Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Three Claremorris players helped Tuam-Oughterard (TOC) to capture the Bank of Ireland Connacht Women’s Senior League title on Sunday.

Tuam-Oughterard captain Sarah-Jane Fox lifts the Connacht Women’s Senior League trophy in celebration. Pictures: INPHO/Tom Maher

Doireann Byrne, Abigail Gibbons and Niamh Corless all started as TOC defeated Westport RFC 34-14 at The Sportsground, with the outstanding Karly Tierney running in four tries.

However, the scoreline did not reflect what was a very hard fought encounter between the provinces two best teams.

It was Tierney that opened the scoring for TOC as she got on the end of a tap-and-go from the impressive Éabha Nic Dhonnacha. The latter sent over her conversion to make it 7-0.

Westport responded brilliantly as Brionna Claffey made a searing run but Tierney showed her super-athleticism to get back and force a hold-up. From the resulting dropout, full-back Noreen Coyne burst through the middle to lay it off to skipper Aisling Browne to touch down. Browne converted her own try soon after to make it 7-7.

Westport’s opening try scorer Aisling Browne is tackled by Éabha Nic Dhonnacha during Sunday’s Bank of Ireland Connacht Women’s League Final at The Sportsground which was won by Tuam/Oughterard.

TOC went out in front again soon after, as captain Sarah-Jane Fox made an explosive run down the left-wing, drawing in two defenders and laying it off for Tierney’s second. Nic Dhonnacha hit the bar from the resulting conversion as the scoreboard now read 12-7.

Nic Dhonnacha got her side’s third try of the game, hit the upright from the conversion as it was not 17-7.

Westport responded excellently again as the brilliant Tara McNulty touched down. Browne converted again to make it 17-14.

Right on the stroke of half-time, Tierney got in to complete her hat-trick as TOC led 22-14 at the interval.

The intensity eased as both sides struggled to break each other down, and Tierney was sin-binned, but it was Westport who could not make any in-roads.

TOC put the game to bed down the stretch as Nic Dhonnacha and Tierney both scored tries.

Tuam-Oughterard celebrate after being crowned Connacht Women’s Senior League champions.


15 Niamh Corless (VC)

14 Louise Coen

13 Éabha Nic Dhonnacha

12 Amy Burns

11 Sarah-Jane Fox (C)

10 Emma Burns

9 Rachel Forkan

1 Gráinne O’Rourke

2 Doireann Byrne

3 Aibidh Ní Mhá

4 Abigail Gibbons

5 Karen Burns

6 Nia Lydon

7 Emma Irons

8 Karly Tierney

Replacements used: Brenda Ní Chlochartaigh, Aoife O’Callaghan, Charlotte O’Grady, Anna Larkin, Laura Hastings, Molly Boote, Katie Creaven, Pamela Devaney.

Westport RFC

15 Noreen Coyne

14 Saoirse Ludden

13 Saoirse Kelly

12 Virginia Conway

11 Brionna Claffey

10 Aisling Browne (C)

9 Muireann Cawley

1 Claire Coghlan (VC)

2 Petra Applegreen

3 Melina Malaquias

4 Gráinne Moran

5 Sarah Geraghty

6 Erika Pollington

7 Tara McNulty

8 Caitríona Moran

Replacements used: Gemma Gaughan, Lena Heineken, Tracey McGuire, Katie Hogan, Leanne Barnacle, Katharina Kleenex, Rachel Buchs.

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By Western People
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