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Women’s All-Ireland League: Round 7 Review

Women’s All-Ireland League: Round 7 Review

UL Bohemians stretched their unbeaten record this season to a magnificent seven wins from seven games with a 33-14 victory over Cooke in Belfast yesterday, writes Aisling Crowe.


BLACKROCK 17 HIGHFIELD 25, Stradbrook (played on Saturday)

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ST. MARY’S 5 RAILWAY UNION 53, Templeville Road

COOKE 14 UL BOHEMIANS 33, Shaw’s Bridge


League leaders UL Bohemians got off to a flying start with full-back Áine Staunton running in the first of her four tries, securing the try bonus point for her team single-handedly.

All of UL’s points came through Staunton and hooker Edel Murphy, who is the radar-guided kicker for the Munster side and got in on the try-scoring action, diving over the line from a five-metre scrum following a fantastic run by winger Kate English.

Winning manager Maeve D’Arcy was thrilled with Bohemians’ performance especially the strength in depth from the bench. “Four of our players were held for international duty so I’m delighted we got the win and that the girls were able to step up from the bench and from the seconds team. It is a long season this year with the home and away matches and having that depth is important,” she said.

Cooke head coach Grace Davitt found plenty to work on for the return fixture in a fortnight’s time but the tenacity displayed by the Belfast side pleased her.

“UL Bohs came out all guns blazing and got three tries before we got up and running. It was a much more even second half and the fight shown by the girls in looking for the try bonus point was great, even if we fell short,” explained Davitt.

“We know what we did wrong today and we will work on it for the next two weeks. It’s great to have the opportunity to get a second bite at Bohs so quickly.”

Old Belvedere’s first half performance helped them come away from Galwegians with a slender 13-10 win that puts them into a clear second place in the table.

Jenny Murphy continued her road to recovery with a virtuoso performance, demonstrating that the Ireland star might be ready to return to the international side after her injury lay-off. The Kildare woman scored all 13 of ‘Belvo’s points to help them race into a 13-0 half-time lead.

Galwegians fought back in the second half with a try from Emma Clery, converted by Clare Raftery who also scored two penalties, getting the hosts within three points of the lead and claiming a losing bonus point.

Stephanie Barman, who only took up rugby last year, starred at flanker for Old Belvedere on her first start for the senior side.

Ciara Cooney’s return from the injury she picked up during last year’s Six Nations tournament was capped with a try as Railway Union ran riot at Templeville Road, running in nine tries in a 53-3 hammering of St. Mary’s.

Scrum half Ailsa Hughes was responsible for three of those scores, while Aoife McDermott, Sinead Taylor, Meg Kendal, Katie O’Dwyer and Lindsay Peat all helped themselves to a try apiece.

The bonus point success helped them climb over Blackrock into that all-important fourth place in the table. Despite their 25-17 defeat of Highfield on Saturday afternoon, the ‘Rock girls slipped below Railway on scoring difference.  

ROUND 8 FIXTURES: Sunday, November 20

Kick-off 1pm unless stated –

HIGHFIELD (7th) v BLACKROCK (5th), Woodleigh Park

OLD BELVEDERE (2nd) v GALWEGIANS (3rd), Anglesea Road

RAILWAY UNION (4th) v ST. MARY’S (8th), Willow Lodge

UL BOHEMIANS (1st) v COOKE (6th), Annacotty

Related Links –

Women’s All-Ireland League Fixtures

Women’s All-Ireland League Table