The IURU Kay Bowen Competition has become a regular fixture in the diary of the NUIG women’s rugby club.
The Kay Bowen Cup has been held by the University team for the past two years running. This year’s competition was to be no different.
After an early morning bus journey form Galway the girls were to face Trinity College Dublin first, whom they had defeated narrowly in their first ever Kay Bowen Competition. Over previous meetings these two pairings had proven to be tough encounters. This particular meeting was to be no different. The girls got off to a sluggish start, though through some fortune, experienced out-half Rhona Julian broke the game line and crossed the white wash to get the girls on the score board early.
Gradually the bus legs seemed to be shaken out as the breakdowns became more secure and set-pieces came together in the favour of the college girls. A front row of Rachel O’Neill, Elaine Johnson and Elizabeth McKeever got off to a phenomenal start winning all three of the opening scrums from TCD, setting the tone for what was to come later in the afternoon.
The girls steadily came into their own testing the TCD lines at every opportunity. Centre Orla Dixon capitalising on two separate occasions crossing the line to ensure a decisive win over TCD. Confidence began to grow and in the closing stages of the game, with a change for some fresh legs, everything seemed to be swinging in the favour of the Galway girls. Captain Elizabeth McKeever leading from the front breaking the game line and giving the offload to Rita Breen who managed to continue the play and finish with an offload to super forward Carol Staunton who showed her experience to cross the line for the final try of the opening game, the final score 24-0 to NUIG.