DCU Ladies Rugby defeated University of Limerick 27-22 in a sensational win to claim their fourth piece of silverware this season in the SSI/IRFU Women’s Tier 1 final in Limerick last Wednesday.
It is the first time that DCU have lifted the All Ireland trophy to add to their Division 1, Division 2, and Kay Bowen Cup that they already claimed this year.
In the game itself, UL started the better with Laura Delaney scoring a try within the opening minutes, with Helen McDermott converting to make it 7-0. However, DCU responded quickly through a Hannah Heskin try.
A penalty for UL’s McDermott and a second try of the game from Heskin, without a conversion once more, left the game at 10-10 going into half-time.
Anna Doyle put DCU into the lead for the first time early in the second-half with her side’s third try of the evening, but that didn’t last long as Rebecca Doohan went over for another UL try to tie things up again.
Doyle got in for her second try midway through the half to put five points between the sides.
With seven minutes remaining, UL thought they had won it as Julie Ingretta touched down to pull them level, with McDermott’s conversion nudging them two points in front.
DCU were camped on the UL line for the remainder of the game and broke UL hearts when they were awarded a penalty try in the final play of the game to win 27-22 on the night.
Speaking after the game DCU’s Molly Scuffil-McCabe told The College View that last year’s final loss really motivated the team to win this year.
“The hurt of not winning the final last year really stuck with us. We knew how the loss felt. We use that to fuel this year, which made that win all that bit better for those of us who played the final the year before,” she said.
She also spoke of how big an influence coach Eddie Fallon is, as he led the side to another win alongside fellow coach Alisa Hughes.
“Eddie is invaluable. He pays attention to detail and respects the girls for the work they put in and in return, they have great respect for him and what he is trying to get us to achieve,” she added.
Some of the team will have the chance to win yet another competition when they play in the SSI College Sevens Tier 1, and Scuffil-McCabe has her eyes on making it a clean sweep this year.
“It’ll mean everything to every single person in the club,” she said in regard to winning it.
“Everybody has put in a serious shift this year. There’s girls here who train to give the starting team the best possible chance and it would be nice to have the trophies to show every single person’s effort,” she finished.
A win would see the team take five trophies of the five available this year and would confirm DCU’s remarkable rise and dominance in the women’s game.
Image Credit: Student Sport Ireland.