WOMEN’S ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE SEMI-FINALS, April 13th, 2019
UL BOHEMIAN 20 BLACKROCK COLLEGE 0, University of Limerick
Scorers: UL Bohemian: Tries: Stephanie Nunan, Fiona Reidy, Fiona Hayes, Niamh Kavanagh
HT UL Bohemian 15 Blackrock 0
OLD BELVEDERE 7 RAILWAY UNION 29, Anglesea Road
Scorers: Old Belvedere: Try: Victoria Dabavonich O’Mahoney; Con: Jemma Jackson.
Railway Union: Tries: Molly Scuffil-McCabe, Katie O’Dwyer, Emma Murphy, Meg Kendal, Linsday Peat; Cons: Claire Keohane 2. HT Old Belvedere 0 Railway Union 12
UL Bohemian are back in the Women’s All-Ireland League final after a 20-0 win at home to Blackrock. The four try performance gives the reigning champions another shot at a league and cup double after victory over the same opposition in last month’s cup final.
More to follow…
Railway Union reached the Women’s All-Ireland League for the first time in their history with a 29-7 win over Old Belvedere. Having lost their last three semi-finals by just a kick of a ball, this was a controlled and comprehensive performance by John Cronin’s side.
Old Belvedere came into this game on the back of a fine league campaign. They suffered just three defeats and completed back to back wins over Railway in December.
The Anglesea Road outfit had reached the last two finals with wins over Railway and were champions in 2016. Railway’s start proved very difficult to handle however and tries from Molly Scuffil-McCabe and Katie O’Dwyer helped the visitors to a 12-0 lead at half time.
“Railway came off the line, hit us hard and hit us backwards,” said Old Belvedere Head Coach Josh Brown.
“Both teams are constantly evolving. At this level we’re just trying to get better and better with every training session. There are good things to take from that performance and we just have to improve on that.”
Old Belvedere needed a response in the second half. Nora Stapleton was looking to release their strike runners and Victoria Dabavonich O’Mahoney found a way over in the second half. Jemma Jackson converted and it was clear that they were in no mood to lose on home turf.
Railway’s line speed was causing problems though and a couple of ball handling errors proved costly when scoring opportunities were there. Siobhan McCarthy raced out of the line to put in a big hit and Emma Murphy ran onto the loose ball to sprint clear of the field to extend Railway’s lead.
“It’s an historic day for the club,” said the back row after a lung busting effort. “Our preparation has been different this year. We played wasps last week. That was a good experience. They’re a top team in England and I just think we were mentally ready.”
Tries from Meg Kendal and Lindsay Peat, wearing the number 8 jersey, and two conversions from Claire Keohane sealed the win.
“We had a very good first 20 minutes,” said John Cronin in summary. “Belvo came in. We wobbled a little bit, but we kicked on their for the last 30 minutes and the players really stepped up.
“We place a big emphasis on core skills for our players and we spend an awful lot of time in training on the basics of catch and pass. We want all our players to be footballers.”
Old Belvedere: Ellen Murphy, Fiona Tuite, Elise O’Byrne White, Ailbhe Dowling, Ali Miller, Nora Stapleton, Jemma Jackson, Linda Djougang, Victoria Dabavonich O’Mahoney, Alice O’Dowd, Jan Carroll, Róisín O’Donnell, Clodagh Dunne, Sene Naoupu, Sharon Lynch.
Replacements: Katie Layde, Stephanie Barman, Carla Claassen, Jennie Finlay, Vanessa Hullond, Grace Miller, Maria Kenny.
Railway Union: Larissa Muldoon, Stephanie Carroll, Niamh Byrne, Meg Kendal, Emer O’Mahony, Claire Keohane, Molly Scuffil-McCabe, Shirley Corcoran, Chloe Blackmore, Katie O’Dwyer, Siobhan McCarthy, Aoife McDermott, Emma Murphy, Emma Taylor, Linsday Peat.
Replacements: Aimee Clarke, Lisa Callan, Sonia McDermott, Daisy Earle, Erin Coll, Laura Barachetti, Alexandra Dunne.