Blackrock College strengthened their position on a place in the semi-finals of the Energia Women’s All-Ireland League with a 16-12 win over Railway Union on Saturday. It’s the first time in over three years the Stradbrook outfit have beaten their South Dublin neighbours.
So what made the difference on the day? “Our defensive game, especially in the first half,” says Blackrock Head Coach Niamh Fitzgerald. “We were relentless. We put a serious amount of pressure on them, kicked a lot and played in their half.”
The territorial advantage also served up penalty opportunities for Hannah O’Connor. The Ireland international scored her side’s only try in the first half and kicked the rest of their points off the tee. Her game management and dominant tackling also drew praise from her coach.
“It puts us in a great position for the play-offs,” said Fitzgerald. “It’s a great morale boost. We’re gelling as a unit and you can feel it. Our bench came on and there was no drop in performance either.”
Galwegians are clear of the bottom of the table after a 19-12 win at Cooke. All of their scores came in the first half with tries from Julie Lyons, Ursula Sammon and Dearbhla Canty.
Winning Head Coach Fraser Gow said it was very much a forward’s game in Crowley Park. “We were very pleased with our ball carrying and our clear outs,” he continued.“ It meant we were able to generate quick ball and execute the game plan. It’s maybe a game we wouldn’t have won a few months ago. Everybody worked their socks off.”
Cooke responded well in the second half. A try from Aisling O’Connell along with Amanda Morton’s conversion ensured their first losing bonus point of the season.
Malone were within a score of just their second ever win at this level, but were ultimately bested 21-17 by Old Belvedere at Gibson Park. The Belfast women led at the break through tries from Lauren Maginnes and Ella Durkan with Durkan getting a second after the break.
Old Belvedere had Ali Miller in reserve and the former Ireland international came off the bench to score either side of tries from Elise O’Byrne White and Clodagh Dunne. The result keeps Belvo third in the table.
Laura Sheehan and Sarah Quin both scored twice for UL Bohemian in a 32-0 win at Suttonians. The result also guarantees the league leaders a home semi-final in the post-season.
Saturday February 22nd 2020
BLACKROCK COLLEGE 16 RAILWAY UNION 12, Stradbrook
Scorers: Tries: Blackrock College: Try: Hannah O’Connor; Con: Hannah O’Connor; Pens: Hannah O’Connor 3
Railway Union: Stephanie Carroll, Claire Coombes; Con: Nikki Caughey
HT: Blackrock College 10 Railway Union 5
BLACKROCK COLLEGE: Natasja Behan, Aisling Brosnan, Ciara Scanlan, Valerie Power, Roisin Crowe, Ellen Taite, Aoibheann Reilly, Geena Behan, AnnMarie Rooney, Christina Haney, Mairead Holohan, Anna Potterton, Riana Roche, Maeve Og O’Leary, Hannah O’Connor. Replacements: Manuela McCarthy, Aoife Browne, Alison Coleman, Orla Molloy, Mona Fehily, Lisa Mullen, Rosie Newton.
RAILWAY UNION: Aoife O’Shaughnessy, Stephanie Carroll, Niamh Byrne, Grace Moore, Scholastique Veyssiere, Nicole Caughey, Molly Scuffil McCabe, Grainne O’Loughlin, Lisa Callan, Aoife Moore, Keelin Brady, Daisy Earle, Claire Boles, Grainne Egan, Deirdre Roberts. Replacements: Molly Boyne, Claire Coombes, Kate McCarthy, Sonia McDermott, Ailsa Hughes, Hazel Simmons, Emer O’Mahony.
GALWEGIANS 19 COOKE 12, Crowley Park
Scorers: Galwegians: Julie Lyons, Ursula Sammon, Dearbhla Canty; Cons: Nikki Kennedy 2
Cooke: Tries: Beth Cregan, Aisling O’Connell, Con: Amanda Morton
HT: Galwegians 19 Cooke 5
GALWEGIANS: Mairead Coyne, Julie Lyons, Ursula Sammon, Emily Horgan, Rhiannan Hoey, Nikki Kennedy, Emma Keane, Ellen Connelly, Tracy Lawlor, AnnMarie O’Hora, Fiona Farrell, Kate Feehan, Sabina Egan, Tara Buggie, Dearbhla Canty. Replacements: Lisa Anglim, Jessica Loftus, Celia Killilea, Emma Fabby, Denise Redmond, Rachel Cox, Ina Butler.
COOKE: Teah Maguire, Eliza Downey, Kelly McCormill, Dolores Hughes, Claire Johnston, Amanda Morton, Hannah Kilgore, Ilse Van Staden, Emma Kearney, Aishling O’Connell, Shannon Heapes, Helen McGhee, Laura Cairns, Katie Hetherington, Beth Cregan. Replacements: Naomi McCullagh, Katherine Tougher, Lauren Pedlow, Leah McGoldrick, Breana Kaio Te Whetu.
MALONE 17 OLD BELVEDERE 21, Gibson Park
Scorers: Malone: Tries:Lauren Magennis, Ella Durkan 2, Con: Alexa Grudgings
Old Belvedere: Tries: Elise O’Byrne White, Ali Miller, Clodagh Dunne; Con: Jemma Jackson 3
HT: Malone 10 Old Belvedere 07
MALONE: Ella Durkan, Olivia Andrews, Fern Wilson, Peita McAlister, Anna Stanfield, Alexa Grudgings, Jenna Stewart, Sarah Murphy, Neve Jones, Nicole Hutchinson, Gemma McCamley, Chloe McIlwaine, Brogain Ni Chiarrain, Shirelle Wilson, Lauren Maginnes. Replacements: Jill Stephens, Eimear Hagan, Sara Houston, Jasmine Ward, Hannah Beattie, Aoife Cahill, Ashleigh Currie.
OLD BELVEDERE: Fiona Tuite, Alba Marlasca Abasolo, Elise O’Byrne White, Aine Donnelly, Vanessa Hullon, Jemma Jackson, Aoife Byrne, Tara Levine, Katie Layde, Melissa Hayden, Clodagh Dunne, Jan Carroll, Alannah Rogers, Franziska Klappoth, Emma Lackey. Replacements: Christina Furlong, Jessica Spain, Niamh O’Flynn, Pamela Belrose, Grace Miller, Allison Miller, Ana Viada Aldecoa.
SUTTONIANS 0 UL BOHEMIAN 32, Station Road
Scorers: UL Bohemian: Tries: Laura Sheehan 2, Sarah Quin 2, Chloe Pearse, Stephanie Nunan; Con: Nicole Fitzgerald
HT: Suttonians 0 UL Bohemian 22
SUTTONIANS: Sophie Gibney, Meabh O’Brien, Greer Muir, Shannon Touhey, Molly Fitzgerald, Nicole Carroll, Lauren Farrell McCabe, Grainne Tummon, Carrie O’Keeffe, Syreeta Norris, Caitlin Griffey, Rebecca Sullivan, Kathryn Treder, Helen Boylan, Ciara Farrell. Replacements: Julia O’Connor, Katie Reel, Ciara O’Brien, Brenda Barr, Jayleigh Brophy.
UL BOHEMIAN: Laura Sheehan, Laura O’Mahony, Stephanie Nunan, Alana McInerney, Erin Coll, Nicole Fitzgerald, Helen McDermott, Chloe Pearse, Kate Sheehan, Fiona Reidy, Claire Bennett, Ciara O’Halloran, Sarah Garrett, Edel Murphy, Sarah Quin. Replacements: Laura Delaney, Emma Doolan, Sarah O’Gorman, Eva McCormack, Niamh O’Neill, Niamh Kavanagh, Aoife Corey.