Women’s All-Ireland League Launch: Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemians) – The Irish Examiner – September 29 2018

UL Bohs targeting hat-trick

Daire Walsh

Veteran prop Fiona Hayes believes Munster’s recent interprovincial heartbreak will be a huge motivational tool in UL Bohemian’s bid to land a third consecutive Women’s All-Ireland League title.

The former Ireland international was one of 14 players from the Limerick club to lose out to Leinster in a nail-biting interpro finale at Donnybrook when a 14-14 draw ensured the hosts claimed the championship on points difference.

“I wouldn’t have been too happy about losing but it’s nice to have that stored up coming into this new season (which begins this weekend),” Hayes said.

While the majority of teams in the league will be in action this afternoon, the withdrawal of Munster rivals Highfield means UL won’t get their campaign underway until next weekend.

Anglesea Road on Dublin’s southside will be the venue for a mouth-watering clash with Old Belvedere – a side Bohs have faced in the past three Division One deciders.

“I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing to have the rest.”

A new initiative for the forthcoming season will see men’s and women’s league games being staged as double-headers. For instance, UL’s visit to Blackrock College on October 13 will be preceded by the Division 2A meeting of their male counterparts.

Hayes (a Grand Slam winner with Ireland in 2013) fully endorses this idea.

“It’s something we’ve been asking for a couple of years. We’ve had a good connection with our men’s team in Bohs over the years and that has stood to us. Playing doubleheaders means it can be like a family day as well. It is a hugely positive development for women’s rugby.”

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