It was a mixed week for Dublin University Football Club (DUFC) Women, as a dramatic late win over Wanderers on Wednesday was followed by a 15-7 defeat to third-placed Navan RFC yesterday. Brilliance from Niamh O’Kelly Lynch won the day at the last against Wanderers, before Navan won an entertaining clash on Sunday.
Wanderers, hosts on Wednesday in a game that had been postponed twice, pressed the Trinity line from the offset, but the visitors fronted up to the challenge, showing a defensive mettle perhaps absent at times this season.
While the game signalled the start of spring, the conditions proved as abrasive as ever, the elements stifling numerous attacks throughout the game. Both a Trinity break from deep and a Wanderers charge down in the visitors’ territory were scuppered as the greasy ball slipped out of hand.
A spectacular try from Aoise Tormey Murphy put DUFC in front, sprinting in after intercepting on the edge of her own 22. Defenders swivelled to try and catch the DUFC back, but she was already out of reach, cantering 80 yards to dot down. DUFC will be disappointed to have missed the conversion, but they had taken their chance well having absorbed pressure for much of the half.
Momentum swung quickly back to Wanderers after this, with Kayla Young seeing yellow for a high tackle. The hosts levelled the scores just before the break, going through the phases before breaking the whitewash. A missed conversion summed up a scrappy contest, with possession changing rapidly between the sides to close the half.
Wanderers then took the lead, in spite of the introduction of the experienced Charlotte Bowen, with DUFC’s line eventually cracking under sustained pressure.
With the game winding down, Wanderers threatened to finish off the contest, once more setting up camp in the Trinity half and taking full advantage of the conditions to keep the action far from their own try line. It appeared that the Donnybrook side had strangled the life out of DUFC. However, a late tapped penalty led to a moment of inspiration as Niamh O’Kelly Lynch broke free from her own half before surging past Wanderer’s tacklers and diving over to draw the sides level at 10 apiece.
In a match that had seen Trinity thrive through moments of individual brilliance, it took one more to push Trinity ahead once more. Having missed the earlier conversion, Molly Boyne made no mistake in bisecting the posts when it mattered to turn five points into seven and claim a huge win.
However, things did not go so well on Sunday in another tricky away assignment for DUFC, as the ruthlessness of a Navan side pushing for promotion decided a relatively even game. With chances scarce, the hosts touched down on the half hour after overturning a Trinity scrum on the five-metre line.
Trinity blasted out of the tracks in the second half, striking back almost immediately after the restart through Fiona Tuite. Boyne added the extras to leave things all square.
Another scrum led to a second try for Navan, and in the final moments of the game the hosts added a penalty to put the game to bed.
DUFC will be delighted with the resilience shown in last Wednesday’s win over Wanderers, but will be acutely aware after Sunday’s disappointment of the need for consistency in the last few games as they seek to beat the drop.