Cavan Ladies face biggest rugby game in club's history
County Cavan Ladies Rugby Club are looking forward to the biggest game of the club's history this weekend as they compete in the AIL Cup.
The high flying team welcome Wicklow to Swellan Park this Saturday, November 20 at noon for what will be a stiff challenge. However the Breffni team bring impressive form with them as after four games they share top spot in the Deloitte Ulster Rugby Women's Premiership.
“It is the first time we would be playing in an All Ireland competition,” says Captain Kate Bartley as she stresses the magnitude of the occasion. “It's the top league in Ireland for women's rugby."
Kate admits there are a few nerves amongst the squad ahead of the match, but the overriding emotion is one of excitement.
“We're delighted that we've been picked to move up into it and represent Cavan. And obviously represent Cavan within Ulster as well – we're kind of the forgotten team up there.
“We're excited to showcase what we're able to bring to the pitch and how we can play rugby,” says the outhalf.
They are currently vying for the Premiership title with January 2 marked in red on the calendar when they face joint leaders Queens University Belfast.
“Our own league is the most important thing to us at the minute because we want to win that, so this [AIL Cup match] is an extra bonus to just be able to showcase Cavan Rugby Club, showcase ourselves.”
The Cavan Ladies team is blessed with strength in depth.
“I've been playing rugby for seven years now and it's probably the biggest squad we've had since I've started. We've a lot of new players coming through with talent straight off the bat, and then you have all your reliables there as well.”
Amongst the "reliables" of course are Brigid Reynolds and Elizabeth McKeever, who bring Ulster experience with them. Etna Flanagan is also in great form. Omagh recently discovered fullback Flanagan is hard to stop when she gets going as she scored a try after a jinky run from her own half.
Wicklow play in the top division of the Energia All Ireland League so the Cavan ladies will face a tough battle on Saturday. Kate's not fazed by the prospect.
“I think we're just excited. It's an extra game that we have alongside our other Premiership games. So now I think we're just excited to be able to showcase yourself.”
No doubt they will do the club proud - see for yourself by heading along to support the team at noon on Saturday, November 20 in Swellan Park.