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Women’s All-Ireland League Round-Up

Women’s All-Ireland League Round-Up

The Women’s All-Ireland League Division 1 title will be staying in Dublin after current holders Old Belvedere fended off UL Bohemians and Blackrock saw off a dogged Galwegians in today’s semi-finals, writes Kate Rowan.



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Old Belvedere 29 UL Bohemians 0, Anglesea Road
Blackrock 17 Galwegians 7, Stradbrook


St. Mary’s 17 Tralee 12, Templeville Road

Women’s All-Ireland League – Fixtures/Results

This afternoon’s semi-final at Anglesea Road started with a bang as lively Old Belvedere winger Janice Daly jinked past several UL defenders to score from out wide after two minutes of play. Ireland international out-half Nora Stapleton missed the conversion.
Belvedere continued to pile on the pressure and this was rewarded with a score from Ireland loosehead prop Ailis Egan. Stapleton duly converted. The hosts continued at breakneck speed and they had their third try of the day from Daly.

Just before the 20-minute mark, ‘Belvo second row Emma Dunne powered through from midfield to offload to centre Elise O’Byrne White who, thanks to her dancing feet, beat a couple of covering players to dot down.

After a period of such imperious dominance, the ‘Belvo players relaxed somewhat allowing the visitors to apply some pressure but the defending champions also showed just as much tenacity in defence as they had in the attack.
The first 20 minutes of the second half were a cagey affair but again Belvedere showed their class as Daly completed her hat-trick on the hour mark after an impressive kick through, dotting down under the posts. Stapleton added the extras.
The remainder of the match was a tale of missed chances for Belvedere. Notably, Ireland’s Sophie Spence was held up just a metre short after a 60-metre dash. It finished in a resounding 29-0 win for the ‘Belvo girls.
At Stradbrook, Blackrock bounced back from their defeat to Galwegians in the final regular season round last week to beat the same opposition 17-7 in a hugely physical last-four encounter.
Blackrock started brightly with Leinster flanker Amy O’Neill scoring after 12 minutes. This was closely followed by a try from Ireland Sevens star Katie Fitzhenry (pictured below) after a superb offload from centre Ainé Ní Cathaín.

Former Canadian international Jess Belchos then scored to put the home side 17 points to good at the interval.
Galwegians showed their determination in the second half, and their increased physicality was rewarded when scrum half Mary Healy touched down on the hour.

However, some great guile from Ireland veteran Tania Rosser, playing at scrum half, and attacking spark from out-half Fitzhenry, along with an immense effort from the pack, ensured that Blackrock will meet Old Belvedere in next weekend’s league decider.
Templeville Road was the setting for an extremely close and entertaining relegation play-off match between St. Mary’s and Tralee. The two sides were level at 12-all in the closing stages but an 81st minute try sealed the victory for the hosts.