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Women’s All-Ireland League: Round 2 Review

Women’s All-Ireland League: Round 2 Review

Old Belvedere and Galwegians top the table after the second round of the Women’s All-Ireland League. A one-point win in an epic 87-point game against Cooke saw ‘Wegians maintain pace with defending champions ‘Belvo yesterday.

WOMEN’S ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE: Sunday, September 18

BLACKROCK 5 ST. MARY’S 0, Stradbrook

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GALWEGIANS 44 COOKE 43, Crowley Park



The Wild Atlantic Way provided thrills and tries galore on Sunday with Galwegians edging out Cooke by a single point (44-43) in a tense, thrilling and terrific game of rugby.

The drama heightened to a crescendo as the clock ticked away the final seconds. Cooke were leading 43-37 with a mere 60 seconds to spare but that was all the time Galwegians needed to pull victory from the fiery jaws of defeat.

Nicole Fowley touched down between the posts to leave Claire Rafferty with a seemingly simple conversion but  under enormous pressure to nail the shot. Rafferty’s antennae were firmly focused this time and there was no doubt about her winning kick, giving her team victory by a solitary point.

Cooke head coach Grace Davitt praised her players’ tenacity in a fiercely tight contest, saying: “We were in front until the final kick of the game but it had been nip and tuck the whole way through. We would get ahead then they would come back at us.

“It felt like a cup or league final, it had that atmosphere, and after losing by two points to Galwegians in last season’s All-Ireland Cup final, we feel we owe them one now.”

Old Belvedere made it two wins on the bounce in their quest to retain their league crown. For the second week in succession, the Dubliners scored a bonus point success as they ran in four tries against Highfield in a 24-3 victory.

The wet and windy conditions at Woodleigh Park hindered the defending champions’ attempts at playing an expansive and flowing style of rugby but the autumn weather could not stop Ireland winger Alison Miller.

Miller was the three-try heroine for her side with her international team-mate Sophie Spence the other try scorer for the visitors.

New signing Jackie Shiels showed her worth yet again, controlling the game at number ten. The Old Belvedere out-half demonstrated a keen peripheral vision as she constantly found space behind the Highfield defence with her searching kicks off the back of a scrum that eventually became dominant as the game wore on.

Blackrock came out on top of a low-scoring Dublin derby against St. Mary’s at Stradbrook. Scrum half Niamh Griffin scored the only try, indeed the only points of the game, for the home team who triumped 5-0. Leinster Under-18 winger Eimear Corri, who recently starred for the Ireland Under-18 Girls Sevens team, won her first cap for Blackrock.

Winning ‘Rock coach Philip Rice was pleased with his team’s set-piece performance, stating: “We dominated most phases of the game, particularly the lineout and scrums but Mary’s defence was excellent.

“They rucked well and they tackled and defended ferociously well. We bombarded their line but fumbled the ball twice in the act of diving over. Blackrock were on top for most of the game but the scores didn’t materialise.”

Ireland star Nikki Caughey’s four penalties were not enough to save Railway Union from a 15-12 home defeat to UL Bohemians.

Her side had the momentum in the early stages of the game but a penalty from Kerry goalkeeper Edel Murphy put the visitors in the lead after 31 minutes.

Caughey equalised shortly afterwards, but the Limerick team capitalised on Railway Union being reduced to 14 players because of a sin-binning to score the first try of the game. A perfectly-weighted pass from Aine Staunton to Liz Burke gave UL Bohs a half-time lead of 8-3.

Caughey’s boot put her team 12-8 in front with just two minutes to play, but they could not hold off the hordes and Anna Caplice crossed the line for UL’s second try, which Murphy duly converted.

ROUND 3 FIXTURES: Sunday, September 25

Kick-off 1pm unless stated –

COOKE (4th) v BLACKROCK (5th), Shaw’s Bridge

ST. MARY’S (7th) v HIGHFIELD (8th), Templeville Road

UL BOHEMIANS (3rd) v OLD BELVEDERE (1st), Annacotty

RAILWAY UNION (6th) v GALWEGIANS (2nd), Willow Lodge, 2.30pm

Related Links –

Women’s All-Ireland League Fixtures

Women’s All-Ireland League Table