Railway Union reclaimed top spot in the Energia Women’s All-Ireland League with a supercharged 37-10 win over title rivals UL Bohemians.
After losing twice to UL during the unfinished 2019/20 season, Railway returned fire with a superb six-try performance at their Sandymount base.
Their industrious pack laid the platform, busy flanker Deirdre Roberts touching down twice with Katie O’Dwyer, captain Niamh Byrne, Aoife Doyle and Stephanie Carroll also scoring tries.
Railway second row Siobhan McCarthy commented afterwards: “It was a tough game, very physical as per usual with Bohs. We love playing them. They’re one of the best teams in the country for the last number of years.
“Obviously the challenge is huge every time they come (here), so we’re delighted to be honest. We’ll meet them again after Christmas. Three (wins) from three is fantastic, it’s where we wanted to be.”
Injury-hit Ballincollig deserved to be closer on the scoreboard, but Old Belvedere were clinical in taking their chances in a comprehensive 75-0 victory at Ollie Campbell Park.
Young winger Clare Gorman grabbed the headlines with a fantastic five-try haul – including three during the final quarter – as 13-try Belvedere bounced back from their recent defeat to UL Bohs.
Johnny Garth’s charges led 32-0 at half-time, ticking off the bonus point after 28 minutes, and were able to bring on Ireland stars Sene Naoupu and Kathryn Dane for their first appearances of the club season.
Ballincollig showed huge determination throughout, with number 8 Eimear Minihane and captain Gillian Coombes to the fore, but Belvedere had the gas out wide, particularly the long-striding Gorman, to keep piling on the points.
Blackrock College captain Michelle Claffey started and finished the try-scoring in their runaway 66-0 defeat of Cooke. Ben Martin’s side bagged ten tries in Belfast as well as keeping their opponents scoreless for the third round running.
“We were slow starters but kicked off the scoring after about 20 minutes,” said Claffey. “It was a great day at the office and we managed to keep Cooke scoreless. Given the calibre of their team, we’re delighted with that.”
As well as braces from Claffey and Ireland Sevens international Anna Doyle, ‘Rock, who are up to second in the table, had a hat-trick from Leinster Under-18 back rower and captain Aoife Wafer who looks a real star in the making.
After a baptism of fire in recent weeks, Wicklow made history against Malone with their first ever All-Ireland League win. Leinster starlet Ella Roberts and Sarah Gleeson scored the tries that steered them to a 12-7 success at Ashtown Lane.
Big carries from Lauren Barry, co-captain Amy O’Neill and player-coach Niamh Ni Dhroma, on her first start at number 8, set the tone before full-back Roberts reached over in the corner, in response to a try from Malone’s Ireland hooker Neve Jones.
Turning around with a strong wind at their backs, Roberts’ younger sister, out-half Beth, used her big boot to put Wicklow in the right areas of the pitch.
Centre Gleeson capitalised on this, crossing after some good phase play in the visitors’ 22. Jason Moreton’s young squad let their discipline slip at times, but a strong defensive finish sealed a famous result for the AIL newcomers.
Jarrad Butler’s Galwegians also opened their win account, edging out Suttonians 17-12 in a cracking contest in Glenina.
Impressive centre Orla Dixon swept through for her third try of the season with a fantastic sidestepping run from 40 metres out, but a brace from Sutts replacement Mary Healy had the visitors level.
Ultimately, it was Connacht U-18 ace Maria Gorham who made the difference. She got on the end of a Mairead Coyne kick in the 70th minute, her second league score reversing the result from two years ago when Suttonians won by the same scoreline.