25 May 2022

Rugby- Navan blitzed as Kilkenny women roar into Cup final

Kilkenny 40 Navan 8

Rugby- Navan blitzed as Kilkenny women roar into Cup final

The Kilkenny women’s XV welcomed Navan to Foulkstown for this Leinster Cup semi-final.

Carrying a grudge of being pipped at the post by Navan for the league title, they set out to prove a point in this game. A motivated Kilkenny side went straight into attack and put pressure on Navan and dominated with a superior scrum inside the Navan 22. Though a smaller pack, Kilkenny were not fazed by packing down against a larger side - their speedy back line set out on attack and broke the try line through the exceptional Emer Kelly.

Navan returned from the kick-off with intent and a Kilkenny infringement allowed Navan to get points on the board (5-3).

After the restart Navan went on another attack. They dominated the next 10 minutes, but the hosts were unphased by the constant pressure and an excellent turnover steal by Tina Wright brought Kilkenny back into attack for an excellent team try which was finished by Ciara Coone, who did excellently to convert.

Working to try get some traction in the game Navan tried their best, but Kilkenny won a turnover and reset into attack, Emer Kelly racing through to finish under the posts. Soon after, youth graduate Lucy Harte did brilliantly to score from distance. With Coone adding two conversions, the Cats led 26-3 at half-time.

The hosts were sluggish on the restart and repeated infringements at the breakdown saw them reduced to 14 players for 10 minutes. This afforded Navan a chance to find space and they breached Kilkenny’s try line, but strong words from coach Paddy Mosse had the desired response; Kilkenny applied their game plan perfectly, using the pack to make yards which allowed their speedy back line to find gaps and to play some delightful running rugby.

Regaining the upper hand Lucy Harte crossed over for her second try, Coone slotting the conversion. A last moment of magic from Leah McCarthy, who broke the 22 and raced over the try line was followed by another Coone conversion to finish the game on a high.

Kilkenny had some very impressive performances from the back row of Rosie Miller, Tina Wright and Lieke Hoban and full-back Ciara Coone, who was flawless.

Kilkenny’s standout performer was again, team captain Emer Kelly. Her ability to lead and transition from defence to attack is exceptional, she has a phenomenal turn of pace and exceptional balance.

Emer’s father Paddy was a member of the 1986 Towns Cup winning team. She is now looking to pick up a cup medal of her own when the team play Tallaght in the final in Donnybrook on April 21.

Kilkenny - Jenny Kirwan, Keeva Owens, Henna Mosse, Isla Mosse, Stephanie Bowe, Rosie Miller, Tina Wright, Lieke Hoban, Cathy Kelly, Leah McCarthy, Ciara Harte, Emily Kenny, Emer Kelly (C), Sorcha Barcoe Keogh, Ciara Coone.

Replacements: Katie Foley, Alice Murphy, Finola Muldowney, Ella Carrol, Ella Kavanagh, Lucy Harte, Teresa Griffin.

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.