Blackrock will face UL Bohemians in the Women’s All-Ireland Cup Final on Saturday, March 30 after another day of dramatic knockout rugby. The home advantage and All-Ireland League calibre of both sides proved decisive against Leinster League opposition.
UL Bohemians were just too strong for a Tullow side who came to Limerick with nothing to lose. The Carlow women got on the scoreboard in the second half through an Alex McNeill try, but they could not stop the All-Ireland League leaders from racking up nine tries, including a brace of tries from both Aine Staunton and Chloe Pearse, in a 55-7 victory.
Suttonians will feel the scoreline in their 19-3 semi-final loss to Blackrock will not do them justice, especially after leading for most of the first half. The north Dubliners bossed possession in the opening 40 minutes and led through the boot of Nicole Carroll.
‘Rock edged ahead with tries either side of half-time and moved clear in the second half as Suttonians’ ball carriers started to tire. Niamh Griffin, Meadbh Scally and Roisin Crowe all touched down for Philip Doyle’s charges. Credit must go to the beaten side, however, for their strong finish at a venue they will hope to return to in the near future.
Railway Union put the pain of their All-Ireland Cup exit behind them with a 10-try performance in their Plate semi-final. John Cronin’s outfit beat Galwegians 52-19 on a big day for Hazel Simmons on her debut. The 18-year-old scored two tries in her first ever senior game, while there were braces too from Ireland Under-18 Sevens international Lecky Dunne and Liat Kogon, who has captained the Israeli national team. Old Belvedere await in the Plate decider.
Meanwhile, Shannon pushed Cooke all the way in the Shield semis. Penalties from Valerie Power saw them lead 6-0 at half-time and they led until the last five minutes when Beth Cregan scored a match-winning converted try for the Belfast side who won by the minimum.
Tralee became the only team outside the Women’s All-Ireland League to make it to finals day at the end of March. They saw off Ulster challengers Malone 5-0 thanks to former Ireland international Siobhan Fleming’s try and will play another northern side, Cooke, in the Shield final.
WOMEN’S ALL-IRELAND CUP SEMI-FINALS:
BLACKROCK 19 SUTTONIANS 3, Stradbrook
Scorers: Blackrock: Tries: Niamh Griffin, Meadbh Scally, Roisin Crowe; Cons: Jackie Shiels 2
Suttonians: Pen: Nicole Carroll
HT: Blackrock 7 Suttonians 3
BLACKROCK: Ellen Taite; Roisin Crowe, Ali Coleman, Maeve Óg O’Leary, Ray Lawless; Jackie Shiels, Niamh Griffin; Caoimhe Molloy, Ann-Marie Rooney, Nini McCarthy, Judy Bobbet, Mairead Holohan (capt), Grace Kelly, Tess Meade, Meadbh Scally.
Replacements: Meadhbh O’Callaghan, Lena Fitzsimmons, Jenni Burke, Aoife Browne, Laura Delaney, Natasja Behan, Amy Cotter.
SUTTONIANS: Sophie Gibney; Lindsey Mayo, Catherine Martin, Kerry Browne, Lindsey Mahoney; Nicole Carroll, Kristina Aprahamian; Alexa Higginbottom, Julia O’Connor, Julia Bauer, Aifric O’Brien, Grainne Tummon, Roisin O’Driscoll, Katie Grant Duggan, Nicole Purdom.
Replacements: Lauren Retig, Orlaith Phelan, Catherine Murphy, Aisling Layde, Susan Shirley, Carrie O’Keeffe, Precious Jere.
UL BOHEMIANS 55 TULLOW 7, University of Limerick 4G pitch
Scorers: UL Bohemians: Chloe Pearse 2, Fiona Hayes, Caoimhe Tiernan, Stephanie Nunan, Aine Staunton 2, Aoife O’Sullivan, Rachel Allen; Con: Niamh Briggs 4, Aine Staunton
Tullow: Try: Alex McNeill; Con: Catherine Dempsey
HT: UL Bohemians 24 Tullow 0
UL BOHEMIANS: Aine Staunton; Rosie Newton, Stephanie Nunan, Rachel Allen, Caoimhe Tiernan; Niamh Briggs, Laura O’Mahony; Fiona Hayes (capt), Kate Sheehan, Sarah O’Gorman, Claire Bennett, Aoife O’Sullivan, Edel Murphy, Clodagh O’Halloran, Chloe Pearse.
Replacements: Geena Behan, Sarah Garrett, Sarah Quin, Helen McDermott.
TULLOW: Chloe Farrell; Sarah Rennick, Alex McNeill, Jane O’Neill, Alice Carroll; Catherine Dempsey, Ann Marie Fitzgerald; Nicola Caldbeck, Ciara O’Brien, Amy McGrath, Helen O’Brien, Ciara Kinch, Clare Nolan, Ciara O’Dwyer, Lauryn Faulkner.
Replacements: Katie O’Brien, Clare Kealy, Ashling Carroll, Lana Brennan, Aoife Nolan, Eva Kealy, Lydia Burke.
WOMEN’S ALL-IRELAND PLATE SEMI-FINALS:
RAILWAY UNION 52 GALWEGIANS 19, Park Avenue
Scorers: Railway Union: Tries: Katie O’Dwyer, Lecky Dunne 2, Liat Kogon 2, Hazel Simmons 2, Meaghan Kenny, Lisa Callan, Meg Kendal; Con: Molly Scuffil-McCabe
Galwegians: Tries: Jordan Hopkins 2, Denise Redmond; Con: Denise Redmond
HT: Railway Union 32 Galwegians 0
RAILWAY UNION: Lecky Dunne; Hazel Simmons, Susan Vaughan, Meg Kendal, Emer O’Mahony; Molly Scuffil-McCabe, Laura Barachetti; Shirley Corcoran, Chloe Blackmore, Katie O’Dwyer, Daisy Earle, Claire Coomes, Emma Murphy, Emma Taylor, Meaghan Kenny.
Replacements: Lisa Callan, Sarah Cranley, Liat Kogon, Claire Keohane.
GALWEGIANS: Orla Dixon; Emma Doyle, Ursula Sammon, Shannen Touhy, SJ Fox; Emma Keane, Shannen Lane (capt); Sarah Glynn, Sarah Heenan, Elizabeth McKeever, Laura Vilchez Padial, Fiona Farrell, Marion Doolin, Karen Douglas, Denise Redmond.
Replacements: Lisa Anglim, Jordan Hopkins, Sarah Cassidy.
* OLD BELVEDERE received a bye into Plate final
WOMEN’S ALL-IRELAND SHIELD SEMI-FINALS:
SHANNON 6 COOKE 7, Coonagh
Scorers: Shannon: Pens: Valerie Power 2
Cooke: Try: Beth Cregan; Con: Vicky Irwin
HT: Shannon 6 Cooke 0
SHANNON: Lizzy Danaher; Aoife Mary Twohill, Julie Ingratta, Breda Doheny, Roisin Willis; Valerie Power, Rebecca Casey; Emma Casey, Tracy Lawlor, Laura Delaney, Ciara O’Halloran, Maeve Keogh, Karen Harney, Jessica Hewitt, Kate McCarthy.
Replacements: Grainne Hayes, Lesley Walsh, Niamh McWalter, Rachel Wallace, Niamh Quilligan, Della Daly, Sarah McGlinchey.
COOKE: Hannah Kilgore; Claire Johnston, Kelly McCormill, Vicky Irwin, Maeve Liston; Amanda Morton, Laura Cairns; Ilse van Staden, Sophie Allen, Shannon Heapes, Serena Bailie, Caoimhe Rooney, Naoimi McCullagh, Beth Cregan, Hannah Allen
Replacements: Fra McBride, Anistasia Perisynakis.
TRALEE 5 MALONE 0, O’Dowd Park
Scorers: Tralee: Try: Siobhan Fleming
HT: Tralee 5 Malone 0
TRALEE: Riona Kennedy; Maria Harnett, Noreen Murphy, Christine Arthurs Sinead O’Connor; Anna Murphy, Muirne Wall; Irene Dillane, Katie Harnett, Maura Collins, Caolann Healy, Nuala O’Connor, Ashlea Sheehy, Diana O’Keeffe, Siobhan Fleming.
Replacements: Michaela Murphy, Ellie Daly, Emma Bourke, Ashlyn Fong, Donna McGovern.
MALONE: Holly Brannigan; Anna Stanfield, Ella Durkan, Fern Wilson, Jasmine Ward; Grace Davitt, Jenna Stewart; Susan Kane, Nicole Hutchinson, Sarah Murphy, Naomi McCord, Gemma McCamley, Eimear Hagan, Shirelle Wilson, Lauren Maginnes.
Replacements: Sarah Gibson, Rebecca Lawlor, Sara Houston, Aislinn McGinn, Zarah Ryan, Brogain Ni Chiarrain.