IT seems everything Edel Murphy does, she does well.
In 2010, the Laune Rangers forward was asked by former Kerry ladies football manager William O’Sullivan if she would venture between the posts given her ball-handling and kicking skills. Murphy agreed to try at least, and eight months later she collected a bronze statuette at the LGFA All-Star awards in the CityWest.
The Glenbeigh native has a knack to doing things well, so it was no surprise that just seven months after taking up rugby with UL Bohs last October, that Munster head coach Wayne Falvey rang to invite the 24-four-old Equine Science graduate to try out.
“I was ecstatic when I got the phonecall, but after the first training session I didn’t think I’d even make the first cut. I was overwhelmed by the standard, and I left thinking ‘oh jasus, that’s me gone anyway!’. But, I’m still here,” she smiles, ahead of today’s Women’s Interprovincial decider against Leinster (Thomond Stadium, 2.30pm).
Last week however, Murphy’s dual capabilities left her in a spot of bother with Munster taking on Ulster in Thomond at 2.30pm, while her beloved Kerry were in action against Cork in the All-Ireland ladies football semi-final across the road in the Gaelic Grounds at 6pm.
“I knew the dates were clashing a few months back and I spoke to both management teams and they were very understanding. It was up in the air really, but when the football was fixed for the Gaelic Grounds, it worked out perfectly.
“If it had come down to it, football really is my bread and butter. I’ve been craving an All-Ireland medal since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, but it’s obviously a great privilege to play with Munster and thankfully it worked out, bar losing to Cork of course.”
Murphy made her first competitive debut coming off the bench with 30 minutes to go against Ulster, and in the stands watching their daughter play rugby for the first time were her parents, Margaret and Tom.
“It was unbelievable to play there and my parents were so impressed with how everything was run. They were amazed it was on in Thomond for a start, but it would be great now to get another run out against Leinster on Saturday,” added Murphy, who is completing an employment-based PHD at the National Cattle Breeding Centre in Naas, Kildare, in conjunction with UL and UCD.
“I love contact and getting stuck in. I came on at full-back so I was a bit away from the contact, but the physicality of it is something I relish. I enjoy getting the ball and running into a tackle and I miss out on that in football because I’m in goal, so it’s great to run around and impact the game.
“Leinster will be tough but we’re looking forward to it. They’re a strong side with unbelieveable players, including World Player of the Year nominee Sophie Spence, so it’s going to be a challenge. But, if we put in a performance, we have a good chance. I just hope I get the call to come off the bench again. Well, obviously the win is the most important thing, but I’d still love to get a run.”
Meanwhile, Ulster will take on Connacht at Portadown RFC today at 3pm.
MUNSTER: V Power, S Nic A Bhaird, N Kavanagh, N Scully, L O’Mahony, N Briggs, E Murphy, F Reidy; A Desmond, L Lyons, R Ormond, E Anthony, S Fleming, C Griffin, H O’Brien.
LEINSTER: J Deacon, J Daly, E O’Byrne-Wise, A Donnelly, A Cotter, N Stapleton, A Hughes; F O’Brien, S Lynch, A Egan, C Cooney, O Fitzsimons, S Spence, J Finlay, P Fitzpatrick.