Tallaght RFC women blast from the blocks
TALLAGHT RFC women’s team got their Leinster League Division Five campaign off to a blistering start as they dished out a 24-7 point defeat to De La Salle Palmerston in front of a massive home crowd in Tymon Park on Sunday.
The match brought with it some club history as skipper Martina Fitzpatrick took to the field with her daughter Abbie Keeley, making her senior rugby debut at full back and marking the first time a parent and child played together in a competitive club game.
Tallaght began really well, building their way through the phases off strong carries from Louise Leonard and Samantha Leddin, who was lining out in her first game for the club in five years.
Scrum-half Eileen Shanahan put flanker Lisa Connors over for her first try for the club with Grainne Flood converting to give Tallaght a 7-0 lead.
The hosts scored another fine try that featured good phase play by Aimee Travers and Hilary Martin and a fine offload by winger Lisa O’Connell to centre Chloe Conroy who went over for the touchdown and a 14-0 lead after 18 minutes.
Tallaght defended bravely with the likes of Jelizaveta Maguire and Roisin Doyle making several fine tackles, but consistent pressure from DLSP finally saw them over the line as they halved their arrears to seven by the halftime break.
A superb early second half attack, that started when Lisa O’Connell won a turnover penalty, was completed when Abbie Keeley took a superb trailing line on Conroy and was there to take the offload and score her first senior try in the corner to make it 19-7.
DLSP did not give up though and kept coming hard with Tallaght replacements Amy Dalton and Sorcha Burns required to make some big tackles in defence.
Kim Letterfield came on for her first ever game of rugby and made a smashing tackle with her first involvement.
But it was the final replacement Erica Keegan who settled the game with a sublime try – again her first for the club.
“I honestly couldn’t pick a woman-of-the-match as literally everyone made a strong contribution” said Tallaght head coach Sean Bishop.
“There are still areas we can and will improve on, but I want the whole squad to really enjoy that win because they deserve it” he added.