Coming into the fourth weekend of Women’s All-Ireland League Division 1 action, Blackrock were the only side who had managed to keep their opponents scoreless in the previous three rounds. Kate Rowan brings us a full round-up.
WOMEN’S ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE: Saturday, November 1-Sunday, November 2
DIVISION 1 RESULTS –
Tralee v Galwegians, O’Dowd Park (match postponed)
Highfield 5 UL Bohemians 17, Woodleigh Park
Old Belvedere 39 Blackrock 0, Anglesea Road
St. Mary’s 12 Railway Union 22, Templeville Road
Blackrock’s local rivals Old Belvedere put in a stunning second half performance at Anglesea Road to well and truly blot ‘Rock’s defensive record, accumulating an impressive six tries without answer for a 39-0 win.
The match began as a relatively cagey affair with only a penalty from Old Belvedere’s international out-half Nora Stapleton separating the sides at half-time.
After the interval the defending champions came out like a team on a mission and stunned Blackrock. After spending ten minutes defending their line, Blackrock conceded their first try of the season when replacement prop Fiona O’Brien scored from a powerful ‘Belvo driving maul.
Just two minutes later the hosts struck again. Tighthead prop Ailis Egan scored a try on the back of great support from lock Emma Dunne and her Ireland colleague, back rower Sophie Spence.
Old Belvedere continued to grow in confidence, their extremely quick line speed did not give Blackrock a chance to claw their way back into the game.
Spence’s star continued to shine as she burst through to score after 56 minutes. Ten minutes later she touched down again from the back of a scrum.
With just minutes left on the clock, Spence secured her hat-trick from a Jenny Murphy flat pass. Old Belvedere’s tenacity continued with Ireland Sevens squad member Hannah Tyrrell dotting down from the wing to close out the afternoon’s scoring.
Railway Union continued their bright start to life in the top flight with a hard-fought 22-12 victory over a much-improved St. Mary’s in a physical encounter at Templeville Road.
Centre and Ireland Sevens ace Martina McCarthy dazzled for the home side, while Ireland international Paula Fitzpatrick (pictured scoring below) also impressed despite being sent to the sin-bin. The pair scored a try apiece for St. Mary’s.
Railway Union’s scores came from Nicole Fowley, Stacey Flood and Emma Murphy. They are now up to second in the Division 1 standings, lying two points behind leaders Old Belvedere ahead of next Sunday’s top of the table clash at Park Avenue.
Two stars of Ireland’s World Cup campaign, Heather O’Brien and Niamh Briggs, also showed their class this weekend in the Munster derby between Highfield and UL Bohemians at Woodleigh Park. Briggs’ Bohs side ran out 17-5 winners.
Meanwhile, the round 4 meeting of Tralee and Galwegians at O’Dowd Park was postponed on Saturday.
– With thanks to photographers Liam Byrne and Leanne Doyle