Clogher Valley Senior Women are in touching distance of their first title in the Women’s Championship B.

The team is sitting nine points ahead of closest rivals, Virginia who have two games to play, with the Valley having one more match.

Whilst mathematically it is still possible for the Valley not to win the league, it would require an upset on a scale never seen before in Women’s rugby.

The match at the Cran was effectively the league decider.

Virginia nine points behind, needed to win with a bonus point and for the Valley not to get anything from the match.

This was always going to be a tough encounter.

It was the hosts who were first to score on the 15-minute mark when Zoe Somerville took a quick penalty, 10 metres out from the Virginia line. 

She popped to Katie Hetherington who sent Shauna Hagan through a gap to score the first try.

Virginia hit back with a well-worked try eight minutes later.

On the cusp of half-time, Virginia scored their second try and went into the interval 12-5 ahead.

The Valley scored their second try 10 minutes after the restart.

Following numerous phases, slick hands got the ball out the backs and it ended with Katie Brown on the left wing, who powered over to score and it was 12-10.

The Valley became more dominant but were not able to penetrate through the Virginia defence.

Both teams had the ball held up over the try line before Virginia scored an unconverted try and the outcome was not looking in the favour of the hosts.

Despite surging runs from Shauna O’Hagan, Sarah Hopper and Kendall Johnston, the home side was unable to get over the line.

Even when Lucy Somerville broke through and placed the ball on the try line for a score, her pleas were ignored, Virginia scooped up the ball and played on.

As the clock neared the 40 minutes, Clogher increased the tempo, were faster to the breakdown and spinning the ball out to the ‘speedsters’.

It was Marie Treanor who broke through several tackles and sprinted the 40 meters in to bring the Valley score to within two points of Virginia, 17 – 15.

All rested on the conversion.

Up stepped Somerville and she slotted the ball between the sticks to equal up the score 17 – 17 and the game ended in a draw.

The Valley’s final game against Lurgan is scheduled in four weeks.

“I am proud of what this team has achieved in what really is their first proper season,” said Coach David Black.“They train hard, listen to what is being said and you can see the improvements week on week."

Team Captain, Sarah Hopper also echoed the praise from the coach: “These games are tough, but we are improving every week.” said the Captain.

With the league on hold, Virginia are again the opposition in the semifinal of the Cup, which will be played on St. Patrick’s Day, at the Cran.