The Energia Women’s All-Ireland League gets underway this weekend with two new teams on board for the 2019/20 season. Suttonians qualified for the top tier of Women’s club rugby this year and open their campaign with a stern test at home to reigning champions Railway Union.
The north Dubliners came through an intense campaign to make it to this level and Nicole Carroll says her tribe have already proven a lot.
“We worked hard. We got through the play-offs. The pressure is off,” said the skilful Suttonians out-half. “We’re enjoying our rugby again and without having too much knockout rugby to worry about.”
The first round of the Energia Women’s All-Ireland Cup served as a warm-up last weekend with Galwegians the only AIL team to fall at the first hurdle. Fraser Gow’s women travel to Blackrock tomorrow for their league opener.
Old Belvedere, who were beaten semi-finalists last season, host Cooke as part of a double-header with the men’s team. The event will also see the official opening ceremony at the newly-renamed Ollie Campbell Park.
Malone are the other team entering the Women’s All-Ireland League this year. Like Suttonians, they have home advantage tomorrow but also entertain formidable opponents in reigning All-Ireland Cup champions UL Bohemians who make the long trip up to Gibson Park.
“This season we’re most positive about taking that next step up,” said Malone’s Lauren Maginnes. “Playing at a higher level is only going to do wonders for the team. We have girls of various abilities so everyone’s going to get better week in, week out.”
More news from across the weekend will be available at www.energiaail.ie.
ENERGIA ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE – WEEKEND FIXTURES:
Friday, October 11 –
Energia All-Ireland League Division 2B: Galway Corinthians v Galwegians, Corinthian Park, 8pm
Saturday, October 12 –
Energia All-Ireland League Division 1A: Clontarf v Cork Constitution, Castle Avenue; Garryowen v Lansdowne, Dooradoyle; Terenure College v Young Munster, Lakelands Park; UCC v Ballynahinch, the Mardyke; UCD v Dublin University, Belfield Bowl, 3pm (all 2.30pm kick-offs unless stated)
Energia All-Ireland League Division 1B: Banbridge v Highfield, Rifle Park; Malone v Shannon, Gibson Park; Naas v Old Wesley, Forenaughts; St. Mary’s College v City Of Armagh, Templeville Road; Old Belvedere v Navan, Ollie Campbell Park, 3.30pm (all 2.30pm kick-offs unless stated)
Energia All-Ireland League Division 2A: Ballymena v Nenagh Ormond, Eaton Park; Cashel v MU Barnhall, Spafield; Old Crescent v Dolphin, Rosbrien; Queen’s University v UL Bohemians, Dub Lane; Rainey Old Boys v Buccaneers, Hatrick Park (all 2.30pm kick-offs)
Energia All-Ireland League Division 2B: Blackrock College v Malahide, Stradbrook; Greystones v Ballina, Dr. Hickey Park; Sligo v Belfast Harlequins, Hamilton Park; Wanderers v Dungannon, Merrion Road (all 2.30pm kick-offs)
Energia All-Ireland League Division 2C: Bruff v Enniscorthy, Kilballyowen Park; Midleton v Bangor, Towns Park; Omagh v Tullamore, Thomas Mellon Playing Fields; Skerries v City Of Derry, Holmpatrick; Sunday’s Well v Clonmel, Irish Independent Park (all 2.30pm kick-offs)
Energia Women’s All-Ireland League: Blackrock v Galwegians, Stradbrook, 5pm; Malone v UL Bohemians, Gibson Park, 5pm; Suttonians v Railway Union, Station Road, 5pm; Old Belvedere v Cooke, Ollie Campbell Park, 5.30pm