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Women’s League Finals in Nenagh on Saturday

16th April 2008 By Munster Rugby

All roads lead to Nenagh this Saturday with the double header of the IWRFU Division One and Two league finals taking place. Three Munster clubs are in action, with UL Boh’s set to compete against Blackrock in the Div One final and Ballincollig and Waterpark looking to claim the Div Two title.

Saturday April 19th 2008

Division One League Final:
UL Bohemians v Blackrock @ Nenagh RFC, 3pm KO

Division Two League Final:
Ballincollig v Waterpark, @ Nenagh RFC, 1pm KO

UL-Bohs are aiming for an unprecedented seventh first division title in a row this weekend as they face Blackrock at Nenagh RFC.
The Dublin side however can rightly be confident about their chances having beaten the Limerick champions earlier this season. Time was that ‘Bohs provided all of the attacking flair that other teams couldn’t match and though they were regularly rattled up front they always had enough back-line talent to stave off any challenges.
The reverse could have been said of Blackrock, a team who always carried massive dominance up front but with not quite enough behind the front eight to make it count when they played the likes ‘Bohs in league finals.
Those weaknesses in both sides have been gradually redressed over the past few seasons and the contests between the two best teams in Ireland have been far more evenly matched.
It means that it’s impossible to call this weekend’s final.
The captains of both sides are Ireland’s two leading scrum-halves and their battle in the number nine jerseys will be just one of many clashes that determine who comes out on top.
Blackrock’s leading backs such as Shannon Houston and Grace Davitt will have to be at their best defensively to curtail threats the outstanding backline they will face.
They’ll be facing quality names such as Sarahjane Belton, Lynne Cantwell, Patrique Kelly and Jeanntte Feighery.
The Dublin side have one of Ireland’s star forwards this season in their team with lock Geri Healy coming into the game on the back of an impressive Six Nations season and her talents along with the likes of Orla Brennan and Yvonne Nolan will be hugely important in deciding the outcome.
UL-Bohs captain Louise Beamish said that her side aren’t under any illusions before the big game.
"Because Blackrock have beaten us earlier this season we know how difficult this final will be. In saying that, this year is the best prepared we have been in the lasts seven seasons and we hope this preparation will mean we can be successful this weekend."
Blackrock skipper Tanie Rosser said her side had been preparing in earnest for the final.
"We’re looking forward to the match against UL this week-end and have
been working towards this final and hopefully it’ll be our year. New comers to the club like Julie Doyle and Linda O’Hara have shone throughout the season and we have a few girls in the team with a lot to prove so hopefully everything will come together.."

UL-Bohs Squad: Fiona Coghlan, Gillian Bourke, Nicola Larkin, Edel Coen, Laura Guest, Kate Hennessey, Kate Sheehan, Fiona Reidy, Caroline Mahon, Patrica Fitzpatrick, Joy Neville, Maryam Tahhan, Louise Beamish (Captain), Susan Carty, Nicole Fitzgerald, Tina Fitzerald. Sarah-Jane Cody, Patrique Kelly, Carol Murphy, Lynne Cantwell, Dawn Oliver Smith, Sarah Jane Belton.Jeannette Feighrey, Mairead Kelly

Blackrock Squad: Tania Rosser, Louise Austin, Orla Brennan, Debbie Clarke, Liz Comerford, Shirley Corcoran, Orla Creedon, Grace Davitt, Julie Doyle, Maire Gilbourne, Germaine Healy, Shannon Houston, Emer McMenamly, Aine Ni Chathain, Yvonne Nolan, Linda O’Hara, Zofia Pehrson, Lillie Quirke, Kate Rosengrave, Orlaith Ryan, Sinead Ryan, Christine Spindler

Division Two League Final:

Ballincollig v Waterpark.
@ Nenagh RFC, 1pm KO
Saturday April 19th 2008

Ballincollig and Waterpark are likely to be part of one of the most exciting second division finals in some years as the two Munster sides are on top of their game right now.
At the end of the regular season Ballincollig finished top and Waterpark second in their division and the two teams have played each other three times this year with the Cork team winning two and with Waterpark coming away with the spoils once.
It’s Waterpark’s first ever league final and they come into the game in flying form having recently beaten first division outfit Galwegians to win the IWRFU Plate title and they were also impressive in their league semi final win over St Mary’s.
Team captain Clara Bracken, who featured at scrum half for Munster last season, said that her team is hugely looking forward to the game. ‘We are really looking forward to this Saturday and we have seen huge improvements in the side since the beginning of the season and winning the Plate final against Galwegians and beating a strong St. Marys side away in the semi-final has boosted our confidence. This team has a great mix of experience and new talent but we all have one thing in common – this is our first league final and the hunger is there though needless to say we won’t be taking Ballincollig lightly.’
Waterpark have a tough steely pack but they also pose a threat out wide with Bracken as well as talented out-half Ger Kinnane providing plenty of attacking flair.
Interestingly both sides will feature players who used to play for Clonakilty – the team who disappointingly folded at the end of last season.
Waterpark have Lisa Brick, who also featured for Tralee earlier this season, in their backline while Ballincollig are likely to have talented players such Karen Fitzpatrick, Denise Jennings and Aoife Deasy in their line-up.
Ballincollig are led this season by Munster coach Donal O’Driscoll and they have flourished this year with a strong squad.
O’Driscoll has plenty of experience in women’s rugby finals having led Highfield for the past number of years to numerous Cup finals as well as division one league final last year.
He said that his side are delighted to be in a league final:
"Back in August when we started pre-season training we would have grabbed a spot in the final with both hands, particularly after the disappointments of the previous season but after all the hard work, effort and commitment that has been put in we definitely want to finish the season on a high. We have had some very competitive and close games with Waterpark this season and the final undoubtedly has the potential to be a real cracker of a match."

Waterpark Squad:
Angeline Kiely, Deirdre Murphy, Dee Purcell, Dee Upton, Jo O’Meara, Sinead Fitzpatrick, Iris Condon, Wendy O’Keefe, Orlaith Buckley, Marie Peters, Kate Hitchen, Louise Landers
Backs: Clara Bracken, Lisa Brick, Kate Canty, Evelyn Quigley, Fiona
Lyng, Aine Lordon, Emer Larkin, Sarah Mullins, Nicola Scully, Ger Kinane,
Sheila McGrath, Sine O’Connor, Helen McGrath, Sarah Gleeson
Coaches: Andy Torrie, Pat Breen (forwards), Matt Chau (backs), David Drohan

Ballincollig Squad:
Forwards: Karen Buckley, Joanne Browne, Trish Drinan, Geraldine Gallahue, Anna Healy, Linda Holland, Denise Jennings, Linda Kennedy, Audrey McSweeney, Marguerite Murphy, Ciara Prendergast, Frances Whooley
Backs: Adele Stevenson (Captain), Gemma Crowley, Aoife Deasy, Davina Fenton, Karen Fitzpatrick, Anne-Marie Kelly, Claire McCarthy, Theresa Nolan, Lillian Whooley
Coaches: Donal O’Driscoll, Theresa Nolan


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