Returning to 15s action, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe scored a second half hat-trick of tries in Railway Union’s 14-try 78-5 triumph over Suttonians.
ENERGIA ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE WOMEN’S DIVISION: 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
Spanish international flanker Carmen Rodera also grabbed three tries at the JJ McDowell Memorial Grounds, 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. Scrum half McKeown tapped a penalty in the 22 and with Railway scrambling, Jools Aungier was able to send Kibler over in the left corner for the levelling try.
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, 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.
When play resumed, Railway were able to put together four more tries before half-time. 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.
19-year-old centre Tarpey completed her brace with a strong run towards the right corner, leaving it 32-5 at the break. 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 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 for a seven-pointer. The flying winger made it a hat-trick, linking up neatly with Scuffil-McCabe out wide inside the final ten minutes.
Suttonians did have a couple of late attacks that could have resulted in tries. Full-back Emma Jordan was hauled down a few metres short, and then as Murray lifted the tempo once more, both Healy and Brenda Barr went close. A Clarke turnover saw Railway hold them out.
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.