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Naas RFC claims historic Leinster Women’s Division 4 title   23/03/2019

Naas RFC’s newly formed women’s team completed a near-perfect first season with a league final

win over Portlaoise. The Naas team had only lost one game all season and finished top of the table,

with Portlaoise in second place.

The Naas team is a mix of young players who have come through the ranks of underage rugby with

Naas , Clane and Clondalkin, plus 5 women in their first season of rugby. The Portlaoise team are an

experienced outfit with a powerful blend of strength and skill. The game started predictably with the

Portlaoise pack driving into the heart of the Naas defence. Early in the first half, a Naas tackler

infringed on the ground, and Claire O’Connell kicked the penalty for the team from Laois. The score

stayed at 3 nil to Portlaoise until late in the first half, when the lighter Naas pack drove relentlessly

to the Portlaoise line, with Ash Mahon eventually driving over to make the score 5.3 at half time.

Naas started to dominate field position with their more expansive game and tactical kicking,

eventually winning a penalty 20 metres out in front of the Portlaoise posts. Emily Mckeown, the

elusive Naas captain, took a quick tap and ran through a sea of slowly retreating forwards to score

under the posts. Katie Hughes converted, making the score 12.10 to Naas.

This is how it stayed for the next 20 minutes, with the Portlaoise forwards bombarding the Naas line,

but the smaller Naas women refused to let anyone through from the visibly tiring, but determined

Portlaoise forwards.

With three minutes left, Naas finally managed to get the ball wide to Cliodhna O’Connor, who

finished her first season in rugby with a 60 yard sprint to the line, for another try under the posts.

Katie Hughes converted to make the score 19.10, which is how the game finished.

International centre and Naas coach Jenny Murphy was delighted with the win, which came as the

team’s forwards coach, Adam Coyle, was busy helping Naas 1sts to a thumping win in Banbridge.

Naas will now play in Division 3 of the Leinster Women’s League next season.

Naas Squad

Aisling Duff Reid

Aisling Mahon

Beverly Mahon

Casie O'Connell

Chloe Flanagan

Ciara Mckeown

Cliodhna

O'Connor

Courthney Willis

Emily Mckeown

Emma Naughton

Erica Grehan

Helena Power

Jane Fallon

Jess Byrne

Jess Darker

Karimi Nash





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