Heartbreak for Larissa and Irish ladies in Pau

LARISSA MULDOON and the Ireland Women’s team went down to a heartbreaking 8-7 defeat to France on Saturday in their Six Nations match after a spirited comeback bid came up short in Pau.

LARISSA MULDOON and the Ireland Women’s team went down to a heartbreaking 8-7 defeat to France on Saturday in their Six Nations match after a spirited comeback bid came up short in Pau.

The 20-year-old from Cappry, Ballybofey, came on at scrum-half in the second period for the tournament opener for the Irish team against a France side who had opened with a win over Italy.

The girls in green dominated the second half but Claire Molloy’s try in the final minute was not enough to inspire them to a first win on French soil.

After Ireland’s game against Wales was abandoned at half-time last weekend, Irish preparations were further upset by the cold weather as this match was brought forward to an afternoon kick-off.

But despite the time change and the sub-zero temperatures, 9,000 spectators packed into the Stade du Hameau to watch what proved a hugely entertaining contest.

Playing into a light wind in the first half, Philip Doyle’s team fell behind to a 20th minute try from winger Caroline Ladagnous, which the French failed to convert. France stretched further ahead with a penalty from the experienced Sandrine Agricole.

Ireland’s hopes were given a lift when French tighthead prop Cristelle Chobet was shown a yellow card with 12 minutes left.

And the visitors finally made their pressure count when the hard-working Molloy burst through for a thoroughly deserved Irish try. Niamh Briggs converted but despite a frenetic end Ireland could not find the winning score.