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Railway Union reclaimed the top spot in the Energia Women’s All-Ireland League with a supercharged 37-10 win over title rivals UL Bohemians.
After losing twice to UL during the unfinished 2019/20 season, Railway returned fire with a superb six-try performance at their Sandymount base.
Their industrious pack laid the platform, busy flanker Deirdre Roberts touching down twice with Katie O’Dwyer, captain Niamh Byrne, Aoife Doyle and Stephanie Carroll also scoring tries.
Railway second-row Siobhan McCarthy commented afterwards: “It was a tough game, very physical as per usual with Bohs. We love playing them. They’re one of the best teams in the country for the last number of years.
“Obviously the challenge is huge every time they come (here), so we’re delighted to be honest. We’ll meet them again after Christmas. Three (wins) from three is fantastic, it’s where we wanted to be.”
Injury-hit Ballincollig deserved to be closer on the scoreboard, but Old Belvedere were clinical in taking their chances in a comprehensive 75-0 victory at Ollie Campbell Park.
Young winger Clare Gorman grabbed the headlines with a fantastic five-try haul – including three during the final quarter – as 13-try Belvedere bounced back from their recent defeat in the All-Ireland League to UL Bohs.
Johnny Garth’s charges led 32-0 at half-time, ticking off the bonus point after 28 minutes, and were able to bring on Ireland stars Sene Naoupu and Kathryn Dane for their first appearances of the club season.
Ballincollig showed huge determination throughout, with number 8 Eimear Minihane and captain Gillian Coombes to the fore, but Belvedere had the gas out wide, particularly the long-striding Gorman, to keep piling on the points.
Blackrock College captain Michelle Claffey started and finished the try-scoring in their runaway 66-0 defeat of Cooke. Ben Martin’s side bagged ten tries in Belfast as well as keeping their opponents scoreless for the third round running.
“We were slow starters but kicked off the scoring after about 20 minutes,” said Claffey. “It was a great day at the office and we managed to keep Cooke scoreless. Given the calibre of their team, we’re delighted with that.”
As well as braces from Claffey and Ireland Sevens international Anna Doyle, ‘Rock, who are up to second in the table, had a hat-trick from Leinster Under-18 back-rower and captain Aoife Wafer who looks a real star in the making.
After a real baptism of fire in recent weeks, Wicklow made history against Malone with their first-ever All-Ireland League win. Leinster starlet Ella Roberts and Sarah Gleeson scored the tries that steered them to a 12-7 success at Ashtown Lane.
Big carries from Lauren Barry, co-captain Amy O’Neill and player-coach Niamh Ni Dhroma, on her first start at number 8, set the tone before full-back Roberts reached over in the corner, in response to a try from Malone’s Ireland hooker Neve Jones.
Turning around with a strong wind at their backs, Roberts’ older sister, out-half Beth, used her big boot to put Wicklow in the right areas of the pitch.
Centre Gleeson capitalised on this, crossing after some good phase play in the visitors’ 22. Jason Moreton’s young squad let their discipline slip at times, but a strong defensive finish sealed a famous result for the AIL newcomers.
Meanwhile, Galwegians also opened their win account, edging out Suttonians 17-12 in a cracking contest in Glenina.
Impressive centre Orla Dixon swept through for her third try of the season, but a brace from Sutts replacement Mary Healy had the visitors level.
Ultimately, it was Connacht U-18 ace Maria Gorham who made the difference. She darted over in the corner in the 70th minute, her second league score reversing the result from two years ago when Suttonians won by the same scoreline.
ENERGIA WOMEN’S ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE – ROUND 5 RESULTS:
ROUND 4: Saturday, October 23
OLD BELVEDERE 75 BALLINCOLLIG 0, Ollie Campbell Park
Scorers: Old Belvedere: Tries: Clare Gorman 5, Laura Carty 3, Vic Dabanovich O’Mahony, Elise O’Byrne-White, Grace Miller, Aine Donnelly, Oonagh Hynes; Cons: Jemma Farrell 5
HT: Old Belvedere 32 Ballincollig 0
OLD BELVEDERE: Grace Miller; Laura Carty, Elise O’Byrne-White, Ailbhe Dowling, Clare Gorman; Aine Donnelly, Jemma Farrell; Alice O’Dowd, Vic Dabanovich O’Mahony, Melissa Hayden, Elaine Anthony, Ciara O’Dwyer, Oonagh Hynes, Lesley Ring, Clodagh Dunne.
Replacements: Ivanna Dempsey, Ciara O’Dwyer, Jess Spain, Amber Redmond, Dawn Keegan, Kathryn Dane, Sene Naoupu.
BALLINCOLLIG: Dee Kelly; Michelle Stafford, Lauren Fahy, Meaghan Kenny, Ellen O’Keeffe; Kelly Griffin, Gemma Lane; Roisin Ormond, Annie Laffen, Gerda Coyne, Denise Redmond, Gillian Coombes (capt), Eimear Perryman, Katelyn Fleming, Eimear Minihane.
Replacements: Sarah O’Donovan, Olivia Hay Mulvihill, Laurileigh Baker, Kira Fitzgerald, Niamh O’Regan, Aoife Flynn, Alix Cunneen.
COOKE 0 BLACKROCK COLLEGE 66, Shaw’s Bridge
Scorers: Cooke: –
Blackrock College: Tries: Michelle Claffey 2, Aoife Wafer 3, Maeve Liston, Anna Doyle 2, Nichola Fryday, Maeve Og O’Leary; Cons: Lisa Mullen 4, Meabh Deely 4
HT: Cooke 0 Blackrock College 19
COOKE: Teah Maguire; Claire Johnston, Lucy Thompson, Dolores Hughes, Georgia Boyce; Amanda Morton, Hannah Kilgore; Ilse van Staden, Megan Simpson, Sorcha Mac Laimhin, Caolinn McCormack, Helen McGhee, Katie Hetherington, India Daley, Beth Cregan.
Replacements: Fiona McCaughan, Alanagh van Staden, Katie Kerr, Tamzin Boyce, Cara McKevitt, Coral Lapsley.
BLACKROCK COLLEGE: Maggie Boylan; Anna Doyle, Michelle Claffey (capt), Jackie Shiels, Maeve Liston; Lisa Mullen, Niamh Griffin; Aoife Moore, Emma Hooban, Christy Haney, Mairead Holohan, Nichola Fryday, Aoife Wafer, Maeve Og O’Leary, Meadbh Scally.
Replacements: Laura Feely, Niamh Tester, Eimear Corri, Anna Potterton, Meabh Deely, Natasja Behan, Ciara Scanlan.
GALWEGIANS 17 SUTTONIANS 12, Crowley Park
Scorers: Galwegians: Tries: Orla Dixon, Megan Walsh, Maria Gorham; Con: Emma Keane
Suttonians: Tries: Mary Healy 2; Con: Jessica Kelleher
HT: Galwegians 12 Suttonians 0
GALWEGIANS: Mairead Coyne; Megan Walsh, Orla Dixon, Ursula Sammon, Laoise McGonagle; Emma Keane, Darwyn O’Halloran; Jessica Loftus, Tracy Lawlor, Ellen Connolly, Fiona Scally, Niamh O’Grady, Grace Browne Moran, Kate Feehan, Lisa-Marie Murphy.
Replacements: Elizabeth McNicholas, Ruby Lynch, Kiara Irwin, Dearbhla Canty, Lea Turner, Ines Delgao, Maria Gorham.
SUTTONIANS: Molly Fitzgerald; Megan Cullen, Catherine Martin, Jessica Kelleher, Lena Kibler; Nicole Carroll, Lauren Farrell McCabe (capt); Julia Bauer, Julia O’Connor, Aoife Brennan, Aislinn Layde, Ciara O’Brien, Louise Catinot, Katie Grant Duggan, Aifric O’Brien.
Replacements: Mary Healy, Sophie Brennan, Katie Reel, Carrie O’Keeffe, Emily McKeown.
RAILWAY UNION 37 UL BOHEMIANS 10, Park Avenue
Scorers: Railway Union: Tries: Katie O’Dwyer, Deirdre Roberts 2, Niamh Byrne, Aoife Doyle, Stephanie Carroll; Cons: Nikki Caughey 2; Pen: Nikki Caughey
UL Bohemians: Try: Sarah Quin; Con: Nicole Cronin; Pen: Nicole Cronin
HT: Railway Union 22 UL Bohemians 3
RAILWAY UNION: Aoife O’Shaughnessy; Aoife Doyle, Niamh Byrne (capt), Maggie MacKinnon, Stephanie Carroll; Nikki Caughey, Ailsa Hughes; Grainne O’Loughlin, Chloe Blackmore, Katie O’Dwyer, Aoife McDermott, Siobhan McCarthy, Emma Murphy, Deirdre Roberts, Kate McCarthy.
Replacements: Megan Collis, Lindsay Peat, Keelin Brady, Molly Scuffil McCabe, Claire Keohane.
UL BOHEMIANS: Aoife Corey; Stephanie Nunan, Alana McInerney, Rachel Allen, Helen McDermott; Nicole Cronin, Muirne Wall; Chloe Pearse (capt), Kate Sheehan, Fiona Reidy, Claire Bennett, Sarah Garrett, Clodagh O’Halloran, Edel Murphy, Ciara Griffin.
Replacements: Lily Brady, Eilis Cahill, Laura Delaney, Michelle Ring, Sarah Quin, Louise Costello, Abbie Salter-Townshend.
WICKLOW 12 MALONE 7, Ashtown Lane
Scorers: Wicklow: Tries: Ella Roberts, Sarah Gleeson; Con: Beth Roberts
Malone: Try: Neve Jones; Con: Alexa Grudgings
HT: Wicklow 5 Malone 7
WICKLOW: Ella Roberts; Tammy Breen, Meagan Parkinson, Sarah Gleeson, Naoise O’Reilly; Beth Roberts, Erin McConnell (co-capt); Lauren Barry, Amy O’Neill (co-capt), Kathy Byrne, Shauna Soady, Ciara Brennan, Jessica Schmidt, Emily Ryan, Niamh Ni Dhroma.
Replacements: Robyn Mullen, Laura Newsome, Karen Douglas, Nicola Schmidt, Caitlin Griffey, Orla O’Neill, Katherine Ward.
MALONE: Holly Brannigan; Ella Durkan, Jill Stephens, Peita McAlister (capt), Fern Wilson; Alexa Grudgings, Cara O’Neill; Sarah Murphy, Neve Jones, Chrissie McKee, Jasmine Ward, Amonae Dabbs-Brown, Jo McMorris-Cloughley, Shirelle Wilson, Rebecca Smyth.
Replacements: Ashleigh Currie, Emma Taylor, Erin Jones, Sophie Armstrong.