Ex-Ireland star Peat helps Railway Union to victory as Galwegians and Suttonians play out draw

Railway Union came away with a bonus-point win over UL Bohemians to get their title defence off to a winning start.

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.

lindsay-peat-leads-her-team-out Lindsay Peat [file photo]. Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

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.

UL Bohemians’ talented back row engineered the first scoring opportunity on their 4G pitch, Clodagh O’Halloran haring through into the Railway 22 before the returning Anna Caplice, who had started the move from a quick tap, unfortunately knocked on.

The Red Robins continued to carry the greater threat with ball in hand, but Railway’s defence was giving little away and Deirdre Roberts came up with a great turnover to foil a promising UL lineout maul.

A sustained period of Railway pressure saw the deadlock broken in the 22nd minute. Flanker Molly Boyne crashed over between two defenders after good work from Anna McGann, Ava Ryder and livewire number 8 Roberts.

There was much to admire about Bohs’ precise approach work, but they were lacking a killer punch in the 22 and a turnover penalty, won by Peat, allowed Railway to hold onto their five-point lead.

Bohs kept coming, hooker Kate Sheehan returning fire with a textbook turnover penalty. It was her accurate throw to Caplice in the 36th minute that launched a terrific 20-metre maul from which prop Geena Behan dotted down a deserved levelling try.

Niamh Briggs’ side defended tenaciously early in the second half, Caplice showing her breakdown smarts and replacement Brianna Heylmann found a gap to bring play back into Railway territory.

There were some breathless passages, with Bohs captain Chloe Pearse intercepting a pass, kicking through and then following up to force a knock-on from McGann.

It was a real arm wrestle now, Railway skipper Niamh Byrne digging in to win a clearing penalty and replacement Stephanie Carroll, who fizzed with intent, raiding down the left wing before the UL cover scrambled across.

The title holders retook the lead from the resulting lineout, American recruit Emerson Allen producing the steal and fellow replacement Lisa Callan had a brilliant charge up towards the line. She popped the ball back for Peat to gleefully touch down.

Molly Scuffil-McCabe drop-kicked the conversion over for a 12-5 scoreline, and the Ireland-capped full-back soon combined with Roberts to hold up Sarah Garrett as the UL replacement came within inches of scoring.

With seven minutes remaining, Railway gave themselves some much-needed breathing space. McGann took off from just outside her own 22, getting around Alana McInerney and showing her speed as an Ireland Sevens international to run in a superb 80-metre solo score.

The Athlone woman was unstoppable as she tore clear, beating five more defenders to go over to the right of the posts. Ailsa Hughes’ well-placed 50:22 kick, straight from a ruck, kept Railway on the front foot during the dying minutes.

John Cronin’s charges were clinical through the next few phases, setting up Roberts, who had stepped in as first receiver, to slalom back to the left side where she ghosted through for the bonus point try, converted with aplomb by Scuffil-McCabe.

ruby-lynch-and-grace-browne-moran-celebrate-after-the-game Galwegians' Ruby Lynch and Grace Browne Moran celebrate after the game. Tom Maher / INPHO Tom Maher / INPHO / INPHO

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 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 finished with 11 points.

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.

Nonetheless, there was still enough time for tighthead prop Connolly to cross 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 skipper 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 captain 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.

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.


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, Jenny Finlay, Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (capt).

Replacements: Melissa Hayden, Jan Carroll, Jenny Murphy, 19. Katie Whelan, 20. Emma Tilley, 21. Katelyn Faust, 22. Éadaoin Murtagh.

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.

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; Nicole 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.

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