Retired Ireland prop Lindsay Peat kicked off Railway Union’s run of three unanswered second half tries during a 24-5 bonus point victory away to UL Bohemians.
Railway began their Energia All-Ireland League Women’s Division title defence with a tough assignment, but Peat, who is now also the club’s scrum coach, steered them in the right direction.
The Dubliners drew first blood through flanker Molly Boyne, but UL manufactured a tremendous 20-metre maul try, driving prop Geena Behan over to make it five points apiece at the break.
Emerson Allen’s lineout steal, and a charging run by Lisa Callan, paved the way for Peat to restore Railway’s lead, yet it was not until the closing stages that John Cronin’s charges made certain of the result.
Ireland Sevens international Anna McGann showed her speed to finish off an excellent 80-minute breakaway effort, before number 8 Deirdre Roberts converted some late pressure for try number four.
Meanwhile, Ellen Connolly’s late try was converted by captain Nicole Fowley as Galwegians drew 31-all with Suttonians to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.
‘Wegians, who fell behind to Emily McKeown’s intercept try, already had a game under their belts and showed the benefit of it at the Station Road venue.
They surged into a 24-7 half-time lead thanks to tries from Sinead O’Brien, Lea Turner, Dearbhla Canty and out-half Fowley, who darted through a gap just before the break.
Australian recruit Annie Buntine and her new centre partner, Sutts skipper Catherine Martin, got among the tries as Stephen Costelloe’s talented side recaptured the form which saw them win last season’s Conference crown.
Buntine raced onto her own kick through, dribbled it on and snapped up the ball to draw the Dubliners closer, before replacement Molly Fitzgerald and Martin, who surged over on a superb 40-metre burst, nudged them in front late on.
Nonetheless, there was still enough time for tighthead prop Connolly to cross from a ruck right at the death and Fowley, just inside the 22 and to the left of the posts, held her nerve to land the levelling conversion.
Ballincollig suffered a second heavy defeat, going down 85-10 at home to Old Belvedere. Ireland starlet Dannah O’Brien kicked 10 conversions, while Clare Gorman (4) and captain Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (3) led the ‘Belvo try-scoring.
Ireland’s Enya Breen made her Blackrock College debut during the second half of their 40-7 triumph over Cooke at Stradbrook. A fifth-minute try from skipper Michelle Claffey set ‘Rock on their way to a 21-0 interval advantage.
The home pack did the donkey work at maul time for try number two, scored by scrum half Maeve Liston, and quick hands released Doyle for the third. Ireland-capped full-back Méabh Deely tagged on the three conversions.
Replacement Dolores Hughes did get Cooke on the board, but yellow cards for Claffey, who had jinked over for the bonus point try, and Doyle failed to derail Blackrock in what was a six-try success for the new table toppers.
Deely made it over in the corner following an Eimear Corri break, Hughes hit back for the Belfast club, and fleet-footed winger Doyle completed her brace with a searing intercept effort from 65 metres out.
ENERGIA ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE WOMEN’S DIVISION – ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Saturday, September 17 –
BALLINCOLLIG 10 OLD BELVEDERE 85, Tanner Park
Scorers: Ballincollig: Tries: Gillian Coombes, Sarah O’Donovan
Old Belvedere: Tries: Clare Gorman 4, Elise O’Byrne-White, Minonna Nunstedt 2, Jemma Farrell, Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird 3, Emma Tilly 2; Cons: Dannah O’Brien 10
HT: Ballincollig 5 Old Belvedere 31
BALLINCOLLIG: Heather Kennedy; Sinéad O’Reilly, Jayne Pennefather, Meaghan Kenny, Sarah Cronin; Kelly Griffin, Michelle Stafford; Roisin Ormond, Clodagh Walsh (capt), Aoife Flynn, Gillian Coombes, Eimear Perryman, Katelyn Fleming, Kira Fitzgerald, Tiare Siguenza.
Replacements: Annie Laffan, Orla Rea, Clare Coombes, Sarah O’Donovan, Mona Fehily, Laurileigh Baker, Olivia Hay Mulvihill, Valerie Heffernan.
OLD BELVEDERE: Áine Donnelly; Elise O’Byrne-White, Minonna Nunstedt, Emma Kelly, Clare Gorman; Dannah O’Brien, Jemma Farrell; Niamh Dowd, Rachel Murphy, Áine Rutley, Elaine Anthony, Clodagh Dunne, Fiona Tuite, Jennie Finlay, Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (capt).
Replacements: Melissa Hayden, Jan Carroll, Jenny Murphy, Katie Whelan, Emma Tilly, Katelyn Faust, Éadaoin Murtagh.
BLACKROCK COLLEGE 40 COOKE 7, Stradbrook
Scorers: Blackrock College: Tries: Michelle Claffey 2, Maeve Liston, Anna Doyle 2, Méabh Deely; Cons: Méabh Deely 5
Cooke: Try: Dolores Hughes; Con: Dolores Hughes
HT: Blackrock College 21 Cooke 0
BLACKROCK COLLEGE: Méabh Deely; Natasja Behan, Michelle Claffey (capt), Jackie Shiels, Anna Doyle; Ella Durkan, Maeve Liston; Aoife Moore, Niamh Tester, Shannon Heapes, Eimear Corri, Anna Potterton, Mairead Holohan, Emma Hooban, Ali Coleman.
Replacements: Casey O’Brien, Laura Feely, Roisín McWey, Ava Fannin, Enya Breen, Ciara Scanlan, Roisin Crowe.
COOKE: Claire Johnston; Tamzin Boyce, Teah Maguire, Kelly McCormill, Megan Edwards; Amanda Morton, Georgia Boyce; Ilse van Staden, Megan Simpson, Emma Kearney, Gemma McCamley, Aishling O’Connell (capt), Naomi McCord, Katie Hetherington, Helen McGhee.
Replacements: Sadhbh McGrath, Cara O’Kane, Stacey Sloan, Ashleigh Orchard, Christy Hill, Lucy Thompson, Dolores Hughes.
SUTTONIANS 31 GALWEGIANS 31, JJ McDowell Memorial Grounds
Scorers: Suttonians: Tries: Emily McKeown, Sophie Gibney, Annie Buntine, Molly Fitzgerald, Catherine Martin; Cons: Órfhlaith Murray 3
Galwegians: Tries: Sinead O’Brien, Lea Turner, Dearbhla Canty, Nicole Fowley, Ellen Connolly; Cons: Nicole Fowley 3
HT: Suttonians 7 Galwegians 24
SUTTONIANS: Sophie Gibney; Emily McKeown, Annie Buntine, Catherine Martin (capt), Clara Sexton; Órfhlaith Murray, Lena Kibler; Nicola Bolger, Julia O’Connor, Mary Healy, Aislinn Layde, Grainne Tummon, Louse Catinot, Casey White, Brenda Barr.
Replacements: Aoife Brennan, Ailish Carroll, Ciara Spencer, Roisin O’Driscoll, Jools Aungier, Amber Redmond, Molly Fitzgerald.
GALWEGIANS: Maria Gorham; Sinead O’Brien, Ursula Sammon, Orla Dixon, Tanya Farrell; Nicole Fowley (capt), Olivia Haverty; Jessica Loftus, Elizabeth McNicholas, Ellen Connolly, Lea Turner, Dearbhla Canty, Emily Gavin, Jordan Hopkins, Lisa-Marie Murphy.
Replacements: Niamh O’Grady, Rebecca Dunne, Faith Oviawe, Grace Browne Moran, Ciara Mulkern, Aoife Williams, Stephanie Hurl.
UL BOHEMIANS 5 RAILWAY UNION 24, UL Arena
Scorers: UL Bohemians: Try: Geena Behan
Railway Union: Tries: Molly Boyne, Lindsay Peat, Anna McGann, Deirdre Roberts; Cons: Molly Scuffil-McCabe 2
HT: UL Bohemians 5 Railway Union 5
UL BOHEMIANS: Aoife Corey; Aoibhe O’Flynn, Alana McInerney, Stephanie Nunan, Laura O’Mahony; Rachel Allen, Muirne Wall; Geena Behan, Kate Sheehan, Fiona Reidy, Rebecca Reilly, Claire Bennett, Clodagh O’Halloran, Anna Caplice, Chloe Pearse (capt).
Replacements: Nicola Sweeney, Ciara O’Dwyer, Eilís Cahill, Sarah Garrett, Lily Brady, Abbie Salter-Townshend, Brianna Heylmann.
RAILWAY UNION: Molly Scuffil-McCabe; Aimee Clarke, Niamh Byrne (capt), Anna McGann, Ava Ryder; Nikki Caughey, Ailsa Hughes; Lindsay Peat, Chloe Blackmore, Katie O’Dwyer, Aoife McDermott, Sonia McDermott, Keelin Brady, Molly Boyne, Deirdre Roberts.
Replacements: Lisa Callan, Megan Collis, Emerson Allen, Carmen Rodera, Emma Fabby, Alaïs Diebold, Stephanie Carroll.