Old Belvedere continued to assert their dominance in Women’s All-Ireland League Division 1 with a superb seven-try win over a talented Railway Union side this afternoon. Kate Rowan brings us a full round-up.
WOMEN’S ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE: Sunday, November 9
DIVISION 1 RESULTS –
Galwegians 32 St. Mary’s 10, Crowley Park
Highfield 37 Tralee 7, Woodleigh Park
Railway Union 8 Old Belvedere 47, Park Avenue
UL Bohemians 8 Blackrock 15, Annacotty
Newly-promoted Railway Union had started life in the top division brightly and managed to go undefeated through the first four rounds. Hopes were high heading into this top of the table clash.
However, it was apparent that home advantage would count for little as Old Belvedere got off to a breathless start at Park Lane with prop Ailis Egan dotting down after three minutes. Her international colleague Nora Stapleton duly converted.
Due to the heavy conditions underfoot, the error count was high and for a spell, the action evened out. Old Belvedere, though, were tenacious and showed their class as World Cup stars Marie Louise Reilly and Sophie Spence combined to assist out-half Stapleton in scoring.
Railway clawed back three points through the boot of Kim Flood, but the visitors extended their lead before half-time with a try from the explosive Spence, running wide from a Stapleton pop pass.
Railway Union applied pressure in the early stages of the second half but the league leaders’ defensive efforts was immense with back rowers Fitzgerald and Sharon Lynch leading the way.
Fitzgerald then again showed her ability in attack as she scored her second try of the afternoon 20 minutes into the second half.
Five minutes later Railway were defiant as Ireland Under-19 Sevens representative Emma Murphy scored her team’s only try.
However, in the final ten minutes, Old Belvedere were relentless as they ran in three more tries. Winger Sinead Fleming bagged a brace and centre Elise O’Byrne White scored with great flair, aided by another stunning pass from Stapleton.
Travelling to Limerick, Blackrock cemented second place in the standings with a 15-8 win over a determined UL Bohemians side.
The visitors’ scores came from tries by full-back Aoife Tyrrell, winger Amy Davis and prop Karla Dunne, while Ireland full-back Niamh Briggs booted a penalty for Bohs and prop Leah Barbour bagged their try.
Galwegians gave a complete performance, both in defence and attack, to secure their first victory of the competition with a 32-10 success against St. Mary’s at Crowley Park.
Highfield ran out 37-7 winners against Tralee in today’s all-Munster affair at Woodleigh Park. The bonus point success maintains Highfield’s hopes of finishing in the top four while Tralee remain rooted to the bottom of the table although they do have a game in hand of St. Mary’s, who are also winless.
Highfield led 22-7 at half-time in Cork thanks to two tries from Ireland Under-18 Sevens captain Jayne Pennefather and one from Leah Lyons. Norita Duggan kicked two conversions and a penalty with the sole Tralee response coming from a converted Siobhan Fleming try.
The speedy Pennefather completed a fine hat-trick in the second half and the bonus point was secured by Hannah Lane after great work by Ireland number 8 Heather O’Brien.
– With thanks to photographers Mark White and Niamh English