Three Dublin-based sides lead the way after the opening three rounds in Division 1 of the Women’s All-Ireland League, as Blackrock, Old Belvedere and Railway Union remain unbeaten. Kate Rowan reviews the latest matches.
WOMEN’S ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE: Sunday, October 19
DIVISION 1 RESULTS –
Blackrock 25 Highfield 0, Stradbrook
Railway Union 22 Galwegians 15, Park Avenue
UL Bohemians 8 St. Mary’s 0, Annacotty
Old Belvedere 84 Tralee 0, Anglesea Road
Women’s All-Ireland League – Tables
Coming into to their home fixture at Stradbrook against Highfield, Blackrock were the only team in the league who had managed to keep the opposition scoreless in the opening two rounds.
This impressive record was maintained after a four-try performance. However, the visitors started brightly, applying all the early pressure. After Norita Duggan missed a penalty for the Cork side, Blackrock kicked deep into Highfield’s half.
This led to some great interplay between the Blackrock backs and forwards, resulting in winger Clodagh Dunne scoring in the corner after 27 minutes.
A penalty from inside centre Jeamie Deacon followed. Blackrock’s confidence continued to grow as they managed a great steal from the Highfield lineout. Some great play between Dunne and former Canadian international Jess Belchos led to full-back Aoife Tyrrell scoring a try to the right of the posts with just four minutes left in the first half.
After the interval both teams came out and played with great intensity. The two sides managed to cancel each other out until Highfield tighthead prop Leah Lyons was yellow cared by referee Paul Dunphy with just under ten minutes remaining.
Ireland international Tania Rosser, playing at out-half, showed her immense class as she put Dunne in position to score her second try of the afternoon.
Just three minutes later, a break from Rosser and a pinpoint pass from strong-running centre Deacon freed up the winger to complete her hat-trick.
At Sandymount’s Park Avenue, Railway Union have continued their bright start to life in the top flight. They won a physical clash with a dogged Galwegians 22-15, with both sides scoring three tries.
Old Belvedere continued to dazzle as they ran out 84-0 winners over a gallant Tralee team at Anglesea Road.
The defending Division 1 champions scored 14 tries including a brace from one of Ireland’s World Cup stars, Sophie Spence. Winger Janice Daly (pictured below), who impressed through out the Interprovincial Championship and the early AIL rounds, also touched down twice.
Meanwhile, at Annacotty down in Limerick, UL Bohemians were the only non-Dublin side to win this weekend after they defeated St. Mary’s on an 8-0 scoreline.
– With thanks to photographers Leanne Doyle and Colbert O’Sullivan