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Energia All-Ireland League Women’s Division: Round 4 Review

Energia All-Ireland League Women’s Division: Round 4 Review

Full-back Heather Kennedy was one of Ballincollig's try scorers during their draw with Wicklow at Tanner Park ©Voicu Duma/Perfectlight

Ireland star Beibhinn Parsons had an Energia All-Ireland League debut to remember with Blackrock College, running in five tries in their 36-19 win over previously unbeaten Galwegians.

Parsons, who started on the left wing, was a class apart and showed her Sevens-honed speed to score a first half hat-trick. Blackrock led 19-14 at the turnaround.

The 20-year-old from Ballinasloe, who was part of Ireland’s Rugby World Cup Sevens campaign in August, burst past five defenders for her first score, after a Nicole Fowley kick had failed to work out for ‘Wegians.

Blackrock were deadly on the counter attack for Parsons’ second try, Ella Durkan receiving a kick and spotting the opportunity as Parsons was released on the home 10-metre line and burned past a clutch of defenders on the outside.

Enya Breen added a fine conversion from out on the left for a 14-3 scoreline. ‘Wegians captain Fowley rewarded Lisa-Marie Murphy’s efforts at the breakdown to fire over her second penalty of the game.

The Blue Belles were soon on a roll and picked up their first try. A short lineout from Elizabeth McNicholas to Grace Browne Moran worked out well, the forwards battering away at the try-line before second row Dearbhla Canty forced her way over.

Fowley missed the difficult conversion but kicked ‘Wegians level on the half hour mark after a Blackrock offside. The home side responded by winning a scrum penalty and Beth Cregan’s carrying drew them within reach of the whitewash.

A pacy attack, with Breen taking the ball up in the middle, led to Megan Burns’ skip pass putting Parsons outside Maria Gorham to register her third try in the left corner.

Into the second half, Lisa Mullen’s well-placed kick through was gobbled up by Parsons for her fourth try in the 42nd minute.

Fellow international Breen converted for 26-14 and then crossed herself on the hour mark, following Maeve Liston’s right wing break and well-timed offload out of a tackle.

With 15 minutes remaining, Ireland Sevens scrum half Emily Lane stole possession at the breakdown, charging downfield to link with the supporting Parsons who stayed clear of Mairéad Coyne for her fifth touchdown of the evening.

A late spell of pressure resulted in Galwegians’ second try in the 75th minute, replacement Mary Healy going to the blindside of a close-in ruck and passing for winger Mollie Walsh to finish off.

Elsewhere, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe claimed a second half hat-trick in Railway Union’s 14-try 78-5 triumph over Suttonians. Spanish flanker Carmen Rodera also grabbed three tries, and there were two on her debut for recent Ireland new cap Leah Tarpey.

Suttonians had a luckless outing, Lena Kibler’s early levelling try showing their ability but they were derailed by a couple of injuries, most notably scrum half Emily McKeown who was taken to hospital, and two costly yellow cards.

Rodera opened the scoring in the second minute, set free by Lindsay Peat’s skip pass after a turnover won by Aoife McDermott. The lively back rower showed a clean pair of heels to the defence on a 40-metre run-in.

Órfhlaith Murray intercepted a loose pass to see Suttonians quickly threaten in response. McKeown tapped a penalty in the 22 and with Railway scrambling, Jools Aungier was able to send Kibler over in the left corner for an unconverted score.

A cruel run of luck with injuries began for Sutts with centre Meabh O’Brien forced off due to a clash of heads. From the resulting close-in scrum, 19-year-olc centre Tarpey tore over to the right of the posts. Eve Higgins converted for a 12-5 lead.

Suttonians’ resistance was summed up by a terrific try-saving tackle from Aungier on Katie Heffernan. A surging run from McKeown brought play back up to halfway, but she suffered a bad injury in a tackle and had to be taken off in an ambulance.

Railway regained the momentum to build a 32-5 half-time lead. Heffernan got on the scoresheet before Rodera weaved over from a ruck after Murphy Crowe had used scrum possession to raid up into the visitors’ 22.

Second row McDermott stormed over after collecting a lineout a few metres out, and Sutts, who were falling foul of referee Katie Byrne’s whistle, then lost replacement Shannon Touhey to the sin bin for a deliberate knock-on.

Tarpey completed her brace with a strong run towards the right corner. Rodera showed her pace to score again early on the restart, breaking through from Murphy Crowe’s tidying up of a loose ball.

The Tipperary speedster was next over the whitewash, blazing over from the right wing. Higgins converted for a 44-5 scoreline, although Sutts did draw encouragement from two well-earned scrum penalties.

It was from a set piece that Railway went wide in clinical fashion, captain Niamh Byrne and Molly Scuffil-McCabe combining to send replacement Ava Ryder over in the left corner.

A classy weaving break saw Higgins join the list of try scorers, and she provided the assist for replacement Aimee Clarke to dart over out wide on the right. Scuffil-McCabe fought hard to secure turnover ball before that.

Murphy Crowe’s excellent offload released the pacy Clarke to complete a quick-fire brace, Sutts being hit with a double whammy as replacement Clara Sexton was yellow carded for an unfortunate hair-pull as she reached out to try and make the tackle.

Higgins’ conversion pushed the margin out to 61 points, not a true reflection of the game as a whole as Suttonians had some resolute performances from the likes of Aungier, Grainne Tummon, Janita Kareta and Annie Buntine.

Railway were not finished yet, Murphy Crowe taking advantage of missed tackles to score from inside her own half. The flying winger made it a hat-trick in the end, linking up neatly with Scuffil-McCabe out wide inside the final ten minutes.

Ballincollig and Wicklow finished all-square at Tanner Park, the 10-all draw seeing Heather Kennedy and Michelle O’Driscoll cross for ‘Collig. Wicklow responded with unconverted efforts from Sarah Gleeson and Caoimhe Molloy.

Old Belvedere remain top of the table after their fourth straight victory. They beat Cooke 65-0 in Belfast, racking up 11 tries with braces from Laura Carty and Aoife Dalton, who made her Ireland debut against Japan in August.


Saturday, October 8 –

SUTTONIANS 5 RAILWAY UNION 78, JJ McDowell Memorial Grounds
Scorers: Suttonians: Try: Lena Kibler
Railway Union: Tries: Carmen Rodera 3, Leah Tarpey 2, Katie Heffernan, Aoife McDermott, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe 3, Ava Ryder, Eve Higgins, Aimee Clarke 2; Cons: Eve Higgins 4
HT: Suttonians 5 Railway Union 32

SUTTONIANS: Emma Jordan; Lena Kibler, Jools Aungier, Meabh O’Brien, Annie Buntine; Órfhlaith Murray, Emily McKeown; Janita Kareta, Julia O’Connor, Mary Healy, Brenda Barr, Grainne Tummon, Louise Catinot, Nicola Bolger, Roisin O’Driscoll.

Replacements: Aoife Brennan, Ciara Spencer, Carrie O’Keeffe, Casey White, Shannon Touhey, Clara Sexton, Moya Kernan.

RAILWAY UNION: Katie Heffernan; Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Eve Higgins, Leah Tarpey, Niamh Byrne (capt); Molly Scuffil-McCabe, Ailsa Hughes; Lindsay Peat, Chloe Blackmore, Megan Collis, Keelin Brady, Aoife McDermott, Carmen Rodera, Deirdre Roberts, Daisy Earle.

Replacements: Grainne O’Loughlin, Emma Fabby, Emerson Allen, Sonia McDermott, Molly Boyne, Aimee Clarke, Ava Ryder.

Scorers: Ballincollig: Tries: Heather Kennedy, Michelle O’Driscoll
Wicklow: Tries: Sarah Gleeson, Caoimhe Molloy
HT: Ballincollig 0 Wicklow 0

BALLINCOLLIG: Heather Kennedy; Michelle O’Driscoll, Christine Arthurs, Meaghan Kenny, Alison Kelly; Kelly Griffin, Mona Fehily; Roisin Ormond, Clodagh Walsh (capt), Clare Coombes, Gillian Coombes, Denise Redmond, Kira Fitzgerald, Katelyn Fleming, Tiare Siguenza.

Replacements: Annie Laffan, Orla Rea, Eimear Perryman, Caolainn Healy, Aoife Buckley, Michelle Stafford, Sinéad O’Reilly.

WICKLOW: Ella Roberts (capt); Loretta Gilbert, Aoibhin Stone, Sarah Gleeson, Meagan Parkinson; Beth Roberts, Roisin Stone; Linda Dempsey, Maya McDevitt, Lauren Barry, Rachel Griffey, Caitlin Griffey, Caoimhe Molloy, Jessica Schmidt, Nicola Schmidt.

Replacements: Eimear Douglas, Laura Newsome, Leah Murphy, Orla Molloy, Jennifer Madden.

Scorers: Blackrock College: Tries: Beibhinn Parsons 5, Enya Breen; Cons: Enya Breen 3
Galwegians: Tries: Mollie Walsh, Dearbhla Canty; Pens: Nicole Fowley 3
HT: Blackrock College 19 Galwegians 14

BLACKROCK COLLEGE: Ella Durkan; Megan Burns, Maeve Liston, Enya Breen, Beibhinn Parsons; Lisa Mullen, Tatum Bird; Laura Feely, Emma Hooban, Shannon Heapes, Eimear Corri, Anna Potterton, Mairead Holohan, Aoife Moore (capt), Beth Cregan.

Replacements: Niamh Tester, Casey O’Brien, Roisin McWey, Michelle Claffey, Emily Lane, Jackie Shiels, Ciara Scanlan.

GALWEGIANS: Mairéad Coyne; Maria Gorham, Orla Dixon, Ursula Sammon, Mollie Walsh; Nicole Fowley (capt), Olivia Haverty; Jessica Loftus, Elizabeth McNicholas, Ellen Connolly, Grace Browne Moran, Dearbhla Canty, Niamh O’Grady, Emily Gavin, Lisa-Marie Murphy.

Replacements: Nolwenn Dubois, Ruby Lynch, Faith Oviawe, Ciara Mulkern, Mary Healy, Emma Keane, Maelle Jouve.

COOKE 0 OLD BELVEDERE 65, Shaw’s Bridge
Scorers: Cooke: –
Old Belvedere: Tries: Laura Carty 2, Erin King, Emma Tilly, Jennie Finlay, Brittany Hogan, Aoife Dalton 2, Katie Whelan, Aine Rutley, Fiona Tuite; Cons: Dannah O’Brien 5
HT: Cooke 0 Old Belvedere 27

COOKE: Teah Maguire; Tamzin Boyce, Christy Hill, Kelly McCormill, Claire Johnston; Amanda Morton, Hannah Downey; Ilse van Staden, Megan Simpson, Emma Kearney, Cara O’Kane, Aishling O’Connell (capt), Stacey Sloan, Naomi McCord, Helen McGhee.

Replacements: Eimear McQuillan, Fiona McCaughan, Chloe McMorran, Georgia Boyce, Megan Edwards, Ashleigh Orchard.

OLD BELVEDERE: Aine Donnelly; Emma Tilly, Aoife Dalton, Jenny Murphy, Laura Carty; Dannah O’Brien, Katie Whelan; Niamh O’Dowd, Jennie Finlay, Aine Rutley, Rachel Winters, Elaine Anthony, Fiona Tuite, Erin King, Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (capt).

Replacements: Melissa Hayden, Brittany Hogan, Vic Dabanovich O’Mahony, Jane Neill, Éadaoin Murtagh, Emma Kelly, Finola Collins.