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Women’s All-Ireland League: Round 10 Review

Women’s All-Ireland League: Round 10 Review

Nine games, nine victories. UL Bohemians remain unbeaten at the top of the Women’s All-Ireland League after their ninth win of the season, their victims this time being St. Mary’s. Aisling Crowe brings us a full round-up of the action.



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ST. MARY’S 5 UL BOHEMIANS 31, Templeville Road

OLD BELVEDERE 19 COOKE 3, Anglesea Road

Home games, away matches, they all come alike to UL Bohemians who were the away team in the lunchtime clash at Templeville Road but emerged with all the points on offer to stretch their lead at the summit to five points.
The evidence of the first 30 minutes would not have predicted such a comprehensive win for the visitors – 31-5 – as both UL Bohs and St. Mary’s pushed and pulled, defending and attacking with vim and vigour.
Mairead Kelly, the player-of-the-match last week against Blackrock, showed her worth yet again for the Robins, making the breakthrough with a try on 31 minutes after a slaloming solo run out wide. Edel Murphy, who doubles as the Kerry ladies’ goalkeeper, added the conversion.
A penalty try was awarded to the visitors three minutes later, and Murphy duly slotted over the conversion. Kelly again raced away down the left wing to add her second inside eight minutes and give her team a 19-0 lead at half-time.
Aine Staunton
sealed their fifth try bonus point of the season, barely a minute into the second half. John Keane of UL Bohemians described the full-back’s score, saying: “Last week she fielded a high ball at the start of the first half and Staunton ran in under the posts for a try on 41 minutes. This week the full-back repeated the magic, only this time she scored in the corner.”
Clare McDonald
went over in the right corner to make it 29-0 and Murphy kicked a tricky conversion to give the Robins a 31-0 lead. St. Mary’s fought back in the closing minutes and were rewarded for their efforts with a try from María Jose San Perega but the Limerick bird had flown.
“We were happy with the victory, it was convincing and sets us up nicely for next week but we are taking nothing for granted,” Keane added.
The race for the three other play-off positions tightened following Sunday’s round of games but Old Belvedere consolidated their second place with a 19-3 defeat of Cooke.

“Although we scored three tries, it was another tough game, very similar to last week,” said Ruth McElroy. ”There were a lot of set pieces and while we dominated at the scrum, Cooke were more in control at the lineouts.”
Cooke besieged the Old Belvedere 22 in the opening minutes but only came away with a penalty to show for their efforts. The hosts got the opening try of the game after 20 minutes when Millicent Cromin was in the right place after good play from the Old Belvedere forwards, and she wriggled through a gap and touched down to the right of the posts. The ever-reliable boot of Jackie Shiels provided the conversion.

Cromin provided ‘Belvo with their second try minutes before the half-time whistle sounded. The full-back again making use of her pace to score a second try but it was a bittersweet game for Cromin as she later was forced off with a hip problem.
Sophie Spence and Shiels combined neatly for the Dubliners’ third try of the afternoon with Spence’s position crucial to the score. After making metres through the tackles, Spence offloaded just short of the line. After a couple of pick and go moves, the ball squirted out to Shiels who dived over the line for the try, which she converted for a final score of 19-3.
Railway Union’s winning run continued as they made it five wins from five, their latest victory away to Highfield in Cork. Clare Ryan stole the show from full-back, scoring both of her team’s tries and making an heroic last-ditch tackle in the dying seconds of the game to prevent Highfield from crossing the whitewash.
An absorbing contest was scoreless at half-time but it did not remain that way for long when play resumed after the break. With two minutes on the clock, Ryan galloped into the corner to break the deadlock and put Railway in front. Highfield replied with a penalty and it was nip and tuck throughout an enthralling encounter.
“Great work from the forwards gave us the possession and Clare was there for her second try to make it 10-3,” explained John Cronin, director of rugby for Railway Union.

“Clare was brilliant today as was Juliet Short again, our tighthead Lucy O’Sullivan and Emma Taylor, a Canadian international, all had stand-out games for us today.”
Galwegians got themselves back to winning ways when coming out on top – 19-17 – in a tight, tense and thrilling clash with Blackrock at Stradbrook.
Heather Cary was quick off the mark, grabbing the game’s opening try inside ten minutes to make it 5-0 to the Blue Belles, but Blackrock roared back and a period of sustained pressure kept the visitors pinned back.
Sarah Jane Ryan broke free from the Blackrock shackles to claim Galwegians’ second try, and Clare Raftery added the conversion.
With a 12-point lead, Galwegians were inclined to snooze a little and Blackrock fought back in impressive fashion. The sides were level with 20 minutes to go. Then Blackrock, who were fuelled by a surge of belief, went ahead for the first time with a third try.
There were ten minutes remaining and the hosts led 17-12 with Galwegians under severe pressure. The Connacht women regained their composure and the ball, camping in the Blackrock 22 for the next nine minutes. Blackrock repelled the waves of invaders but in the end, Ursula Sammon scrambled over in the corner to tie the match. Raftery nailed the pressure kick from a tight angle to give Galwegians a breathless victory and see them hold onto third place in the standings, just two points ahead of Railway Union.
UL Bohs play their rescheduled match against Cooke in Limerick next Sunday, while the All-Ireland League goes on a brief hiatus with the first weekend in February bringing a round of All-Ireland Cup matches, signalling the start of spring.

ROUND 11 FIXTURES: Sunday, February 12

Kick-off 1pm unless stated –

COOKE (7th) v HIGHFIELD (5th), Shaw’s Bridge

RAILWAY UNION (4th) v BLACKROCK (6th), Willow Lodge

ST. MARY’S (8th) v OLD BELVEDERE (2nd), Templeville Road

UL BOHEMIANS (1st) v GALWEGIANS (3rd), Annacotty

Related Links –

Women’s All-Ireland League Fixtures

Women’s All-Ireland League Table