Ladies secure Leinster final berth

Kilkenny 41

Kilkenny 41

Old Belvedere 0

THE Kilkenny Ladies rugby team made sure of their place in the Leinster League final when they scored a big win against Old Belvedere.

Playing in the heart of the provincial game. Kilkenny started on the backfoot as Old Belvedere made a quick break but they were stopped just metres from the line by Kelly McGuinness.

This let-off seemed to wake Kilkenny up, turning the game in their favour. Jane O’Neill got the visitors off to a flyer, ducking and dodging past several Old Belvedere challenges to score Kilkenny’s first try.

The opening score was swiftly followed by another. Kilkenny’s second try came from Brona Kelly, who had a superb performance in her new position as centre. Kelly showed supreme skill, breaking through the Old Belvedere defence before adding the conversion to put Kilkenny 12-0 ahead.

The visitors kept Old Belvedere under pressure throughout the entire match, with excellent performances coming from Player of the Match scrum-half Jessie O’Mahony, as well as Kate Hennessy, Kelly McGuinness and Aoife Lyons. Kilkenny went on to score one more try in the first half, Brona Kelly again crossing the line.

Kilkenny remained strong in the second half and within minutes had bagged their fourth try and the bonus point. The try was scored by outhalf Heather Purcell, who played another outstanding match.

Crunching tackles were made by forwards and backs alike, with Mary Broderick showcasing her dominant tackling before offloading the ball to Brona Kelly who grabbed another converted try.

Two more tries were to follow for the rampant visitors. Jane O’Neill showed her skill and speed to power over the line before the immensely experienced Kate Hennessy stole over for another.

Kilkenny showed tremendous skill in this match with scrum half Jessie O’Mahony leading the way with some excellent decision making. Although they have a match left to play - Mullingar at home on Sunday - Kilkenny are in an unassailable position at the top of the Leinster League Division Four table.