NUIM Barnhall RFC in Celbridge was the suitable location for the 14th All Ireland Tag Finals. 39 of the best teams from more than 22 Summer Leagues all over the country travelled to Kildare - some with the aim of taking the overall crown; others just looking to test themselves against the country's best taggers.
Teams were ranked 1 to 39 based on their performances in the Summer League and other ITRA Festivals and then placed in one of 8 equal standard round robin groups. After playing everyone in their group, the top 16 teams qualified for the Cup tournament. Teams ranked 17-24 got into the Plate, those placed 25-32 qualified for the Bowl.
Despite the showery conditions (when the sun was out, it was really nice; when it rained, it was quite wintry!), we were treated to lots of fantastic close matches with a record number of games going to Golden Try Extra Time. Teams to benefit from the Golden Try included Baggott Inn Vikings over Warriors of Justice in Cup Quarter Final and Pie Eaters over KPMG Exiles in the Cup Semi Final.
This late win for the The Pie Eaters, defending All Ireland Tag Champions, resulted in them playing Railway Panthers, who were appearing in their fifth successive All Ireland Tag Final. And after a closely fought match which took place in an almighty thundershower, the Railway Panthers reclaimed the crown they last held in 2011 winning 9:7 after 2 x 10 minute slippery but action-packed halves!
In the minor finals, congratulations to Wesley College's M&Ms who beat Terenure College RFC's H-Bombs in the Plate Final and to UCD's MicroMonsters who beat Naas' Gift Grubbers to take home the Bowl.
Well done to everyone who took part in the All Ireland Tag Finals and a special thanks to the Referees, Venue Managers, Killian the DJ and members of NUIM Barnhall RFC who helped with the smooth running of the day!
Railway Panthers - All Ireland Tag Champions 2013
ALL IRELAND FINALS RESULTS
- Cup: Railway Panthers (Pembroke Wed) beat Pie Eaters (Premiership Tues)
- Plate: M&Ms (Wesley College Wed) beat H-Bombs (Terenure College RFC Wed)
- Bowl: MicroMonsters (UCD GAA Tues) beat Gift Grubbers (Naas Thurs)