Drumettes fall to Eden­derry

Fi­nal heart­break for Rath­drum

Bray People - - SPORT -

SO CLOSE and yet so far might be an apt phrase for the Drumettes ladies rugby team from Rath­drum who fin­ished on the los­ing side of a 8-5 score line in the Le­in­ster League Di­vi­sion 1 fi­nal on Satur­day last in Athy.

The fi­nal whis­tle in what was a fierce bat­tle broke the hearts of the gal­lant Rath­drum women who have en­joyed a tremen­dous sea­son.

They have had a very suc­cess­ful league cam­paign with six wins, one draw and five losses earn­ing them a third place slot on the Le­in­ster Di­vi­sion 1 ta­ble.

This stand­ing led them to take on sec­ond place Cill Dara away at Beech Park Kil­dare on Sun­day Jan­uary 20 in the Di­vi­sion 1 semi-fi­nal.

This was to be a thrilling and tight match, which saw Cill Dara open the scor­ing with a well taken penalty, the home side only man­aged a sec­ond penalty score in the course of the game due to an out­stand­ing Rath­drum de­fence.

Rath­drum were un­lucky not to score on sev­eral oc­ca­sions, as the bat­tled hard. Even­tu­ally the an­swer came from the Rath­drum's cap­tain Sue Brady, who touched down un­der the posts af­ter a break­ing the Cill Dara de­fence.

The con­ver­sion was eas­ily slot­ted home by Mo Dowl­ing leav­ing the fi­nal score 7-6. Rath­drum were through to their first ever Le­in­ster Di­vi­sion 1 fi­nal.

The Le­in­ster Di­vi­sion 1 fi­nal took place in the show grounds in Athy with Le­in­ster Women's Rugby host­ing four fi­nals on the day from Devel­op­ment League to Di­vi­sion 1. Rath­drum were fight­ing for pro­mo­tion to A.I.L. next sea­son.

The Drumettes were to face a tough Eden­derry side that had won 11 out of their 12 league games this sea­son and had been in the fi­nal of the league last year. Rath­drum knew from the start that this would be a big chal­lenge.

The lat­est en­counter of the two sides was af­ter the Christ­mas break. The score on that oc­ca­sion could not have been tighter and Rath­drum lost by a sin­gle pe­nal- ty kick in the last five min­utes to al­low the Of­faly team a 3-0 win.

In very windy and rainy con­di­tions at the Show­grounds, Rath­drum opened the game su­perbly, with a chip through from Mo Dowl­ing in the first five min­utes see­ing Neasa Olo­han stopped just me­ters from the Eden­derry try line.

Eden­derry knew Rath­drum were up for it and the well matched teams fought hard as con­di­tions wors­ened.

A slip up on Rath­drum's part saw Eden­derry kick their way into the lead again, the score sat at 3-0. Rath­drum at­tacked well, bat­tled hard and put for­ward a fine dis­play of rugby.

As the women put their bod­ies on the line for their club, Rath­drum looked to be the stronger side.

How­ever an un­for­tu­nate bounce of a ball saw Eden­derry over the line for their first try, the con­ver­sion failed.

Rath­drum knew it was up to them to an­swer and were un­lucky on sev­eral oc­ca­sions as play­ers broke through the Eden­derry de­fense only to be de­nied.

Even­tu­ally it was vice-cap­tain Ann-Marie Burke who ploughed her way over the line to see Rath­drum 8-5 down. Mo Dowl­ing was harshly de­nied by the post and the score re­mained 8-5.

Although Rath­drum at­tacked hard at the Eden­derry line and camped for pe­ri­ods in the Eden­derry 22, an­other score was not to come. The game fin­ished 5-8 in favour of Eden­derry. Although dis­traught the Drumettes have ev­ery­thing to be proud of, with an out­stand­ing dis­play of rugby en­ter­tain­ing the vast num­ber of sup­port­ers who trav­elled to Athy.

The cur­rent squad stand a very strong chance in their next cup cam­paign which starts next Sun­day in Long­ford. Rath­drum Ladies Squad 2012/2013: Tara Jack­son, Sharon Fox, Aine Geoghegan, Amy O'Neill, Aoife McGrath, Kel­lie Fen­nell, Ann marie Burke, Emily Ryan, Mau­reen Dowl­ing, Sue Brady (Cap­tain), Neasa Olo­han, Emma Car­roll, Orla Red­mond, Jes­sica Row­den, Heather Murphy, Han­nah Fletcher, Pamela Ma­her, Lisa Cahill, Col­lete Phe­lan, Neasa Cliss­man, Ni­amh O'Kelly, Anna O'Neill, Jen­nie For­tune, Stephanie Ward Wind­sor, Selena Kin­der­s­ley and Stephanie Rat­trary.

Kel­lie Fen­nell of the Drumettes lies pros­trate on the ground at the bot­tom of a ruck in the Le­in­ster League fi­nal.

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