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Dublin Wolves claim National League titles

Dublin Men's Open

Sunday 3rd March brought the second leg of ITRA's inaugural off-season National League. The tournament was added to the 2023/4 calendar in order to offer additional elite competition outside of the National Championships, Ireland's highest level of domestic tag competition.

The event was held in Fethard Town Park, a magnificent community facility across 26 acres. Sunday saw the conclusion of Men's Open & Women's Open competitions whose first leg in November was held in the National Indoor Arena in Blanchardstown.

Men's Open

Cork Chiefs led the standings after round 1, with three wins from three, with Dublin & Limerick trailing by two points.

A hard-fought win for Dublin Wolves over Cork in round 1 changed the complexion of the tournament. Dublin defeated University of Limerick Wolves in the first semi-final, as Limerick overcame Cork in a feisty encounter in the second.

Galway - reigning national champions at mixed open - had completed the round robin in the first leg and faced an uphill battle to get back into contention. A spirited series of displays put them in great credit and sets them up nicely for Nationals 2024.

The final was contested between strong sides from Dublin & Limerick, with Dublin grinding out a win in normal time.

Women's Open

Women's Open was contested by four teams: Cork Chiefs, UL Wolves, Dublin Wolves, and Limerick. Cork led the standings after the first leg, and secured top spot in the pools in the first round with a one-point win over Dublin.

The competition then threw up two superb semi-finals, with Dublin narrowly defeating Limerick on drop-off in the first semi-final after a draw in normal time. The second semi-final saw UL Wolves defeat double reigning Nationals champions Cork by a single point. A tight game full of quality was ultimately settled by a box score from Sarah Carey-Miller with 3 minutes remaining on the clock. Cork threw everything at chasing an equaliser but UL Wolves held firm to reach the final.

The final threw up another tight encounter between Dublin and UL Wolves, and was ultimately claimed by Dublin by a score. In a game with three yellow cards, plenty of line breaks and last-ditch tags, there was something for everyone.

MALE MVP: Keagan Bradley

FEMALE MVP: Shannon Campbell

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