10 Dec, 09:42
The Munster Women's team, sponsored by Keane's Jewellers, took on their Northern rivals last Sunday at Clonmel RFC in their second interprovincial fixture for season 2013/14.
Tralee opened the scoring with a try from Leanne McCarthy within the first few moments and through a Ciara O’ Connor conversion, Tralee took an early seven point lead. Ten minutes later and Tralee increased that with a try from Trish Fitzpatrick. A spell of intense pressure resulted in a try from Riona Kennedy, which was converted by O’ Connor to take the Munster side into the half with a nineteen point lead.
Tralee were forced to defend hard in the opening period of the second half and on the 52nd minute, the Garda team were rewarded with a try. Tralee responded with a quick penalty from Irish International and Munster Rugby player, Siobhan Fleming, which saw her break through the Garda defence for the their fourth try of the game. O’ Connor converted to give them a twenty one point lead.
Trish Fitzpatrick scored her second try minutes later. This converted by O’ Connor put the side twenty eight points clear. The Garda side were awarded a number of penalties from which they advanced towards the Tralee line, getting in for their second and final try.
However, a try from Christine Arthurs, converted by O’ Connor created a final score of 40-10, for Tralee to claim the AIL Division 2 title and with that promotion to Division 1.
Reflecting on his team’s success, Tralee Head Coach, Paul McMahon said, “I am delighted with the successes the team has achieved this year for all involved, players and management, and for the club too. The players put so much time and commitment into achieving promotion, not only this season but over the past three seasons that they truly deserve these successes. The heart and honesty within each squad member is incredible”.
Having finally gained promotion to Division 1, McMahon admits, “Gaining promotion to Division 1 after three attempts has incredibly satisfying for everyone involved. Three years ago, promotion was not the primary goal but more to try and build Women's Rugby in Tralee. Three season's on we have players competing at both interpro and international level and the team has reached Division 1, it has been an incredible journey for all involved. But in gaining promotion to Division begins a new journey for the team”.