A full state of Energia Women’s All-Ireland League fixtures take place today, with a number of players returning from international duty for the leading clubs.
ENERGIA WOMEN’S ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE:
ROUND 7: Saturday, November 27
Kick-off 5pm unless stated –
BALLINCOLLIG (5th) v MALONE (7th), Tanner Park, 3pm
Energia All-Ireland League Season’s Form: Ballincollig: WLWLDL; Malone: WLDLLL
Energia All-Ireland League Top Scorers – Ballincollig: Points: Roisin Ormond, Gemma Lane, Katelyn Fleming 10 each; Tries: Roisin Ormond, Gemma Lane, Katelyn Fleming 2 each; Malone: Points: Sarah Murphy 15; Tries: Sarah Murphy 3
Preview: Malone captain Peita McAlister will undoubtedly have her troops primed for this one, as they head south to Cork looking to put last week’s heavy All-Ireland Cup defeat to Railway Union behind them.
For Ballincollig, the cup’s first round gave them a chance to build more confidence around their attack. A fifth-place finish before the league splits at Christmas would be a statement of intent.
Roisin Ormond, Eimear Perryman and Katelyn Fleming all return up front as Ballincollig target their first league win in four rounds. Number 8 Denise Redmond has scored three tries in the last two games.
Recent League Meetings – N/A
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Ballincollig to win
BLACKROCK COLLEGE (4th) v UL BOHEMIANS (2nd), Stradbrook
Energia All-Ireland League Season’s Form: Blackrock College: LWWWWW; UL Bohemians: WWWLWW
Energia All-Ireland League Top Scorers – Blackrock College: Points: Maggie Boylan 40; Tries: Maggie Boylan 8; UL Bohemians: Points: Nicole Cronin 35; Tries: Stephanie Nunan, Aoife Corey 4 each
Preview: The match of the round is a top-four duel between Blackrock College host UL Bohemians. ‘Rock have strung together five league wins on the trot, with Maggie Boylan impressing in the back-three with eight tries.
Boylan will come up against a number of her Munster colleagues as UL Bohs resume their stop-start league campaign. UL will be full of running after their last league clashes were called off.
Niamh Briggs’ charges also had no cup game last week, so it will be interesting to see how they come out of this idle spell. Laura Feely slots in at loosehead for ‘Rock, fresh from winning her 23rd Ireland cap against Japan.
Recent League Meetings – Saturday, April 13, 2019: Semi-Final – UL Bohemians 20 Blackrock College 0, University of Limerick 4G pitch; Sunday, October 20, 2019: UL Bohemians 38 Blackrock College 15, University of Limerick 4G pitch
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: UL Bohemians to win
COOKE (10th) v RAILWAY UNION (3rd), Shaw’s Bridge
Energia All-Ireland League Season’s Form: Cooke: LWLLLL; Railway Union: WWDWDW
Energia All-Ireland League Top Scorers – Cooke: Points: Amanda Morton 16; Tries: Naomi McCord 3; Railway Union: Points: Nikki Caughey 66; Tries: Maggie MacKinnon, Niamh Byrne 5 each
Preview: Railway Union are back up the road to Belfast, taking on Cooke this time. Ailsa Hughes, Aoife Doyle and Aoife McDermott are handed starts after helping Ireland to back-to-back victories at the RDS.
Doyle is paired with captain Niamh Byrne in midfield, with Railway’s back-line again led by Nikki Caughey, the league’s top scorer with 66 points. Keeping her quiet will be key for Cooke.
The Daniel Allen-coached Cookies drew a lot of encouragement from their bonus point display at Old Belvedere last time out. Captain Aishling O’Connell and Beth Cregan were standout performers in a resilient pack.
Recent League Meetings – Saturday, December 7, 2019: Cooke 0 Railway Union 52, Shaw’s Bridge; Saturday, January 11, 2020: Railway Union 50 Cooke 15, Park Avenue
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Railway Union to win
GALWEGIANS (6th) v OLD BELVEDERE (1st), Crowley Park
Energia All-Ireland League Season’s Form: Galwegians: LLLWWL; Old Belvedere: WWLWWW
Energia All-Ireland League Top Scorers – Galwegians: Points: Orla Dixon, Ursula Sammon 15 each; Tries: Orla Dixon, Ursula Sammon 3 each; Old Belvedere: Points: Clare Gorman 35; Tries: Clare Gorman 7
Preview: Leaders Old Belvedere are without captain Jenny Murphy and Sene Naoupu who are teaming up in midfield for the Barbarians against South Africa in London today.
Opportunity knocks for some of the other Belvedere backs, including Vanessa Hullon and Alannah O’Carroll who were try scorers against Cooke. Galwegians will be tough opposition.
The Blue Belles, who have had two tries in two games from Saskia Morrissey, beat ‘Belvo 19-10 in their last meeting. They also have some momentum behind them with two recent league victories and progression in the cup.
Recent League Meetings – Saturday, November 30, 2019: Old Belvedere 62 Galwegians 3, Ollie Campbell Park; Sunday, January 19, 2020: Galwegians 19 Old Belvedere 10, Crowley Park
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Old Belvedere to win
SUTTONIANS (9th) v WICKLOW (8th), JJ McDowell Memorial Grounds
Energia All-Ireland League Season’s Form: Suttonians: LLWLLL; Wicklow: LLLWLW
Energia All-Ireland League Top Scorers – Suttonians: Points: Nicole Carroll, Emily McKeown 15 each; Tries: Emily McKeown 3; Wicklow: Points: Sarah Gleeson 10; Tries: Sarah Gleeson 2
Preview: A first league victory in four rounds is the goal for Suttonians who have had some cruel luck with injuries of late. Skipper Lauren Farrell McCabe and Katie Grant Duggan typified their defensive grit against Railway.
Although they are without Ireland prospect Ella Roberts, Wicklow will field a strong team, one which is chasing a third triumph in four league outings.
Co-captain Amy O’Neill, Noelle Ward, Shauna Soady, Emma Curran and player-coach Niamh Ni Dhroma all return to Wicklow’s starting pack, while Sue Brady and Tammy Breen come in on the wings in a rejigged back-line.
Recent League Meetings – N/A
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Suttonians to win