Blackrock College are targeting their highest league finish in four years after a 12-3 win over Old Belvedere in Ollie Campbell Park. The four points saw them move a point ahead of their Energia Women’s All-Ireland League rivals with two games to spare.
Niamh Fitzgerald’s side face UL Bohemian and Galwegians on their run in while Belvo play Railway Union and Cooke.
“We’d be happy to make the semi-finals anyway because it’s anyone’s game at that stage, but there’s more security and a bit of a cushion in third spot,” Fitzgerald told IrishRugby.ie. Blackrock were coming into the game off a four-day turnaround after Sunday’s 41-17 win over Cooke in Belfast.
“Cooke are a tough physical team and we had to travel up there as well, but we still felt fresh and optimistic coming into this game. We’ve had a couple of wins on the trot now and the girls have been working really well as a unit.”
Maeve Og O’Leary and Orla Molloy scored the tries, but it was Blackrock’s defensive performance that won them the game. They kept Old Belvedere tryless for just the second time this season.
“We want to be rock solid and we showed a lot of that tonight. Not giving away a try was absolutely brilliant. Belvo had opportunities but we just didn’t let them into our 22,” said Fitzgerald.
You can watch scoring highlights of the game below.
Emma Hooban was returning to action for ‘Rock after a break to focus on her third level commitments.
“It’s great to be back with the girls,” she said. “I’ve been welcomed back into the squad with open arms.”
“We’re working hard and we’re finally seeing our work-ons being delivered on the pitch. We were actually nowhere near happy with how we played and yet we’re still upping our own tempo. We’ve an awful lot more to give and I’m so excited for the next couple of weeks to see how much more we can develop and bring to teams.
“You want to be peaking now. There’s no point peaking earlier on in the season. We’re all fighting for a place on the team and the competition in training is really positive.”
Thursday 5th March 2020
OLD BELVEDERE 03 BLACKROCK COLLEGE 12, Ollie Campbell Park
Scorers: Old Belvedere: Pen: Jemma Jackson
Blackrock College: Tries: Maeve Og O’Leary, Orla Molloy; Con: Lisa Mullen
HT: Old Belvedere 3 Blackrock College 7
OLD BELVEDERE: Aine Donnelly, Fiona Tuite, Elise O’ Byrne White, Allison Miller, Grace Miller, Jemma Jackson, Aoife Byrne, Tara Levine, Melissa Hayden, Jessica Spain, Pamela Belrose, Jan Carroll, Emma Lackey, Franziska Klappoth, Alannah Rogers. Replacements: Jennie Finlay, Dawn Keegan, Christina Furlong, Isabel Ruiz Hernandez, Ana Viada Aldecoa, Roisin O’Donnell, Kate Ballance.
BLACKROCK COLLEGE: Orla Molloy, Aisling Brosnan, Ciara Scanlan, Alison Coleman, Natasja Behan, Lisa Mullen, Aoibhean Reilly, Christina Haney, AnnMarie Rooney, Caoimhe Molloy, Mairead Holohan, Anna Potterton, Emma Hooban, Maeve Og O’Leary, Hannah O’Connor. Replacements: Riana Roche, Geena Behan, Tess Meade, Aoife Browne, Jenni Burke, Laura Delaney, Mona Fehily.