As the newest section within Richmond RFC the ladies have brought a new energy and excitement to the club.
Our newest members have shown huge commitment, training every Wednesday night in the lead up to an historic event in the clubs history, the first ever ladies team to wear the famed Green Faded Jersey. This historic event was made that bit more special as none of the girls had played rugby up to this point.
Richmond RFC is a family and community club serving the communities of Limerick City and beyond. Having served these communities for almost a century, it was agreed that without a ladies team, we were not fully meeting the needs of our communities.
In August 2013, the first ever ladies training session was held. To bring some credibility to the ladies team, it was essential to bring together a high calibre coaching team and we succeeded in getting some very well known Limerick Rugby names on board to lead the charges. Gareth O Hanlon, Tadgh Bennett, Brian Bennett and Eilis Cowhey have done an excellent job in bringing a bunch of ladies new to the game of rugby and turning them into a rugby team.
On the 20th of December 2013, the Richmond Ladies, known as the Richmond Rabbits, created history for their club by taking on St Senans in Shannon under lights. The team were understandably very nervous but once the game kicked off they settled comfortably into the game.
St Senan's kicked off the match and Edel Bennett received the high ball and set off on a rampaging run. As the game went on, the girls began to grow in confidence. The Rabbits forwards put in a huge effort with Deborah O Driscoll putting in a huge effort, under the watchful eye of her proud father Ger, a huge Richmond man.
The team were very unlucky not to score their first try, with Orla Ryan showing her GAA background with a great run down the wing but was hauled down just meters from the line. Orla O Hanlon, vice-captain, played with huge pride in the jersey and was not afraid to put her body on the line with some huge hits.
The back line was orchestrated by Deirdre Doyle at nine and Lee-Ann O'Neil at ten, both showing excellent skill levels and passion. Lee-Ann controlled the backline very well and pinned St Senans into the corners with some great kicks from hand. The centre partnership of Orlagh O Halloran and Joanne Cowhey was always a threat in attack and defensively could not be broken down. The back three of Sabrina Begoin, Simona Drevinskaite and Eilis Cowhey made some impressive breaks, with Simona putting in at least three try saving tackles.
Whilst St Senans showed their experience and led the game from early on, the Rabbits showed huge heart and were very unlucky not to cross the line. The game finished with St Senans winners but credit must go to the Richmond ladies who shocked not only the coaching staff but themselves with an unbelievable performance. It was an enormous achievement for the club and the ladies should be very proud of themselves.
A big thank you to St. Senans for hosting us on the night and to Young Munster RFC's ladies team for training with us in the run up to our big match.
Richmond ladies are always looking to recruit new players. Rugby is a great way to get fit, make new friends, socialize and be part of a team environment. If anyone is interested please come down and join the team. The ladies train once a week at 7pm until 8pm in Rhebogue with a huge emphasis on fun and enjoyment. As we are only a new team, beginners are more than welcome. For more information contact Gareth on 0852328017 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Richmond will launch an underage ladies section in the near future and the club is delivering both on and off the field throughout the Club. The men's section achieved promotion to the All Ireland League this season and are the current Munster Junior champions at J1 and J2 level. Off the field, great work has gone into enhancing our facilities, with a new entrance to the club built via Drominbeg, a new sand based training pitch installed, All Ireland League standard flood lights installed on our main pitch and training pitch, and a new club house due to commence shortly. Huge credit to all members who helped in fundraising for these initiatives.
The Green Faded Jersey below in Pouleen is going from strength to strength.