By Michael Gaskin
Dublin University was desperately unlucky not to come away with the points from this Division 2N clash with City of Derry. In a game that they dominated from start to finish, Trinity will rue their inability to punish a Derry team that was rocking at the start of both halves.
Derry never lost hope that they could come away from the game with the spoils, and put in a brave aperformance throughout the game, constantly looking for quick breaks from their back line.
Trinity dominated most of the game and put the scrum to excellent use at every chance. Time and again they stole the ball from Derry and number 8 Kyra O’Sullivan, who was brilliant throughout the game, always looked to break off the back of the scrum and power her way through the heart of the Derry defence.
Trinity began the brighter of the sides and were camped in the Derry half for the opening 15 minutes of the game. However a dogged Derry team slowly grew into the game and eventually got themselves out of their own half and began to put Trinity under increasing pressure.
On the half hour mark, it was the visitors who got the first score of the game. After Derry’s number 8 picked the ball up off the back of a scrum, she went on a rampaging run to the corner where she played a neat one-two with her scrum-half and then powered over the line. The resulting conversion was slotted effortlessly between the posts, to put the away side 7-0 up after 30 minutes.
They were not in the lead for long however, as Trinity immediately upped the tempo of the game and put the Derry on the back foot. Kyra O’Sullivan once again broke away off the back of a scrum and was dragged up just short of the Derry. The ball was eventually shifted out to the far side of the pitch and after a series of rucks, Elish O’ Byrne pushed her way through a Derry defence and touched down in the corner.
The conversion was missed, a miss that would ultimately cost them getting at least a draw in the game.
In injury time at the end of the first half, Elish again touched down in the corner for her and Trinity’s second try of the game to give them a 10-7 lead at half time. Trinity worked the ball well across the pitch to give themselves an overlap, however Elish took the chance all on her own and slide in corner just as she was tackled by the Derry defence. The attempted conversion taken right on the sideline fell just short of the posts.
The second half began with Trinity looking to build on their impressive performance in the first half. The game got bogged down in scrums and line outs that killed off any chances either team had of putting together successive phases of play over any period of time.
The best chance of the half for Trinity fell to inside centre Elish O’Byrne who was dragged out over the sideline just short of the line, for what would have been a game deciding score. Derry always looking to break from deep were a constant threat and went ever so close on numerous occasions. Their fly half put went on a particularly good break were she ran from her own five metre line to well inside the Trinity 22.
It was with the last move of the game that they stole the win. After successive attempts out on the sideline, the ball was switched in field to their outside centre who ran through a devastated Trinity defence and touch down for the match winning score. Trinity will take confidence into the rest of their season, with the knowledge that they put in a great performance.