Southern Star Ltd. logo

Skibbereen’s trailblazers need a bigger trophy cabinet

March 11th, 2023 1:00 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

Skibbereen’s trailblazers need a bigger trophy cabinet Image
Skibbereen RFC Women's team celebrate winning the 2022 Munster Women's Divisional Cup final at Temple Hill in Cork.(Photo: Anne Minihane)

Share this article

WINNING the 2022 Celtic Ross Hotel West Cork Sports Star Team of the Year Award is incredible recognition for Skibbereen Rugby Club’s trailblazing women’s team, insists Averyl Condell.

The rise of the Skibbereen women’s rugby team has been a remarkable success story. 

In October 2019 a call went out on social media: players wanted for the first-ever Skibbereen Rugby Club senior women’s rugby team.

Over 30 women answered that call.

Skibb played its first competitive adult women’s rugby game in late February 2020. A landmark moment, as they beat Bantry Bay RFC in the Munster Women’s Development League. Then Covid struck, the world stopped and everything was put on hold – but when they got the green light, the Skibbereen team returned with a bang.

In the 2021/22 season Skibbereen won a terrific treble as they snaffled up THREE trophies in a memorable campaign.

First, Skibb won the Munster Junior League Division 2 crown – the first-ever adult trophy in the club's history.

Seven days later, in early April 2022, the Skibbereen juggernaut made it a double with victory in the Munster Divisional Cup (Munster Junior Cup) final against Division 1 outfit Tipperary (27-22).

In the same month they completed the third leg of the treble when they hammered Waterpark (45-10) in the Munster Women’s Division 2 Cup final at Musgrave Park.


Skibb’s success has been recognised with the 2022 West Cork Sports Star Team of the Year Award that will be presented at the annual awards ceremony this Saturday night at the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery.

‘This means a lot to all of us,’ says Averyl Condell, captain of Skibbereen during their trophy-laden season. 

‘What’s significant too is that this isn’t a rugby-related award, it’s open to all teams in West Cork from all sports, so to be selected is very special.

‘We are a new team and this award couldn’t have come at a better time for this season. To win an award like this boosts your confidence.’

Adding the 2022 West Cork Sports Star Team of the Year Award to their trophy cabinet helps raise the profile of the club in a sports-mad area where young kids have so many different sporting choices.

‘The club’s future success lies in the girls coming up through the underage system. This award is an acknowledgement of the great work going on in the club and it means so much to everyone involved in the club,’ Condell said.

‘For my own daughter to see us winning awards like this brings a focus as to what you can achieve. It also means more people sit up and take notice of what we are doing.’

The success of last year means this Skibb team moved up a level for the current season. Despite losing their opening two games they have found their feet. One of the biggest challenges is getting to play matches.

‘I said at the start of the season that it’s about building blocks but we have achieved so much already, we are reaching finals and we are one of the few teams in Munster that are fielding 15 in every match,’ she explained.

‘I have to shout out to our players, they are putting in huge commitment to training on top of work and college work. It has had its challenges so that’s why this award couldn't come at a better time, to show them what we're doing is being recognised.’

It’s the business end of the season and Skibb will take on UL Bohs 2nd XV in the Division 1 League final, while they play Westport in the quarter-finals of the inaugural Energia All-Ireland Women’s Junior Cup on March 19th. Before that they will get their hands on more silverware at the West Cork Sports Star Awards, as they get the recognition they deserve, and have earned, here at home in West Cork.

Share this article