Sunday, 13 November 2011 21:54
|Photos by David Condon
|On Sunday November 13th, the Tralee Ladies Rugby Team enjoyed their first game at home this season and they did not disappoint the local support that showed up to watch. Their opponents were Young Munster who travelled to Tralee undefeated in this season’s league and sat deservedly atop the league standings.
The game started with the confident and much larger Young
Munster side putting Tralee under extreme pressure at the breakdown. With the
home side struggling to retain their own ball at ruck time, Young Munster spent
the opening minutes deep inside the Tralee half. However, it was Tralee that
struck first blood when scrum-half Laura O’Mahony saw space open up on the left
wing and sprinted through the gap and touched down under the posts for the
game’s first try. Siobhan Barrett converted to make the game 7-0. The try
seemed to settle the home side’s nerves and they began to dominate proceedings
all over the pitch. Young Munster struggled to gain any ground with the ball in
hand as the Tralee defence forced them onto the back foot on every phase. With
Tralee in possession, the visitors struggled to deal with Tralee’s seamless
transitions between forward’s ball and backline moves. It was evident that it
was only a matter of time before the home side extended their early lead and on
17 minutes Riona Kennedy latched onto a final pass out wide and touched down in
the corner to extend Tralee’s lead to 12. From the kickoff, Tralee again
applied pressure to Young Munster both when defending and attacking and 9
minutes later Tralee extended their lead again. Great link play between the
Tralee backs and forwards resulted in Trish Fitzpatrick running in a try from
outside the 22 and give Tralee a comfortable 17-0 lead. Siobhan Barrett was be
next to add to the visitors ever-growing deficit when she received the ball
just inside the half way line and ran to score Tralee’s 4th try and secure the bonus point just
before the half hour mark. She converted her own score and Tralee had a 24
point cushion. With a 24 point lead Tralee continued to dominate in all areas
but with the wind conditions worsening, mistakes started to creep into both
side’s game. Tralee, however, showed no signs of relenting when deep in first
half injury time, Riona Kennedy crossed for her second try of the game
and gave Tralee a 29-0 half time lead.
The message at half time was clear for the home side – more
of the same and no let up. Message received loud and clear as Tralee continued
to apply pressure to the visitors in all facets of the game. Tralee showed a
maturity in the patience of their build-up and never looked under pressure
throughout the game. 16 minutes into the second half Young Munster experienced
a rare journey into Tralee’s half but the home side showed that they can strike
from anywhere when again Laura O’Mahony exploited gaps in the Y Munster defence
and ran for 70 metres to touch down under the posts. Replacement kicker Eimear
Foley added the 2 points and Tralee now had an unassailable 36 point lead.
Tralee’s control of the game continued and captain Siobhan Fleming
rubber-stamped Tralee’s clear dominance with 6 minutes remaining in the game
when she ran in under the posts to record Tralee’s 7th try of the game. The game ended with
Tralee very comfortable winners on a 41-0 scoreline.
With three games under their belt, Tralee have 3 bonus point
victories and now sit atop the league that they have won for 2 consecutive
seasons. Amazingly Tralee Ladies have now played 20 league games without a
single loss and look like they are once again the team to beat this season.
However, Tralee face possibly their biggest test to date this Sunday when they
host Shannon who have also shown incredible consistency in the past 2 seasons.