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Clovers Keep Up Momentum With Five-Try Scotstoun Win

Clovers Keep Up Momentum With Five-Try Scotstoun Win

Young number 8 Ivana Kiripati got amongst the tries as the Clovers came out on top against Glasgow Warriors

Driven on by try-scoring captain Dorothy Wall, the Clovers recorded a 29-10 bonus point victory over Glasgow Warriors in their first Celtic Challenge match outside of Ireland.


Saturday, January 27 –

GLASGOW WARRIORS 10 CLOVERS 29, Scotstoun Stadium
Scorers: Glasgow Warriors: Tries: Izzy Hannay, Beth Blacklock
Clovers: Tries: Méabh Deely, Dorothy Wall, Beth Buttimer, Ivana Kiripati, Brianna Heylmann; Cons: Kate Flannery 2
HT: Glasgow Warriors 5 Clovers 24

Ivana Kiripati brilliantly bulldozed over in the 32nd minute, adding to earlier tries from Méabh Deely, Wall, and Beth Buttimer, as Denis Fogarty’s side established a 24-5 half-time lead at Scotstoun Stadium.

Ireland co-captain Edel McMahon enjoyed a productive Celtic Challenge debut, while Kate Flannery’s influence, particularly during Abbie Salter-Townshend’s sin-bin period, earned her the player-of-the-match award.

Clovers replacement Brianna Heylmann and Scotland centre Beth Blacklock swapped second half tries, but the visitors’ lead was never truly troubled as they added to recent wins over Brython Thunder (20-5) and Gwalia Lightning (19-17).

Wall and her team-mates will make a swift return trip to Scotland next Saturday to play Edinburgh at Hive Stadium (kick-off 12.30pm – live on RugbyPass TV), in what is their final regular round fixture before the play-offs.

Continuing where she left off against Gwalia Lightning, out-half Flannery’s right boot teed up an opening second-minute try in Scotstoun. Her cross-field kick was gobbled up by Alana McInerney whose well-timed inside pass released Deely on a 20-metre run-in.

With Flannery also dispatching the conversion, it was a full seven-pointer for the visitors. Sadhbh McGrath was a prominent ball carrier, making 10 metres on one early surge, and the Clovers were soon hunting down their second try.

Flannery, McMahon and Aoife Corey combined on a pacy break through the middle, drawing a penalty which Flannery punted to touch. Wall was at the heart of the lineout drive, piling straight through the middle and showing impressive strength to ground the ball.

Glasgow got on the front foot then, landing themselves close to the try-line with Salter-Townshend caught offside from a quickly-taken penalty. Her yellow card saw Glasgow continue to press, but Wall pinched an important lineout.

Flannery, who stepped in to play scrum half, also ghosted through a gap during a breakout that almost led to a try for McInerney. The winger had a second rumble forward, but was called back for a forward pass from Jane Clohessy.

The Clovers maintained the field position, with a Clohessy-won penalty putting them back within scoring range. A short 28th-minute lineout move involving Wall worked a treat, as her return offload, out of a double tackle, put Buttimer over in the left corner.

Leading 17-0, Wall lacked support when she broke dangerously into the hosts’ 22 on the back of another set-piece platform. However, full-back Deely did well to keep a Glasgow kick in play, and a series of direct runs led to the visitors’ bonus point try.

Backed up by McMahon, 20-year-old back rower Kiripati crashed over at the end of a rampaging run which displayed her power and footwork to beat three defenders in quick succession. Flannery added the extras.

Errors crept in for the Clovers as the interval approached, with Deely overcooking a kick and players being slow to roll away. McMahon did weigh in with a well-won turnover, but further penalties drew Glasgow closer.

The powerful Ailie Tucker continued to make ground and the Warriors got the try they craved when Blacklock offloaded crisply out of contact, putting the inrushing Izzy Hannay over to reduce the arrears to 19 points.

Both teams left chances behind them early in the second half, with Lucy MacRae missing touch from a penalty, and Buttimer knocking on after the Clovers had flooded forward to retrieve a well-placed kick from Deely.

Glasgow exerted more pressure in attack during the third quarter, although Niamh O’Dowd and McMahon combined to hold up Holland Bogan. A Kiripati turnover, and some thumping tackles from skipper Wall, also kept the Scots at bay.

Some slick interplay between McMahon, O’Dowd and Wall created an opportunity for the newly-introduced Ailsa Hughes, who pinned her ears back for the try-line but was brought down just short by MacRae, and O’Dowd was then held up.

Nonetheless, the Clovers’ superior scrum won a penalty, and then regained possession against the head, before Kayla Waldron crashed up inside the Warriors’ 22. Wall, Flannery and O’Dowd shifted the ball wide to Heylmann who charged over from 18 metres out.

Glasgow cancelled out that score within five minutes. From an inviting scrum position, Blacklock evaded tackles from Flannery and Deely to run in a classy try from outside the visitors’ 22.

Faith Oviawe stole back possession from a loose Glasgow lineout during the closing stages, and there was also the pleasing sight of fit-again winger Chisom Ugwueru, the Energia All-Ireland League’s top try scorer, coming on to make her Celtic Challenge bow.

TIME LINE: 2 minutes – Clovers try: Méabh Deely – 0-5; conversion: Kate Flannery – 0-7; 9 mins – Clovers try: Dorothy Wall – 0-12; conversion: missed by Kate Flannery – 0-12; 13 mins – Clovers yellow card: Abbie Salter-Townshend; 28 mins – Clovers try: Beth Buttimer – 0-17; conversion: missed by Kate Flannery – 0-17; 32 mins – Clovers try: Ivana Kiripati – 0-22; conversion: Kate Flannery – 0-24; 40 mins – Clovers try: Izzy Hannay – 5-24; conversion: missed by Lucy MacRae – 5-24; Half-time – Glasgow Warriors 5 Clovers 24; 61 mins – Clovers try: Brianna Heylmann – 5-29; conversion: missed by Kate Flannery – 5-29; 66 mins – Glasgow Warriors try: Beth Blacklock – 10-29; conversion: missed by Lucy MacRae – 10-29; Full-time – Glasgow Warriors 10 Clovers 29

GLASGOW WARRIORS: Carla McDonald; Sky Phimister, Lucy MacRae, Beth Blacklock, Phaedra Snailham; Ceitidh Ainsworth, Mairi McDonald; Ailie Tucker, Nikki Simpson, Eilidh Fleming, Eve Thomson, Emma Turner (co-capt), Holland Bogan, Izzy Hannay, Lucy Winter.

Replacements: Karis Craig, Demi Swann, Chloe Brown, Ellie Williamson, Megan Hyland, Rhea Clarke (co-capt), Giselle Chicot, Roma Fraser.

CLOVERS: Méabh Deely (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht); Clare Gorman (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster), Aoife Corey (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster), Kayla Waldron (Railway Union RFC/Connacht), Alana McInerney (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster); Kate Flannery (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster), Abbie Salter-Townshend (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster), Niamh O’Dowd (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster), Beth Buttimer (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster), Sadhbh McGrath (Cooke RFC/Ulster), Faith Oviawe (Railway Union RFC/Connacht), Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College RFC/Munster) (capt), Jane Clohessy (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster), Edel McMahon (Exeter Chiefs), Ivana Kiripati (Tuam-Oughterard RFC/Connacht).

Replacements: Lily Brady (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster), Róisín Ormond (Ballincollig RFC/Munster), Grainne Burke (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster), Brianna Heylmann (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster), Shannon Touhey (Tullamore RFC/Connacht), Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union RFC/Leinster), Michelle O’Driscoll (Ballincollig RFC/Munster), Chisom Ugwueru (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster).

Referee: Ciaran Stark (SRU)