Highs and Lows in Epic Cup Final

It would be hard to argue that the MIRFC Women were underdogs coming into the Division A Cup Final against Montreal Barbarians.  Their opponents had ended the regular season at the top of the table and in the previous encounter, MIRFC Women were on the wrong side of a 35 point defeat.  They certainly didn’t play like underdogs though. 

Despite the Barbs opening the scoring with a break away try, MIRFC dominated line outs and rucks to reduce the lead to 12-10 at half time.  MIRFC came out strong again in the second half to earn a converted try and take the lead 17-12.  A break through the Barbs defence lead to a 50m run to the try line by Erin Benzakein.  Another successful conversion meant a 12 point lead with just 10 minutes to go. 

The Barbs had not given up though and increased the pressure.  Despite valliant attempts to keep them from crossing the line, the pressure took it’s toll and after several incursions, MIRFC were reduced to 14 players following a yellow card.  Minutes later a second yellow was shown, this time to both sides.  However, with a player down and key players picking up injuries, it wasn’t long before the Barbs crossed the try line not once but twice.  One was converted succesfully but the second, which would have won the game, missed leaving the scores tied 24-24 at full time.  Two 10 minute halves ensued in which the Barbs finsihed the stronger team.  One penalty and an unconverted try led to a Barbs victory 32-24.

A bitter disappointment for the women who had played so well and come so close.  It had been a  great game to watch and the crowd recognised this in their applause at the end.  Commiserations to the team but you did the Irish proud.

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