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Aoife Doyle impresses as Railway secure emphatic derby win in women's AIL

A round-up of the weekend’s action in the women’s AIL.

Aoife Doyle runs in her second try against Old Belvedere.
Aoife Doyle runs in her second try against Old Belvedere.
Image: Tom Maher/INPHO

AOIFE DOYLE SHOWED watching Ireland Women’s head coach Greg McWilliams what she can do with a fantastic brace of tries in Railway Union’s 43-8 bonus point win at Old Belvedere.

The first half of the Energia Women’s All-Ireland League wrapped up with a big Dublin derby at Ollie Campbell Park, and it was a much closer contest than the scoreline suggests.

Belvedere made the early running: Clare Gorman threatening before a thunderous carry from Alice O’Dowd set up an opening penalty for Jemma Farrell.

The hosts’ reinforced defence kept Railway out until a superb swerving run from Doyle in the 25th minute saw her score from inside her own 22.

The table-toppers stung ‘Belvo with two late tries to lead 17-3 at the break: hooker Chloe Blackmore burrowing over before another slick effort from Doyle, who darted clear from 60 metres out with a neat sidestep and a dummy pass.

‘Belvo hit back within three minutes of the restart, with good hands from Ailbhe Dowling, Elise O’Byrne-White and Laura Carty releasing Belgian Sevens speedster Manon Nairac for the left corner.

However, Railway were clinical again on the hour mark, a lovely 8-9 move off a scrum seeing Deirdre Roberts put Molly Scuffil-McCabe over for the bonus point score.

Railway reeled off three more tries, with Amanda McQuade grabbing the first in the 68th minute. The impressive young prop made a barnstorming break to set up fellow replacement Claire Boles just three minutes later.

McQuade, a product of Virginia Rugby Club in Cavan, completed the scoring with two minutes remaining by following up on an Aoife McDermott surge.

Elsewhere, captain Chloe Pearse and Claire Bennett both touched down twice as UL Bohemians swept Suttonians aside on a 43-3 scoreline.

Out-half Nicole Cronin – who finished with 13 points for the Red Robins – bounced out of a tackle to claim their fourth-minute opener.

Suttonians were only 17-0 behind at the break, with captain Lauren Farrell McCabe’s delayed pass putting Jools Aungier darting up into the opposition 22 during their most promising attack.

Prop Pearse reached over from a ruck, and lock Bennett did likewise as UL – whose forwards were dictating play for the most part – took their try tally to three.

Play swung swiftly between both 22s on the restart before the visitors sealed their bonus point with a muscular carry from Bennett.

Sutts lost the ball in contact and Pearse went on an arcing run in behind the posts. When Niamh Briggs’ side got back on the attack, flanker Clodagh O’Halloran took a great line onto a Muirne Wall pass to crash over for the penultimate try.

Munster captain Sarah Quin duly drove over from close range for Bohs’ seventh touchdown, before Sutts, with Brenda Barr and Nicola Bolger grafting hard up front, got on the board with a closing penalty from Jessica Kelleher.

Boosted by some of their returning internationals, Blackrock College powered to a 84-0 victory over Ballincollig. Recent Ireland cap Maeve Óg O’Leary notched one of their 14 tries, while fellow international Hannah O’Connor tallied up 19 points, including seven conversions.

Hanging out in the wide channel, young flanker O’Leary crossed in the fourth minute after Jackie Shiels’ skip pass and a nice delivery from winger Maeve Liston for the assist.

‘Collig lock Sarah O’Donovan missed out on a try for playing the ball on the ground, before ‘Rock full-back Méabh Deely showed her Sevens speed by breaking from deep, chipping over the top and hacking on to score to the right of the posts.

Ben Martin’s well-drilled squad did not look back from there: winger Liston charging clear via a scrum won against the head and a 21st-minute bonus point was registered by winger Natasja Behan, who went on to score a hat-trick.

Galwegians sealed a fifth place finish before the mid-season split, with two closing tries from full-back Mairéad Coyne in a 22-7 defeat of Wicklow.

Cooke were 19-10 winners of their derby clash with Malone, props Ilse van Staden and Aishling O’Connell both driving over and in-form number 8 Helen McGhee registering her fourth try in five games.

Round Nine Results 



Ballincollig: N/A

Blackrock College: Tries: Maeve Óg O’Leary, Méabh Deely 2, Maeve Liston 2, Natasja Behan 3, Jackie Shiels, Lisa Mullen, Aoibheann Reilly, Hannah O’Connor, Ellen Taite, Michelle Claffey; Cons: Hannah O’Connor 7
HT: Ballincollig 0 Blackrock College 46

BALLINCOLLIG: Orla Creedon; Michelle Stafford, Heather Kennedy, Lauren Fahy, Ellen O’Keeffe; Kelly Griffin, Mona Fehily; Clare Coombes, Clodagh Walsh (co-capt), Roisin Ormond, Sarah O’Donovan, Gillian Coombes (co-capt), Eimear Perryman, Niamh O’Regan, Denise Redmond.

Replacements: Alix Cunneen, Olivia Hay Mulvihill, Kira Fitzgerald, Gerda Coyne, Aine Dunniece, Roisin Long, Valerie Heffernan.

BLACKROCK COLLEGE: Méabh Deely; Natasja Behan, Michelle Claffey (capt), Jackie Shiels, Maeve Liston; Lisa Mullen, Aoibheann Reilly; Laura Feely, Emma Hooban, Christy Haney, Mairéad Holohan, Roisin McWey, Caoimhe Molloy, Maeve Óg O’Leary, Hannah O’Connor.

Replacements: Casey O’Brien, Ann-Marie Rooney, Niamh Griffin, Laura Delaney, Katie Fitzhenry, Ellen Taite, Mairéad Ní Chathasaigh.



Galwegians: Tries: Saskia Morrissey, Ursula Sammon, Mairéad Coyne 2; Con: Emma Keane

Wicklow: Try: Aoife Dunne; Con: Beth Roberts

GALWEGIANS: Mairéad Coyne; Saskia Morrissey, Megan Walsh, Ursula Sammon, Laoise McGonagle; Emma Keane, Mary Healy (capt); Elizabeth McNicholas, Tracy Lawlor, Ellen Connolly, Sabina Egan, Niamh O’Grady, Fiona Scally, Lisa-Marie Murphy, Kate Feehan.

Replacements: Ruby Lynch, Jessica Loftus, Kiara Irwin, Dearbhla Canty, Faith Oviawe, Darwyn O’Halloran, Rhiann Heery.

WICKLOW: Ella Roberts; Aoife Dunne, Vicky Elmes Kinlan, Meagan Parkinson, Emma Curran; Beth Roberts, Erin McConnell (capt); Kathy Byrne, Noelle Ward, Lauren Barry, Jessica Schmidt, Caitlin Griffey, Robyn Mullen, Emily Ryan, Niamh Ni Dhroma.

Replacements: Niamh O’Leary, Amy Barry, Eva Phelan.

COOKE 19 MALONE 10, Shaw’s Bridge


Cooke: Tries: Ilse van Staden, Helen McGhee, Aishling O’Connell; Cons: Amanda Morton 2

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Malone: Tries: Shirelle Wilson, Neve Jones

COOKE: Dolores Hughes; Georgia Boyce, Lucy Thompson, Coral Lapsley, Tamzin Boyce; Amanda Morton, Teah Maguire; Ilse van Staden, Beth Cregan, Aishling O’Connell (capt), Sorcha Mac Laimhin, Caolinn McCormack, Megan Simpson, Naomi McCord, Helen McGhee.

Replacements: Eimear McQuillan, Katie Hetherington, India Daley, Alanagh van Staden, Caitlin Fisher, Fiona McCaughan, Cara McKevitt.

MALONE: Holly Brannigan; Anna Stanfield, Emma Jordan, Ella Durkan, Sophie Armstrong; Peita McAlister (capt), Shirelle Wilson; Jo McMorris-Cloughley, Neve Jones, Chrissie McKee, Emma Taylor, Jasmine Ward, Erin Jones, Chloe McIlwaine, Lauren Maginnes.

Replacements: Ashleigh Currie, Alexa Grudgings.



Old Belvedere: Try: Manon Nairac; Pen: Jemma Farrell
Railway Union: Tries: Aoife Doyle 2, Chloe Blackmore, Molly Scuffil-McCabe, Amanda McQuade 2, Claire Boles; Cons: Nikki Caughey 4

OLD BELVEDERE: Laura Carty; Clare Gorman, Elise O’Byrne-White, Ailbhe Dowling, Manon Nairac; Jemma Farrell, Katie Whelan; Alice O’Dowd, Rachel Murphy, Vic Dabanovich O’Mahony, Clodagh Dunne, Niamh O’Dowd, Elaine Anthony, Lesley Ring, Jenny Murphy (capt).

Replacements: Melissa Hayden, Jan Carroll, Dawn Keegan, Ciara O’Dwyer, Aine Donnelly, Vanessa Hullon, Ivanna Dempsey, Amber Redmond, Sarah Melvin.

RAILWAY UNION: Molly Scuffil-McCabe; Stephanie Carroll, Aoife Doyle, Niamh Byrne (capt), Emer O’Mahony; Nikki Caughey, Ailsa Hughes; Lindsay Peat, Chloe Blackmore, Katie O’Dwyer, Aoife McDermott, Siobhan McCarthy, Keelin Brady, Kate McCarthy, Deirdre Roberts.

Replacements: Megan Collis, Amanda McQuade, Emma Murphy, Claire Boles, Erin Coll, Hazel Simmons, Alex McGuinness.

SUTTONIANS 3 UL BOHEMIANS 43, JJ McDowell Memorial Grounds


Suttonians: Pen: Jessica Kelleher

UL Bohemians: Tries: Chloe Pearse 2, Nicole Cronin, Claire Bennett 2, Sarah Quin, Clodagh O’Halloran; Cons: Nicole Cronin 4

SUTTONIANS: Sophie Gibney; Molly Fitzgerald, Catherine Martin, Nicole Carroll, Jools Aungier; Jessica Kelleher, Lauren Farrell McCabe (capt); Katie Grant Duggan, Carrie O’Keeffe, Aoife Brennan, Brenda Barr, Aislinn Layde, Lena Kibler, Nicola Bolger, Louise Catinot.

Replacements: Mary Healy, Katie Reel, Catherine Galvin, Shannen Price.

UL BOHEMIANS: Enya Breen; Aoife Corey, Alana McInerney, Rachel Allen, Aoibhinn O’Loughlin; Nicole Cronin, Muirne Wall; Chloe Pearse (capt), Lily Brady, Eilis Cahill, Claire Bennett, Ciara O’Halloran, Sarah Garrett, Clodagh O’Halloran, Sarah Quin.

Replacements: Kate Sheehan, Fiona Reidy, Michelle Ring, Caoimhe O’Neill, Abbie Salter-Townshend, Lorraine O’Connor.

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