Storm Freya wreaked havoc in round 13 of the Women’s All-Ireland League with the UL Bohemians-Blackrock tie blown up after 60 minutes, and Old Belvedere and St. Mary’s completing their game through strong winds. Elsewhere, Railway Union had to concede their game to Galwegians due to player availability.
WOMEN’S ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE – ROUND 13: Sunday, March 3
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.
OLD BELVEDERE 26 ST. MARY’S 0, Anglesea Road
Old Belvedere’s young forwards continue to impress in the absence of their Ireland internationals, with in-form teenage prop Victoria Dabanovich-O’Mahony getting on the scoreboard again in their 26-0 bonus point victory over St. Mary’s at Anglesea Road.
Some intricate play between backs and forwards before half-time set up Belvedere’s second try with former Ireland star Nora Stapleton getting on the end of a Laura McMahon pass. Stapleton switched to full-back following the introduction of current Ireland squad member Ellen Murphy after the break.
Ciara Scanlan, Amy Moran and Hannah Heskin put their bodies on the line for Mary’s, who won a number of penalties at scrum time, but Murphy’s influence was evident as she linked up brilliantly with centre Ailbhe Dowling. Josh Brown’s semi-final-bound side powered their way to the bonus point with Vanessa Hullon and Elise O’Byrne-White adding closing tries.
UL BOHEMIANS 5 BLACKROCK 5, University of Limerick 4G pitch
Blackrock number 8 Hannah O’Connor said it was ‘the most horrific weather any of us have ever played in’ after today’s match against defending champions UL Bohs finished in a five-all draw after 60 minutes. With player welfare in mind, the referee and both teams agreed to cut the second half short with the spoils shared.
Beginning in pelting rain and a cutting cross-field wind, conditions continued to deteriorate as the game wore on. Blackrock started the strongest and following a number of attempts to force their way over via mauls and carries, they hit the front thanks to O’Connor’s pop pass which sent flanker Meadbh Scally over near the right corner.
A tight call went UL’s way for their levelling try when the referee adjudged that Stephanie Nunan had got her hands to a chip over the top, just ahead of covering full-back Aine Staunton. Blackrock had plenty of time to hit back but the falling sleet and snow spoiled both teams’ hopes of building a winning position, with an understandably high error count and stop-start phases.
WOMEN’S ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE – ROUND 14 FIXTURES: Saturday, March 23
Kick-off 5pm unless stated –
BLACKROCK (4th) v OLD BELVEDERE (2nd), Stradbrook
COOKE (6th) v ST. MARY’S (7th), Stradbrook
GALWEGIANS (5th) v UL BOHEMIANS (1st), Crowley Park