Clogher Valley Women 17 Virginia 12

Clogher Valley Women are into the final of the Suzanne Fleming Cup where they will play Banbridge at Kingspan Stadium.

The Valley Women had a close scare in the semi-final when they played Virginia at the Cran.

The two teams had met two weeks ago in the league, and this ended in a draw, so everyone was expecting a very close game.

Virginia started well, retaining the ball for numerous phases, keeping the Valley from getting into their game pattern.

Then the Valley started to dominate the breakdown and open play.

The first points on the board were from the home side when Virginia strayed offside, and Lucy Sommerville slotted the penalty after 12 minutes.

The Valley continued to dominate the match and most of the play was in the Virginia half.

But a solid Virginia defence kept the home side from edging further ahead.

The Valley were to go to the interval 9-0 ahead after two more Lucy Sommerville penalties.

With Valley dominance and playing down the pitch in the 2nd half, it looked comfortable for the home side.

Virginia however, were not accepting this script. They upped their game with strong runs from the back row players and eventually the Valley ran out of defenders and Virginia crossed the line to comeback to 9-5.

The visitors were back on the scoresheet in the 26th minute with their 2nd try, this time converted, and they led 12-9.

Lucy Somerville was to draw the team's level at 12- 12 in the 30th minute with a penalty kick to make the last 10 minutes a nail bitter.

The Valley pressed and pressed, with the ball being held up over the line on several occasions, but they just could not penetrate the Virginia defence.

As the clock ticked by into injury time, the Valley made one more desperate push.

Cloideach Donaghy received the pass 35 metres out and drove hard at the Virginia defence, bouncing several players out of the way, before popping the ball to Marie Treanor who weaved her way through the Virginia defence squeezing between two Virginia defenders to score in the corner.

The referee blew for full time after the conversion was taken, with the Valley going through to the final 17-12 in an incredibly close game.

Impartial Reporter: Lucy Sommerville hit 12 of Clogher's 17 points.Lucy Sommerville hit 12 of Clogher's 17 points. (Image: Impartial Reporter)

“Possibly not our best performance, but semi-finals are rarely that,” said coach David Black. 

“But the girls hung in and worked hard. They tackled well and showed determination, they really have got that never-give-up attitude.” 

“That was as rewarding as the games when all goes well for you,” said the coach. 

“They deserve to celebrate, but we have another game to win before we truly celebrate.” 

The Valley now meet Banbridge who are sitting 3rd in the Women’s Championship A, one league above Clogher Valley. The final is planned for Kingspan Stadium on Saturday, April 6.