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Women’s All-Ireland League: Round 5 Review

Women’s All-Ireland League: Round 5 Review

Women’s All-Ireland League: Round 5 Review

Railway Union prevailed 24-15 at home to Blackrock to move back to the top of the Women’s All-Ireland League this afternoon. Elsewhere, Cooke and Galwegians claimed the scalps of defending champions UL Bohemians and Old Belvedere respectively. Katie Byrne rounds up today’s action.


Clubs are invited to post the best tries from their Women’s All-Ireland League fixtures on the club’s Twitter, Facebook or Instagram pages using the hashtag #AILWomensTry and tag @irishrugby. The scorer of #AILWomensTry of the Month will receive a voucher for €;250 and each of the monthly winners will be entered into the #AILWomensTry of the Season competition.

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Railway Union called seven of their seconds players into action due to several of their frontliners being away at an Ireland 15s training camp and on Ireland Sevens duty at a tournament in Spain. Their squad depth was thoroughly tested and flanker Emma Murphy and prop Katie O’Dwyer led by example, turning in two outstanding performances.

Having started slowly last week against UL Bohemians, Blackrock’s intensity in the opening 30 minutes today was much improved. They were rewarded with a Hannah O’Connor try off the back of a five-metre scrum, and the talented number 8 landed the conversion not far from the touchline.

However, Railway’s greater firepower guided them to a fourth successive win – and a bonus point to boot – thanks to tries from Emma Taylor, Niamh Byrne, Larissa Muldoon and out-half Claire Keohane, with a superb individual effort. A close range penalty from O’Connor tied things up at 10-all with 20 minutes remaining, but the home side held the edge in the final quarter.

Despite a break through the heart of the Railway defence by former Ireland international Jackie Shiels, ‘Rock could only muster one more try when Ali Coleman finished off a well-worked team score. Their head coach Philip Doyle admitted: “The team learned a lot from today’s performance and we’re looking forward to two weeks of hard work before the next challenge (away to St. Mary’s).”


There was a major upset at Anglesea Road as fourth-placed Galwegians continued to shake up the league with a 17-12 victory over Old Belvedere, last season’s runners-up. Centre Orla Dixon was their ‘super sub’ with two vital tries, including an intercept score, as the Blue Belles closed out a confidence-boosting result.

Denise Redmond has had a big impact at the base of the scrum for Fraser Gow’s side since her return from injury, and this afternoon she continued her fine form by scoring the visitors’ opening try. Fiona O’Brien and Franziska Klappoth stood strong for ‘Belvo in the pack, but the Dublin 4 outfit will rue their many missed chances as they fumbled the ball on three occasions with the try-line in sight.

There were two opportunities lost through knock-ons and one forward pass from Ailbhe Dowling to Grace Miller, younger sister of Ireland international Alison, in a two-on-one situation. The two tries ‘Belvo did score were registered by Amber Redmond and Dowling, with the latter blazing through on a Jordan Larmour-style run.

COOKE 27 UL BOHEMIANS 22, Shaw’s Bridge

Cooke head coach Wayne Kelly was ‘delighted with their performance’ in a 27-22 bonus point success at home to UL Bohemians as they built on their recent third round triumph over bottom side St. Mary’s.

UL, who trailed 17-3 early on, fought back with tries from Claire Bennett, captain Fiona Hayes and Niamh Briggs but missed the influence of their Ireland squad members. Teenage centre Kelly McCormill was at the heart of Cooke’s best play. The Ireland Under-18 Sevens international has proven to be a great asset for them in their opening rounds, and this afternoon was no different as she ran in two tries.

The Belfast club notched a brilliant first half try when dazzling footwork from Katie Hetherington saw her step past three defenders and offload for the onrushing McCormill to apply the finishing touches under the posts. Vicky Irwin’s successful conversion put 14 points between the sides.

There were additional touchdowns from Peita McAllister and captain Beth Cregan, who crashed over from a power-packed scrum, to secure the bonus point. Although Bohs got back level thanks to Briggs with three minutes remaining, Claire Johnston was released for the left corner to seal the home win.

Cooke number 8 and skipper Cregan told Irish Rugby TV afterwards: “We knew that UL Bohs were always going to be one of the hardest teams in the league. Between us it’s always going to be an up-front battle. But I’m really proud of the girls today. We dug in for the full 80 minutes. We’ve three girls there starting from the Under-18s. That didn’t show. Everybody out there showed composure, showed experience. It was just brilliant to play as a team.”

– Photos from Bernie O’Farrell, Inpho Photography & Robert Hall


Kick-off 2pm unless stated –

GALWEGIANS (4th) v COOKE (5th), Crowley Park

RAILWAY UNION (1st) v UL BOHEMIANS (3rd), Park Avenue

ST. MARY’S (7th) v BLACKROCK (6th), Templeville Road, 2.30pm

Related Links –

Women’s All-Ireland League Results/Fixtures

Women’s All-Ireland League Table