Premium Exclusives

Abbie lands the double-double after her ‘unbelievable’ season

May 13th, 2024 8:45 AM

By Sean Holland

Abbie Salter-Townshend celebrates with the cup after UL Bohemians won the Energia All-Ireland League Women’s Division final.

Share this article

ABBIE Salter-Townshend helped herself to a double-double this season. 

The Skibbereen native was part of the UL Bohemians team that won the Energia All-Ireland League Women’s Division final, defeating Railway Union in the Aviva Stadium, 48-38. 

That triumph secured Salter-Townshend’s FOURTH cup of the year. 

Along with UL Bohemians winning the league title, they also got their hands on the Energia All-Ireland Women’s Cup. The Munster player also had the privilege of captaining the UL college side to a league and cup double in what was a season to remember. 

‘It’s unbelievable, you can't put it into words,’ she beams.

Playing in Ireland’s top women’s rugby division brings with it some fierce competition, but Salter-Townshend’s side was in top form all year having only lost one game. That defeat came to their league final opponents, Railway Union, three weeks prior to the final, so the Skibbereen woman knew the challenge that lay ahead would be a tough one. 

‘We didn't play as well as we could have that day and they beat us. It was disappointing not to go the whole season unbeaten but we knew if we turned up on the day of the final, that we'd be able to do it. Thankfully, we came out the right end of it,’ she says. 

‘It was a great game, especially being such a high-scoring one, but it was always going to be like that, with two teams who love to play an open brand of rugby, and that was definitely shown on the day.’

Abbie Salter-Townshend with her parents, Mark and Anne, after UL Bohs' triumph.

 

It was also a fantastic opportunity for Salter-Townshend and her teammates to run out onto the Aviva and showcase their skills at the home of Irish rugby. It was a real pinch-me moment. 

‘It was huge. It's something you never think about really,’ she says.

‘There are girls on that squad who never even thought about having a chance to play in the Aviva and to get that opportunity at a club level, especially on such a big occasion like the AIL final, was just massive – and we're so grateful for it. 

‘I just can't comprehend the feeling when you're walking out of the tunnel and hearing the crowd because obviously it's a massive stadium and even though it wasn't a massive crowd, it still felt like there was still such an atmosphere there. Even in the warm-up, you could feel it the whole time. Seeing your face up on the screen and things like that because it's all on TV, it's just such a different experience, but it was class.’ 

Salter-Townshend has enjoyed great success in recent years, from being a key part of the Skibbereen RFC women’s team that won the league, cup and junior cup treble in 2021/2022 to making her Munster senior debut in the 2023 interpros, to winning a double-double this season. Along with her success with UL Bohs, the fourth-year University of Limerick Sports Science student also captained her college to league and cup glory this season.

‘I had the honour of being captain of the UL team this year for my final year,’ she explains.

‘We won the Division One League before Christmas against UCD, and we had a home final that day. There was a great atmosphere, being able to play it in our own backyard in UL added to it. The men also won the league on the same day. In one respect, that was another double in itself! 

‘Then just about a month ago, we won the Division One Cup as well, and we beat UCD again. They are always our top rivals in college; it’s between us and UCD the whole time. We came out on top both times and it was just the best feeling ever to be able to represent the university and captain the team to win the double. 

‘We've been trying to do that for the last two years, but have always fallen short when it comes to the cup so it was just a great feeling. I was so delighted to be able to work with that group of girls and to play and train with them, and a lot of them play club with me as well’, said the ex-Skibbereen RFC star.

There’s no time to rest for Salter-Townshend as she will now look forward to getting back involved with Munster for the inter-pros. After having the dream season at the club and college level, clinching two doubles, she's got her eyes set on new challenges and greater triumphs in the months ahead.

Share this article


Related content