Despite a second-half comeback, DUFC Ladies lost their second game on the bounce to Athlone IT (AIT) at College Park. AIT dominated a first half in which a strong wind negated much of Trinity’s kicking game, with the visiting team touching down the half’s only try on 31 minutes, which was subsequently not converted.
Indeed, it was only some stirling work from the Trinity defense, and in particular open-side flanker Kayla Young, that kept the score as low as 5-0 at halftime.
The second half saw a marked improvement from the home side, with a greater spell of possession augmented by the brilliant defensive kicking of outside centre Eimear Ryan. However, this improvement brought with it no addition to the scoreboard, and it was AIT who would score next, their inside centre scoring a brilliant individual try fifteen minutes into the half, which included a chip over the previously steadfast Trinity defense and a diving finish under the posts. On this occasion, the conversion was no problem and the away side took what appeared to be an unassailable lead going into the last ten minutes.
Not so, as a sustained spell of pressure in attack paid dividends in the 70th minute, as scrum half Cathy Liney crashed over the line to finally get Trinity on the scoreboard, albeit there were to be no extras from the kicking tee.
This signaled a relentless ten minutes of pressure from Trinity as they pushed for what could have been an equalising try, led by the imposing Niamh O’Kelly-Lynch, who twice broke through the AIT defensive line, only to be denied by last-ditch tackles agonisingly close to the try-line.
With 80 minutes on the clock, and the game looking beyond DUFC Ladies, there was to be one final moment of drama as Ryan capped an impressive performance several Athlone defenders to score a fantastic try in the far-right corner. However, there was to be no game-saving conversion as the difficult kick proved beyond the otherwise flawless O’Kelly-Lynch, and the game ended 12-10 to the visitors.
DUFC Ladies’ will travel to their next game in Clontarf hoping for a win that might kickstart their season.