  9. Eileen Shanahan (Captain)
  10. Grainne Leonard Flood
  11. Roisin Ni Uileagoid
  12. Nicole Fanning
  13. Aisling Pyke
  14. Ellen Crotty
  15. Jensen Byrne
  16. Nikita Murray
  17. Noemi Garcia Fernandez
  18. Lisa Kennedy
  19. Chloe Conroy