The UCD Women took to a sun soaked Belfield Bowl looking to retain the Kay Bowen Colours Cup against a strong DUFC side captained by Niamh Byrne, playing her final game in a Trinity jersey. This game had been flagged early in the season as a massive game for UCD, a chance to disprove the reflection of the league results throughout the year. Christy Haney would lead the Collidge ladies, and her attitude from the warm-up set a brilliant tone, which didn't go unnoticed by Head Coach Geoff Sheehan who says ..
"You could tell the girls were really up for this game, the media messages within the group in the morning were all about excitement rather than anxiety. There was hardly a dropped pass in the warm up drills and the changing room was built into a Collidge fortress so the squad could soak up all the energy that comes from playing in a place like the UCD Bowl."
From the kick off, UCD put Trinity under pressure, pinning them back in their own 22. Outhalf Sarah Gleeson directed phase after phase of attacking rugby through her pack before captain Christy Haney burst through the cover defence to score in the right corner, the tough conversion missed by Ailbhe Dowling. Collidge were soon reminded who they were playing though, as the always dangerous Niamh Byrne spotted a chance around the blindside of a ruck, linking with her winger to level the scores at 5-5 halfway through the first half. UCD went back to basics, with powerful carries from Katie ;Taaffe' O'Sullivan, Sarah 'Sazzles' Glynn and Rebecca Schwartz. Gleeson eased the ball wide as UCD moved into the Trinity 22, and Anna McGann cut a beautiful line only to be hauled down just short of the line. Leinster representative Ali Coleman playing at fullback was quick to spot the lack of fringe defenders at the ensuing ruck and pounced to finish a fine team effort - 10-5 to UCD.
Trinity were back on the offensive soon after, only for Gleeson to read the attack perfectly and intercept on halfway, speeding away to score under the sticks, Dowling adding the extra two. 17-5 to UCD, and the girls really fired up now, their defensive efforts being led by captain Haney. DUFC looked to try and salvage some points before the half-time whistle, but excellent tackles from Jessie Bauer, Eva Jackson, Alannah Byrne and Coleman as last man, saw the Trinity attack pushed into touch and with it, the half time break.
Sheehan then introduced Mary O'Connor into the backrow, and urged the UCD ladies to stick to working the phases and ball retention - Forwards Coach Phil Crowe emphasised that the blind side held opportunities to be exploited and Assistant Coach Alice O'Callaghan reminded the girls, at 17-5 up, it was their game to lose from here.
The second half was a different animal, as the cost of doing business on such a wide pitch in scorching heat began to takes its toll. Possession was conceded by both sides on a regular basis, making it difficult to build any attacking platforms. The deadlock was finally broken when McGann took a lovely pass from Dowling to speed around the Trinity backs and use her strength to break the final tackle, scoring in the corner. 22-5 to UCD, with 15 minutes to go. Sheehan emptied his bench, and as the new players settled into a very tough contest, Trinity took advantage, breaking more than their fair share of tackles to score another try - 22-10, with 10 to go. Gleeson again took the game by the scruff of the neck, and worked through the phases, marching Collidge down the pitch. Kate Hegarty was a constant threat in the backline, linking well with her wingers. The massive UCD support erupted when ref Sue Carty blew the final whistle and gave UCD their second Colours win in a row. Kay Bowen of DUFC presented the cup to captain Haney, and a jubilant group of young women who now had some silverware for all their tough efforts throughout the season. Massive thanks to all who helped organise and coach UCD Women's Rugby, in particular Leah Hayden, Niamh Murray and Alice O'Callaghan. Woman of the Match was awarded to scrum-half Eva Jackson for her faultless service off the deck, massive tackle count and embodying the 'honesty' that her coach had mandated all season. This win is also testament to the great dedication of Head Coach Geoff Sheehan who worked tirelessly throughout the season towards this victory. Thank you Geoff!