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Defending champions Railway Union produced a strong finish to overcome Blackrock 25-11
Winger Aoife Doyle scored two tries to take the mantle of ‘super sub’ at Stradbrook.
Munster flanker Maeve Og O’Leary charged over from a Mairead Holohan offload to give Blackrock an 11-7 half-time lead. Ireland international Doyle then squeezed in at the corner to move Railway back in front, adding to Kate McCarthy’s earlier try.
A central Caughey penalty was followed by a try out wide from Railway centre Niamh Byrne, who was the beneficiary of a fine skip pass from 19-year-old centre Alex McGuinness.
Blackrock came under further pressure, leading to a yellow card for lock Holohan before the visitors sealed their bonus point. Lively replacement Claire Boles carried strongly off a scrum and the ball was flashed wide for Doyle to dot down again.
“The last 30 minutes of the game we came into our own. Nikki (Caughey) really started to control it and we came to our strengths which are our set piece – we’ve a great lineout, we’ve a great scrum,” said Doyle afterwards.
“So we just started to control the game the way we wanted to. The bench brought just a bit of calmness and communication. A first win in our first game is massive.”
Blackrock College (11) Railway Union (25), Stradbrook
Scorers: Blackrock College: Try: Maeve Og O’Leary; Pens: Hannah O’Connor 2
Railway Union: Tries: Kate McCarthy, Aoife Doyle 2, Niamh Byrne; Con: Nikki Caughey; Pen: Nikki Caughey
HT: Blackrock College 11 Railway Union 7
Natasja Behan; Maeve Liston, Katie Fitzhenry, Michelle Claffey (capt), Maggie Boylan; Lisa Mullen, Niamh Griffin; Aoife Moore, Manuela McCarthy, Caoimhe Molloy, Anna Potterton, Mairead Holohan, Meadbh Scally, Maeve Og O’Leary, Hannah O’Connor.
Replacements: Judy Bobbett, Geena Behan, Aoife Browne, Tess Meade, Jackie Shiels, Eimear Corri, Ciara Scanlan.
Aoife O’Shaughnessy; Stephanie Carroll, Maggie MacKinnon, Alex McGuinness, Niamh Byrne; Nikki Caughey, Molly Scuffil-McCabe; Grainne O’Loughlin, Lisa Callan, Megan Collis, Sonia McDermott, Siobhan McCarthy, Emma Murphy, Kate McCarthy, Deirdre Roberts.
Replacements: Chloe Blackmore, Aimee Clarke, Keelin Brady, Christine Coffey, Claire Boles, Erin Coll, Aoife Doyle.