Clondalkin women into Plate decider

CLONDALKIN RFC women’s team exacted revenge for their loss to CYM in last season’s Paul Flood Cup by edging out their Terenure rivals 18-17 to book themselves a place in this year’s Plate decider.

With one win apiece in their two league encounters this year, a tight match was always expected and so it proved as Clondalkin set up a clash with Suttonians in the decider on April 22 at Donnybrook Stadium.

Clondettes Iréne Tshiamala v CYM 09.04.17 32

Clondalkin were first out of the blocks with Naomi Fynes’ penalty from just inside the 22 – no more than they deserved for their early pressure

It took another 20 minutes for a second score to be registered, with a great run by centre Sara Phelan seeing her break through the CYM defence for the game’s first try of the game – the conversion attempt travelling wide.

Possession changed hands a number of times and windy conditions made lineouts difficult.

In open play, however, the Clondalkin forwards showed a willingness to carry, and short bursts from the likes of Niamh McDonnell and Claire Winters gained yards.

Clondalkin were unlucky not to have chalked up more points after great support running by Brid Holohan and Aine Heffernan brought them close to the CYM five-metre line.

Approaching half-time, though, Sara Phelan got over the line for a second touchdown – the product of some fantastic team play from inside the Clondalkin half.

Scrum half Niamh Farrelly exploited a gap off a ruck and ran through a number of players before prop Irene Tshiamala gained at least ten metres.

Clean rucking allowed Clondalkin to set up for the back line and ultimately Phelan grappled with the last defender to ensure the ball touched down.

Yet CYM came back and spent the remaining time of the half in the 22 earning a penalty that was converted just before the break.

Early second half press-ure by Clondalkin saw Nicola Smyth and Siobhan Tierney force a knock-on close to the CYM 22.

From the scrum, Clondalkin patiently went through the phases until Niamh Farrelly executed a fantastic pick-and-go off a ruck inside the five metre line.

It was little more than what the scrum-half deserved after she had played on after sustaining a suspected broken nose before being forced off after a second impact.

Despite trailing 18-3 the CYM players refused to allowed their heads to drop and fought back with two tries in the space of six minutes, both touchdowns being converted.

The Terenure side kept the pressure on and Clondalkin had to rely on a smashing tackle into touch by Sara Phelan and similarly a try saving challenge by Ciara Lennon to keep CYM out.

With a few minutes to go in normal time CYM attempted a drop goal out of nowhere but it skewed wide and Clondalkin held out to full time.

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