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Malone Getting To Grips With Energia All-Ireland League

Malone Getting To Grips With Energia All-Ireland League

Malone's Jenna Stewart Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry

Malone say they’re enjoying getting to grips with life in the Energia All-Ireland League just two games into their debut campaign. Railway Union are up next for the Belfast side and coach Grace Davitt says the whole squad are looking forward to the challenge of facing the current league champions at Gibson Park.

“I think it’s going to be really exciting,” said Davitt. “The girls have played UL Bohs, they’ve played the physicality of Cooke. We’re only going to keep learning.” After a difficult opener against UL Bohs, Malone fought back to claim a losing bonus point away to Cooke in the Belfast derby last week. Davitt says the club are starting to reap the benefits of having a comprehensive women’s programme.

“They always had a brilliant youth set up and they always fed a lot of other teams at adult level. For Malone to develop that pathway from youth all the way up to senior level is huge for them. They’re really putting the effort into the women’s side and I think it shows that within a couple of years of being an adult team, they’re in the AIL.”

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It’s a Women’s Super Saturday at Gibson Park with a full house expected for the pre-match lunch. The 2nd XV host Queen’s University at 2:30pm ahead of the Energia All-Ireland Game encounter at 5pm.

Old Belvedere head north of the Liffey in a bid to keep pace with early leaders UL Bohs and Railway. Suttonians provide the opposition in a novel Dublin derby while at Stradbrook, Blackrock College host Cooke. Galwegians have endured a winless start to their campaign and will have to be at their best to keep UL Bohemian at bay when the two sides meet in Crowley Park.

There’s no Men’s All-Ireland League action this weekend so the focus shifts to the Energia All-Ireland Junior Cup. Holders and three-in-row Champions Ashbourne open their defence at home to Creggs.

Of the remaining teams, Crosshaven are the only side to have won the competition previously. The Cork men visit 2016 finalists Instonians.

Saturday October 26 2019

Energia All-Ireland Junior Cup Round of 16: Ashbourne v Creggs, Milltown, 14:30; Castlebar v Ballyclare, Cloondeash, 14:30; Connemara v Gorey, Monastery Field, 14:30; Dromore v Newcastle West, Barban Hill, 14:30; Instonians v Crosshaven, Shaw’s Bridge, 14:30; Kilfeacle & District v Wicklow, Morrissey Park, 14:30; Richmond v Grosvenor, Richmond Park, 14:30; Kilkenny v Monivea, Foulkstown, 14:40.

Women’s All-Ireland League: Blackrock College v Cooke, Stradbrook, 17:00; Galwegians v UL Bohemians, Crowley Park, 17:00; Malone v Railway Union, Gibson Park, 17:00; Suttonians v Old Belvedere, 17:00, Station Road.

The Rugby Survey for 2019 is live and will run until the end of the Rugby World Cup. This short survey is an opportunity for anyone with an interest in rugby to help shape the future of the sport and drive decision making in the IRFU. Click here to take part.