Laura Feely was part of the Ireland Women's team that went down to a late try against Wales in the November international at the UCD Bowl on Sunday.
IRELAND WOMEN 13 WALES WOMEN 15, UCD Bowl
Scorers: Ireland Women: Tries: Linda Djougang, Enya Breen; Pen: Ellen Murphy
Wales Women: Tries: Sioned Harries, Keira Bevan; Con: Robyn Wilkins; Pen: Robyn Wilkins
HT: Ireland Women 5 Wales Women 0
Ireland led 5-0 at alf-time and Adam Griggs' charges were on the cusp of a winning start to their international season when Ellen Murphy landed a 74th minute penalty. Ireland had created some daylight through Linda Djougang and Enya Breen tries, before Wales fired back with 10 unanswered points.
The Ciara Griffin-led hosts were still primed to hold out for just their second success of 2019, until replacement scrum half Keira Bevan sniped over for a last-gasp try from close range which saw Wales prevail 15-13.
Ireland got on the board when flying full-back and player-of-the-match Eimear Considine took the initiative with a brilliant weaving run through the defence. She was stopped just short, but some quick recycling led to powerful prop Djougang crashing over to the left of the posts for her first try for Ireland.
While Murphy's conversion attempt went wide, Ireland were enjoying an encouraging start. Establishing good territory in response, Wales threatened to draw level in the 23rd minute only for some disciplined defence to thwart them.
The sturdy Irish defence maintained the 5-0 lead up to half-time, with Wales flanker Alex Callender knocking on from a late attacking move to bring a scrappy first half to a close. While the game never truly caught fire before the break, that all changed on the restart.
Catching the eye again in attack, the impressive Considine carried with serious intent. She broke into the Welsh 22, combining slickly with Murphy who managed to release Breen who cut inside Powell a few metres out for a smartly-taken five-pointer.
However, a missed Murphy conversion kept Wales within reach and they soon opened their account. Centre Robyn Wilkins superbly judged a 30-metre penalty from the kicking tee, reducing the deficit to 10-3 in the process.
With both coaching teams looking to their respective benches, the intensity of the play dipped to a certain degree. The contest remained delicately poised moving into the final quarter and a smashing Welsh strike move squared things up in the 68th minute.
Using quick lineout ball, lively replacement Sioned Harries burst onto a Wilkins pass in midfield and sliced open the home defence to raid over to the right of the posts. Wilkins comfortably added the extras to make it 10-all and set up a fascinating finale.
Ireland were hell-bent on breaking their autumn duck and were on course to do so following Murphy's successful penalty kick. However, there was enough time for Wales to gain a couple of crucial scrum penalties and forge a final assault on the Irish line.
Although the girls in green almost turned them over with an incisive counter ruck, they could not prevent the alert Bevan from spotting a sliver of space to score with 83 minutes on the clock. Wilkins' conversion effort was pushed wide to the right, but Wales had done enough to come out on top.
IRELAND WOMEN: Eimear Considine (UL Bohemians/Munster); Lauren Delany (Firwood Waterloo Ladies/IQ Rugby), Enya Breen (UL Bohemians/Munster), Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Beibhinn Parsons (Ballinasloe/Connacht); Ellen Murphy (Gloucester-Hartpury/IQ Rugby), Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemians/Munster); Laura Feely (Galwegians/Connacht), Cliodhna Moloney (Wasps/IQ Rugby), Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Nichola Fryday (Old Belvedere/Connacht), Judy Bobbett (Blackrock/Leinster), Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/Munster) (capt), Edel McMahon (Wasps/Connacht), Anna Caplice (Harlequins/IQ Rugby).
Replacements used: Hannah O'Connor (Blackrock/Leinster) for Bobbett (49 mins), Victoria Dabanovich-O'Mahony (Old Belvedere/Leinster) for Moloney, Anne-Marie O'Hora (Galwegians/Connacht) for Feely, Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere/Ulster) for Cronin (all 52), Niamh Ni Dhroma (Old Belvedere/Leinster) for Caplice (66), Michelle Claffey (Blackrock/Leinster) for Breen (67). Not used: Katie O'Dwyer (Railway Union/Leinster), Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union/Leinster).
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