Galwegians’ Blue Belles provide cup double success

Galwegians Women’s XV made it a memorable cup double for the club when they won the All-Ireland Women’s Cup by for the second time in three years.

In a thrilling contest against Highfield in Tullamore on Sunday, Galwegians won by 26-18, while at the Galway Sportsground the club won the Connacht Junior Cup.

Favourites Highfield, determined to avenge their defeat against the Blue Belles two years ago, struck with a converted try after six minutes, but Wegians recovered well with outhalf Clare Raftery launching a perfect crossfield kick for winger Michelle Fitzpatrick, who gathered to dot down out wide, and retaining the initiative, centre Lisa McDonagh grabbed a second after fullback Mairead Coyne pierced the Highfield defence.

However two Duggan penalties before the break and an early second-half try put the Cork side back in front. Although six points adrift, Galwegians, coached by George Naoupu and captained by Ruth O’Reilly, owned the last quarter. The crucial score came on 65 minutes when Raftery broke through the defence to dive over for a third try, which she converted.

Despite losing Staunton to the sinbin for a high tackle, Wegians continued to apply all the pressure and were rewarded with a fourth try from Coyne with Raftery adding the extras for a hard-fought win.


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