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It was a busy weekend in the women’s All-Ireland League as four more entertaining rugby matches took center stage of Round Three
Ireland Women’s captain Ciara Griffin enjoyed a try-scoring return to the pitch in UL Bohemians’ barnstorming 46-17 win over title rivals Old Belvedere.
Griffin, who was sprung from the UL bench, played for the first time since Ireland’s Rugby World Cup Qualifier heartbreak in Parma two weeks ago.
The Kerry native burst off the back of a late scrum, absorbing a cover tackle before crashing over the try-line.
Bohs bagged eight tries in all as they moved to the top of the Energia Women’s All-Ireland League, taking advantage of the cancellation of the Covid-19 affected match between round two leaders Railway Union and Malone.
Old Belvedere was missing some key players, most notably top-scoring out-half Hannah Tyrrell who was unavailable, and the loss of captain Jenny Murphy to a first-half red card was a huge setback.
The hosts’ powerful set-piece work provided the platform for a number of scores, with teenager Courtney Duhig – a real prospect at scrum-half – crossing from a dominant five-meter scrum.
The Red Robins were full of running, try-scoring captain Chloe Pearse charging away down the right-wing with a trademark hand-off as her side led 29-7 at the break. Out-half Nicole Cronin also touched down in a player-of-the-match performance.
‘Belvo had their moments, taking the few chances they could create with centre Ailbhe Dowling slicing through in the 38th minute.
They had two more unconverted efforts from Lesley Ring (66 minutes) and Clare Gorman (74).
Ballincollig’s impressive form since their promotion continued with a second home victory of the campaign. Fiona Hayes’ side is now just a point outside of the top four ahead of a week’s break in fixtures.
In a 31-17 bonus point success against Galwegians, ‘Collig’s 19-year-old scrum-half Gemma Lane was clinical in putting away two tries. She was sharp in open play and lock Denise Redmond was the pick of the forwards before getting injured.
Front rowers Roisin Ormond and Clare Coombes claimed the other tries for the Cork outfit, while ‘Wegians’ standout back, center Orla Dixon, ran in two of their three tries.
Facing high-ranking opposition for the third week running, Wicklow’s young guns went down 63-0 to Blackrock College. Beth Roberts’s cross-field kick found Emer Staunton but that elusive first try was foiled by Blackrock’s scramble defense.
Ireland prop Laura Feely made her ‘Rock debut in a runaway 11-try triumph.
Young replacement Maggie Boylan helped her to four, with a hat-trick for Eimear Corri and a brace from captain Michelle Claffey.
Number 8 Hannah O’Connor’s quartet of conversions took her to the top of the league’s scoring charts on 34 points. Connacht’s Nicole Carroll also kicked well for Suttonians, finishing with 13 points in their 28-12 defeat of Cooke.
It was Sutts’ first league win under new head coach Stephen Costelloe and owed much to a 22-point first-half salvo. Leinster’s Emily McKeown showed her finishing skills with a brace from the right-wing, and prop Julia Bauer was prominent throughout the forward exchanges.
Cooke’s two tries were registered by in-form lock Naomi McCord, who made it three in three rounds, and Ulster skipper Beth Cregan who showed her versatility by reverting to the back row.
ENERGIA WOMEN’S ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE – ROUND 3 RESULTS:
BALLINCOLLIG 31 GALWEGIANS 17, Tanner Park
Scorers: Ballincollig: Tries: Roisin Ormond 2, Clare Coombes, Gemma Lane 2; Cons: Denise Redmond 2, Alison Kelly
Galwegians: Tries: Orla Dixon 2, Ursula Sammon; Con: Mary Healy
HT: Ballincollig 24 Galwegians 7
BALLINCOLLIG: Lauren Fahey; Jayne Pennefather, Christine Arthurs, Mona Fehily, Heather Kennedy; Kelly Griffin, Gemma Lane; Roisin Ormond, Clodagh Walsh (capt), Clare Coombes, Denise Redmond, Gillian Coombes, Eimear Perryman, Katelyn Fleming, Eimear Minihane.
Replacements: Gerda Coyne, Olivia Hay Mulvihill, Laurileigh Baker, Kira Fitzgerald, Meaghan Kenny, Sinead O’Reilly, Alison Kelly.
GALWEGIANS: Casie O’Connell; Chloe McCrann, Orla Dixon, Ursula Sammon, Laoise McGonagle; Saskia Morrissey, Mary Healy (capt); Jessica Loftus, Tracy Lawlor, Ellen Connolly, Rebecca Dunne, Celia Killilea, Lea Turner, Lisa-Marie Murphy, Deabhla Canty.
Replacements: Sarah O’Rourke, Kiara Irwin, Ruby Lynch, Ines Delgado, Camille Lassalle, Rhiann Heery, Catriona Shally.
BLACKROCK COLLEGE 63 WICKLOW 0, Stradbrook
Scorers: Blackrock College: Tries: Michelle Claffey 2, Eimear Corri 3, Emma Hooban, Aoife Moore, Maggie Boylan 4; Cons: Hannah O’Connor 4
HT: Blackrock College 43 Wicklow 0
BLACKROCK COLLEGE: Natasja Behan; Eimear Corri, Michelle Claffey (capt), Ciara Scanlan, Orla Molloy; Jackie Shiels, Niamh Griffin; Laura Feely, Emma Hooban, Christy Haney, Mairead Holohan, Anna Potterton, Aoife Moore, Aoife Browne, Hannah O’Connor.
Replacements: Meadhbh O’Callaghan, Caoimhe Molloy, Hannah Hodges, Katie Fitzhenry, Caoimhe O’Callaghan, Maggie Boylan.
WICKLOW: Eva Phelan; Naoise O’Reilly, Aoibhin Stone, Sarah Gleeson, Emer Staunton; Beth Roberts, Erin McConnell (capt); Lauren Barry, Robyn Mullen, Kathy Byrne, Ciara Brennan, Caitlin Griffey, Shauna Soady, Emily Ryan, Jessica Schmidt.
Replacements: Maya McDevitt, Amy Barry, Laura Newsome, Nicola Schmidt.
MALONE 0 RAILWAY UNION 0, Gibson Park
Match Cancelled – Please note that due to a confirmed case of Covid-19 in the Malone Women’s squad, and the subsequent directions from the Public Health Authority, the match between Malone and Railway Union has been called off.
As per the IRFU Rugby Committee decision on Covid-19 affected games, the match will not be replayed and each team is awarded two league points with a 0-0 score being applied.
SUTTONIANS 28 COOKE 12, JJ McDowell Memorial Grounds
Scorers: Suttonians: Tries: Emily McKeown 2, Catherine Martin; Cons: Nicole Carroll 2; Pens: Nicole Carroll 3
Cooke: Tries: Naomi McCord, Beth Cregan; Con: Amanda Morton
HT: Suttonians 22 Cooke 5
SUTTONIANS: Sophie Gibney; Emily McKeown, Catherine Martin, Jools Aungier, Lena Kibler; Jessica Kelleher, Lauren Farrell McCabe; Julia Bauer, Julia O’Connor, Katie Grant Duggan, Brenda Barr, Ciara O’Brien, Roisin O’Driscoll, Louise Catinot, Aifric O’Brien.
Replacements: Mary Healy, Megan Cullen, Aislinn Layde, Nicole Carroll.
COOKE: Teah Maguire; Tamzin Boyce, Claire Johnston, Dolores Hughes, Georgia Boyce; Amanda Morton, Hannah Kilgore; Ilse van Staden, Megan Simpson, Aishling O’Connell (capt), Sorcha Mac Laimhin, Naomi McCord, Beth Cregan, Katie Hetherington, Helen McGhee.
Replacements: Caolinn McCormack, India Daley, Eimear McQuillan, Lucy Thompson, Hannah Allen.
UL BOHEMIANS 46 OLD BELVEDERE 17, UL Arena
Scorers: UL Bohemians: Tries: Sarah Quin, Courtney Duhig, Aoife Corey, Chloe Pearse, Nicole Cronin, Stephanie Nunan, Helen McDermott, Ciara Griffin; Cons: Nicole Cronin 3
Old Belvedere: Tries: Ailbhe Dowling, Lesley Ring, Clare Gorman; Con: Jemma Farrell
HT: UL Bohemians 29 Old Belvedere 7
UL BOHEMIANS: Aoife Corey; Stephanie Nunan, Alana McInerney, Rachel Allen, Helen McDermott; Nicole Cronin, Courtney Duhig; Chloe Pearse (capt), Kate Sheehan, Fiona Reidy, Claire Bennett, Sarah Garrett, Clodagh O’Halloran, Edel Murphy, Sarah Quin.
Replacements: Lily Brady, Eilis Cahill, Laura Delaney, Eva McCormack, Ciara Griffin, Abbie Salter-Townshend, Shannon Dawson.
OLD BELVEDERE: Grace Miller; Laura Carty, Elise O’Byrne-White, Ailbhe Dowling, Clare Gorman; Aine Donnelly, Jemma Farrell; Alice O’Dowd, Rachel Murphy, Vic Dabanovich O’Mahony, Oonagh Hynes, Jan Carroll, Ivanna Dempsey, Lesley Ring, Jenny Murphy (capt).
Replacements: Melissa Hayden, Sarah Melvin, Ciara O’Dwyer, Amber Redmond, Niamh Fitzgerald, Ava Jenkins.
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