Kerry gave a very good account of themselves in their Energia Women’s All-Ireland Cup clash with Galwegians, who advanced to the quarter-finals with a hard-fought 20-10 victory in Tralee.
At O’Dowd Park where retiring Ireland captain Ciara Griffin began her senior club career, Kerry rocked the AIL regulars with a terrific early try from winger Vanessa Dineen. Their strong scrum, led by Maura Collins, also gave them a platform to play off.
Galwegians lost their captain Mary Healy to a knee injury, but bounced back to lead 13-5 at half-time thanks to unconverted scores from Saskia Morrissey and Megan Walsh.
While experienced full-back Mairead Coyne was a regular counter-attacking threat, ‘Wegians also had a big performance from Faith Oviawe whose athleticism and pace saw her stand out on her first start in the second row.
A converted try from Jessica Loftus was enough to seal the Blue Belles’ passage through, but Kerry, with Rebecca Reilly a real workhorse in the forward exchanges, made them work for it as Munster’s Muirne Wall took them into double figures.
Wicklow’s experience of AIL rugby helped them pull clear of a tenacious Cavan side in the second half. The Breffni outfit were only 15-10 behind at the break, scoring tries through back rowers Kerri Morgan and Edwina Olwill.
However, Wicklow went up a couple of gears to take a 36-10 verdict, with Ireland prospect Ella Roberts’ younger sister, out-half Beth, scoring one of their six tries and kicking a conversion.
Number 8 Denise Redmond touched down twice in Ballincollig’s 50-0 triumph over a gallant OLBC at Tanner Park. Kelly Griffin and Gemma Lane controlled matters from half-back, scoring 18 points between them.
The biggest winning margin of the weekend came at Gibson Park on Friday night, as free-running Railway Union showed their squad depth again when overwhelming Malone 102-0.
There were hat-tricks from impressive number 8 Deirdre Roberts and teenage full-back Ava Ryder, on her first start at this level. Siobhan McCarthy and Keelin Brady also weighed in with two tries each, in what turned into a 16-try rout.
Replacement Clodagh McMahon, who came on to make her senior debut for Railway, said: “It was a long journey here, two-and-a-half hours. Long drive up but it was worth it.
“The girls put in a lot of hard work during the week, trying to get our line speed up and our tackles (right). We put it up to them today.”
Like Galwegians’ Oviawe, Eimear Corri is adjusting to life as a lock forward and the move looks like a good fit for her and Blackrock College.
Corri scored two second half tries in an all-action performance as ‘Rock ran out 46-3 winners over Tipperary at Loughtagalla.
The Premier County outfit are very early on in their development but they look to have the makings of a good team.
Hooker Ciara O’Dywer set the tone for Tipp’s hard-working pack, and captain Aishling O’Hagan’s try-saving tackle on Maggie Boylan typified the hunger of the amalgamated team, drawn together from Thurles, Nenagh Ormond, Carrick-on-Suir and Ballina-Killaloe.
Boylan did get on the scoresheet, Blackrock’s strong carrying through the middle and expansive play in the wide channels paying dividends in the end.
Skipper Michelle Claffey (2), who went close to scoring a hat-trick, Anna Potterton, Emma Hooban and Katie Fitzhenry – packing down at number 8 for a change – were the other try scorers.
ENERGIA WOMEN’S ALL-IRELAND CUP:
FIRST ROUND: Saturday, November 21
MALONE 0 RAILWAY UNION 102, Gibson Park (played on Friday)
Scorers: Malone: –
Railway Union: Tries: Siobhan McCarthy 2, Nikki Caughey, Deirdre Roberts 3, Stephanie Carroll, Ava Ryder 3, Keelin Brady 2, Maggie MacKinnon, Niamh Byrne, Amanda McQuade, Aimee Clarke; Cons: Nikki Caughey 9, Hazel Simmons 2
HT: Malone 0 Railway Union 43
MALONE: Holly Brannigan; Anna Stanfield, Emma Jordan, Sophie Armstrong, Emma Taylor; Peita McAlister (capt), Cara O’Neill; Sarah Murphy, Ashleigh Currie, Chrissie McKee, Hannah Beattie, Rebecca Smyth, Joe McMorris-Cloughley, Amonae Dabbs-Brown, Lauren Maginnes.
Replacements: Zoe Chesire, Jennifer Collins, Erin Jones, Laura Maybin.
RAILWAY UNION: Ava Ryder; Stephanie Carroll, Niamh Byrne (capt), Maggie MacKinnon, Emer O’Mahony; Nikki Caughey, Claire Keohane; Amanda McQuade, Chloe Blackmore, Megan Collis, Sonia McDermott, Siobhan McCarthy, Keelin Brady, Molly Boyne, Deirdre Roberts.
Replacements: Aimee Clarke, Claire Byrne, Emma Murphy, Clodagh McMahon, Hazel Simmons, Eva Martinez Gil.
CAVAN 10 WICKLOW 36, Swellan Park
Scorers: Cavan: Tries: Kerri Morgan, Edwina Olwill
Wicklow: Tries: Katherine Ward, Caitlin Griffey, Beth Roberts, Sarah Gleeson, Naoise O’Reilly, Erin McConnell; Cons: Beth Roberts, Sarah Gleeson 2
HT: Cavan 10 Wicklow 15
CAVAN: Megan Edwards; Miriam Gonzalo, Lauren O’Riordan, Sarah Teague, Kayleigh Rogers; Kate Bartley (capt), Kathleen Dawson; Lisa Lynch, Diana Whyte, Danica Shaughnessy, Anna Coyle, Cathy King, Shannon Brady, Edwina Olwill, Kerri Morgan.
Replacements: Rosaleen Morgan, Claire McDermott, Elizabeth McKeever, Andrea Poulton, Nicole Curran, Pamela Smith.
WICKLOW: Naoise O’Reilly; Aoibhin Stone, Meagan Parkinson, Sarah Gleeson, Emma Curran; Beth Roberts, Erin McConnell (capt); Laura Newsome, Amy Barry, Lauren Barry, Ciara Brennan, Caitlin Griffey, Nicola Schmidt, Emily Ryan, Jessica Schmidt.
Replacements: Niamh O’Leary, Niamh Ni Dhroma, Nicola Humby, Katherine Ward.
KERRY 10 GALWEGIANS 20, O’Dowd Park
Scorers: Kerry: Tries: Vanessa Dineen, Muirne Wall
Galwegians: Tries: Saskia Morrissey, Megan Walsh, Jessica Loftus; Con: Emma Keane; Pen: Emma Keane
HT: Kerry 5 Galwegians 13
KERRY: Anna Murphy; Vanessa Dineen, Muirne Wall, Ashlea Sheehy, Sinead O’Connor; Laoise O’Driscoll, Diane O’Connor; Maura Collins, Siobhan McCourt, Jamie Mullins, Caoimhe Barry, Aine Enright, Charlotte O’Neill, Niamh Loughman, Rebecca Reilly.
Replacements: Becky Holmes, Niamh Harnett.
GALWEGIANS: Mairead Coyne; Maria Gorham, Megan Walsh, Saskia Morrissey, Laoise McGonagle; Emma Keane, Mary Healy (capt); Jessica Loftus, Ruby Lynch, Ellen Connolly, Niamh O’Grady, Faith Oviawe, Fiona Scally, Lisa-Marie Murphy, Dearbhla Canty.
Replacements: Hannah Coen, Sarah Walsh, Celia Killilea, Nicole Curley, Darwyn O’Halloran, Chloe McCrann, Ines Delgado.
BALLINCOLLIG 50 OLBC 0, Tanner Park
Scorers: Ballincollig: Tries: Denise Redmond 2, Lauren Fahey, Gemma Lane, Kelly Griffin, Orla Creedon, Mona Fehily, Heather Kennedy; Cons: Kelly Griffin 4, Denise Redmond
HT: Ballincollig 31 OLBC 0
BALLINCOLLIG: Lauren Fahey; Michelle Stafford, Heather Kennedy, Mona Fehily, Orla Creedon; Kelly Griffin, Gemma Lane; Naoise Murray, Clodagh Walsh (capt), Aoife Flynn, Sarah O’Donovan, Gillian Coombes, Olivia Hay Mulvihill, Niamh O’Regan, Denise Redmond.
Replacements: Gerda Coyne, Sinead O’Reilly, Ellen O’Keeffe, Roisin Long.
OLBC: Emer Cafferkey; Giuli Florentino, Niamh Ryan, Brid Reddington, Niamh O’Sullivan; Chloe Cafferkey, Shannen Lane; Elaine Johnson, Jessica Tyrrell, Amanda Kelly, Theresa Smyth, Tara Leslie, Hollie Fitzpatrick, Stacy Hanley, Louise Kelly.
Replacements: Mary O’Grady, Ellie O’Regan, Leah Scanlan, Amy Macdonald.
QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY (walkover win) v SUTTONIANS, Dub Lane
COOKE (walkover win) v TULLAMORE, Shaw’s Bridge
TIPPERARY 3 BLACKROCK COLLEGE 46, Loughtagalla (played on Sunday)
Scorers: Tipperary: Pen: Megan Callanan
Blackrock College: Tries: Michelle Claffey 2, Anna Potterton, Emma Hooban, Maggie Boylan, Eimear Corri 2, Katie Fitzhenry; Cons: Lisa Mullen 3
HT: Tipperary 3 Blackrock College 24
TIPPERARY: Aishling O’Hagan (capt); Kate Kerrane, Gemma Dunican, Brianna Heylmann, Cora Delaney; Megan Callanan, Hollie O’Dwyer; Eileen Gleeson, Ciara O’Dwyer, Nicola Sweeney, Rachel Kelly, Aoife Madigan, Emer Ryan, Roisin O’Donnell, Kaitlyn Callanan.
Replacements: Michelle Dunphy, Grace O’Flaherty, Beth Ryan, Katie Jones, Megan Crosbie, Grace Kennedy.
BLACKROCK COLLEGE: Maggie Boylan; Kate Cullen, Michelle Claffey (capt), Jackie Shiels, Caoimhe O’Callaghan; Lisa Mullen, Niamh Griffin; Christy Haney, Emma Hooban, Casey O’Brien, Anna Potterton, Eimear Corri, Caoimhe Molloy, Tess Meade, Katie Fitzhenry.
Replacements: Meadhbh O’Callaghan, Hannah Hodges, Laura Delaney, Mairead Ni Chathasaigh, Ciara Scanlan, Sophie Lyons.
OLD BELVEDERE v UL BOHEMIANS, Ollie Campbell Park, Saturday, December 18, 3pm