Portlaoise hosted Navan in the opening round of the Paul Flood Leinster Senior Cup and as the cup doubles as the qualifiers for the AIL cup, a win was vital to secure a chance of progressing.
Portlaoise started the better of the two sides and dominated the Navan pack. A period of pressure within the Navan 22 resulted in the awarding of a penalty which place kicker Claire O’Connell duly converted.
The Portlaoise back three gathered the resulting kick off and some fine kicking play from Marion O’Grady and Yvonne Delaney placed Navan on the back foot once again. Great pressure form the Portlaoise pack resulted in Navan conceding two further penalties before half time, both of which were converted by Claire O’Connell.
The beginning of the second half saw Navan reduced to 14 players. Their winger received 10 minutes in the bin after a dangerous tackle on Portlaoise winger Zara Healy. A great display of hands from the Portlaoise back line had put Healy clear on the 10 metre line but for the high tackle. Portlaoise capitalised on the Navan deficit with Claire O’Connell continuing her fine kicking form to maintain her 100% record and slot over her fourth penalty of the day.
Portlaoise played most of the remainder of the game in the Navan half and their defence held firm on occasions where the Meath team managed to counter attack. The game ended 12-0.
The team would like to congratulate Alison Miller on once again being selected for both the Irish International Six Nations and Sevens squads.
Portlaoise ladies continue to train Tuesday and Friday nights in Togher at 7.30pm, all new players welcome.
Team: Judith Smullen, Diane Lawlor, Stephanie Gleeson, Alison Holmes, Niamh Bergin, Lisa Naughton, Jean Moore, Claire O’Connell, Niamh Griffin, Yvonne Delaney, Marion O’Grady, Carrie Connell, Lorraine Delahunty, Cassie Dunne, Zara Healy, Chloe Connolly, Nicola Larkin.