Three Local Women Make Rugby History in Munster Jersey

Nuala O'Connor's hand is raised by referee, Paul Griffin as Siobhán Fleming enjoys her moments in the ring at last year's Brawl in the Hall fundraiser. ©Photograph: John Reidy Inset: Ciara Griffin, Ireland and Munster. Photograph: I.R.F.U.

Nuala O’Connor’s hand is raised by referee, Paul Griffin as Siobhán Fleming enjoys her moments in the ring at last year’s Brawl in the Hall fundraiser. ©Photograph: John Reidy. Inset: Ciara Griffin, Ireland and Munster. Photograph: I.R.F.U.

Regardless of the 19-0 win by the touring women’s Barbarian Rugby Team over Munster at Thomond Park last night, three local women made their own pieces of history.

The Munster team was captained by Currow’s Siobhán Fleming – ‘Flaming’ to her friends. Siobhán was joined on the team by Irish and Munster teams member and Ballymac native, Ciara ‘Junior’ Griffin and Scartaglin woman, Nuala O’Connor.

It’s Four Local Women – Factually

It’s actually four local women as Martin Dineen from Ballymacelligott pointed out my error in omitting his fellow parishioner, Christine Arthurs in the original article.

Christine Arthurs from Ballymacelligott. Tralee RFC, Munster and Ireland. ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Christine Arthurs from Ballymacelligott. Tralee RFC, Munster and Ireland. ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

My apologies to all in my grandparents’ parish and to Christine in particular and my thanks to Martin for his rapid response.

Opposite Corners in Brawl

Christine, Siobhán and Nuala play their local rugby with Tralee RFC and Ciara Griffin with U.L. Bohemians and Ireland.

Fleming and O’Connor may have been in opposite corners at last year’s Desmonds GAA Club Brawl in the Hall at Castleisland Community Centre, they were definitely wearing the same, proud Munster Red jersey last night.

The history made was all because the Munster team was the first in the world of women’s rugby to face this brand new Barbarian’s women’s team.

Though played in atrocious weather conditions, the game was certainly one of two halves as Munster fielded two different teams in each half.

Win, Lose or Draw

While Christine Arthurs, Siobhán Fleming and Nuala O’Connor played together in the first half, Ciara Griffin was this area’s sole representative and captain in the second.

Win, lose or draw, pulling on the jersey of your province is a big deal and the red of Munster is bigger again. Congratulations ladies and best wishes for the many big days ahead.

The Munster Teams

The Munster teams fielded were: Laura O’Mahony, Deirbhile Bhaird, Aine Staunton, Christine Arthurs, Syphonia Pua, Valerie Power, Nicole Cronin, Fiona Hayes, Edel Murphy, Gillian Bourke, Nuala O’Connor, Chloe Pearse, Dinah O’Mahony, Siobhan Fleming, Anna Caplice.

Munster Second Half Team: Linda McNamara, Laura Sheehan, Niamh Kavanagh, Rachel Allen, Tracy Collopy, Ellen Murphy, Helen McDermott, Leah Lyons, Zoe Grattage, Fiona Reidy, Eileen Foley, Roisin Ormond, Clodagh O’Halloran, Siobhan McCarthy, Ciara Griffin.

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