Ellen Crotty

Tallaght 26
Tries: Ellen Crotty, Eileen Shanahan, Chloe Conroy, Aisling Pyke
Conversion: Grainne Leonard Flood 3

Ashbourne 33
Tries: Katie Kelly 6
Penalty: Grace Mahon

Women’s Leinster Division 4
Lakelands Park

The Tallaght women’s team took on Ashbourne in their final league game of the season. The game was moved to Lakelands in Terenure because the council called off the perfectly playable pitch in Tymon yet again.

Second placed Ashbourne had more motivation as they were battling with the third placed South East Lions for a play-off spot for a shot at promotion. Ashbourne needed to win to be sure to finish second and they started off at a great pace with right wing Katie Kelly scoring two tries out wide to give Ashbourne a 10-0 lead. Tallaght were playing positive rugby though and their own right wing Ellen Crotty scored an excellent try of her own to bring it back to 10-5.

Kelly got her hat-trick try to make it 15-5 to Ashbourne, but Tallaght came back strongly off a powerful run from Aisling Pyke and skipper Eileen Shanahan broke through a gap for a try. Grainne Leonard Flood converted to make it 15-12. But again from the restart Ashbourne won the ball back and they worked it wide for Kelly to score her fourth try of the match. Tallaght hit back again and Chloe Conroy scored an excellent individual try which Grainne Leonard Flood converted to make the half-time score 20-19 to Ashbourne.

Tallaght started the half brightly but replacement wing Doireann O’Byrne picked up a nasty looking shin injury that required sustained treatment on the pitch. Kelly scored her fifth try for Ashbourne to increase their lead to 25-19. But inspired by the talismanic Martina Fitzpatrick, who rolled back the years with a fantastic display of ball carrying, Tallaght advanced down the pitch. After more strong carries by Orlaith Plunkett and Kim Littlefield, Aisling Pyke forced her way over the line to score the try. Grainne Leonard Flood converted to give Tallaght the lead for the first time in the match at 26-25.

Ashbourne came back hard at Tallaght and were camped in the twenty two for a sustained period. Tallaght defended incredibly bravely and they held Ashbourne up or won turnovers on several occasions. But on every occasion they couldn’t kick the ball far enough to get out of their half. Eventually the pressure told and first Grace Mahon kicked a penalty to regain the lead for Ashbourne, before Katie Kelly scored her sixth try of the game to make it 33-26. Tallaght kept playing positive rugby, despite losing the immense Aisling Pyke to a shoulder injury. They offloaded their way up the field and, in the final play of the game, they looked like scoring a try. But the final pass went forward and Ashbourne were relieved to kick the ball off the field to end the contest.

Head coach Hayley Whyte was disappointed to lose but proud of her team’s performance. ”I was really proud of our effort today. The girls left everything on the pitch and we played really positive rugby right to the very end. Ashbourne clinched second place in the table and good luck to them in the play-off but they knew they were in a game today. We couldn’t pick a player of the match because the whole squad played so well. We have a short break now before the cup starts in a few weeks time and we want to bring the positivity of this performance into that game against Barnhall. Big thanks to Terenure RFC for loaning us their pitch for the day and as always for the supporters who made the trip down to shout us on.”

Player of the match: The whole squad

Tallaght RFC

  1. Karen Corrigan
  2. Orlaith Plunkett
  3. Emma Irvin
  4. Martina Fitzpatrick
  5. Lorraine McManus
  6. Kim Littlefield
  7. Lisa O’Connell
  8. Louise Leonard Flood
  9. Eileen Shanahan (Captain)
  10. Grainne Leonard Flood
  11. Jensen Byrne
  12. Nicole Fanning
  13. Aisling Pyke
  14. Ellen Crotty
  15. Roisin Ni Uileagoid
  16. Lisa Kennedy
  17. Laura Dalton
  18. Shauna Fitzgerald
  19. Hayley Whyte
  20. Chloe Conroy
  21. Niamh Moore
  22. Doireann O’Byrne

    Photos: Mark Luttrell
Eileen Shanahan
Aisling Pyke
Chloe Conroy
Martina Fitzpatrick