The Highfield Women's team
The Highfield Women's team
Highfield Clinch Women's Munster Cup
2 February 2013, 1:38 pm
By The Editor
Highfield defeated reigning Munster Cup holders and Division 1 Champions UL Bohemians in a thrilling 18-15 victory to bring the cup back to Leeside for the first time in four years.
Match report by Jane Burns:

The two All Ireland Division 1 sides met in last year's final in Annacotty, with the Limerick side emerging 5-0 victors to retain the cup for the third year in a row.

Both teams were without the services of their International players for the tie, which was absorbing from start to finishHighfield's Heather O'Brien on the attack and not without controversy.

Highfield missed the chance to take the lead in the opening minute when they were awarded a penalty which proved to be just out of range. But early pressure from the home side saw Amy Desmond over the line to open the scoring in the seventh minute. The conversion fell just right of the post.

UL Boh's out-half Nicole Fitzgerald kicked a penalty attempt just short but put three points on the board five minutes later after Highfield were caught offside. A further penalty kick in the thirty-fifth minute bounced off the upright to be recovered by Anna Caplice who dotted down between the posts, despite calls for a knock on. Nicole Fitzgerald added the extras to give Bohs a 10-5 lead.

Norita Duggan slotted a penalty for Highfield in the final minute of the half to reduce the gap to 8-10 heading into the break.

The second half opened with further controversy after Olivia Stapleton pulled a try back for the visitors but with the scoreboard reading 8-15 and Nicole Fitzgerald lining up her conversion, the score was removed on account a half time substitution being disallowed.

Seven minutes later Highfield registered the first try of the half when Orla O' Neill touched down in the right corner to take a 13-10 lead after the conversion was off target.

'Bohs tested the Highfield defence in the second half, but they held off a mounting attack from the defending cup holders and worked their way back into the Bohs twenty two. Highfield were awarded a scrum and a fantastic drive saw Chris Fanning over the whitewash to extend their lead to 18-10 with minutes remaining.

Then full-back Ashling Hutchings spotted a gap and she burst through the Highfield defence to score the last try of the afternoon reducing the gap to 18-15 on the final whistle.

Both sides return to action next weekend when they take to the field for their All Ireland Cup Round 1 fixtures. Highfield travel to Portlaoise to face the Division 2 South Champions while UL Bohs meet Division 2 side Ballincollig at Tanner Park.

Highfields: Orla O' Neill, Nicola Aherne, Nicola Scully, Ger Rea, Fiona O' Sullivan, Norita Duggan, Mona Fehily, Amy Desomnd, Chris Fanning, Niamh English, Orlaith Buckley, Karen Casey, Donna Hughes, Dee Lynch, Heather O' Brien Replacements: Zoe Grattage, Kelly McGuinness, Elaine Anthony, Karen Kenny, Dee Fahy, Frances O' Keeffe, Clara Bracken.

UL Bohemians: Ashling Hutchings, Olivia Stapleton, Jeanette Feighery, Mollie O' Donnell, Liz Burke, Nicole Fitzgerald, Sarah Jane Cody, Kate Sheehan, Claire Lewis, Leah Barbour, Shauna McCallan, Val Mitchell, Maria Eviston, Anna Caplice, Deirdre O' Brien Replacements: Lorna Barry, Charlene Barter, Claire Keohane.

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