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Railway pull clear at the top with bonus-point win against defending champs UL Bohs

Railway Union stretched their lead at the top to eight points this weekend.

Women's AIL: two games on Saturday (file photo).
Women's AIL: two games on Saturday (file photo).

Railway Union 27-19 UL Bohemians

UL BOHEMIANS’ TITLE defence took another hit with their second successive defeat of the campaign, as leaders Railway Union won Saturday’s heavyweight clash 27-19 at Park Avenue. Susan Vaughan and Sarah Quinn swapped tries with Claire Keohane’s late penalty giving Railway a 10-7 half-time lead.

The introduction of Ireland squad member Juliet Short lifted the home side and her converted try made it a 10-point advantage. Quinn responded with her second try of the afternoon, but further scores from Katelyn Faust, following some brilliant interplay off a scrum, and centre Vaughan again had Railway out of reach.

A consolation try from Bohs out-half Niamh Briggs was not enough to earn a losing bonus point for the reigning champions, who remain third in the table but eight points behind Railway. Ben Martin’s charges will look to make up some ground in their upcoming back-to-back games against struggling St. Mary’s.

Galwegians 14-24 Cooke

Cooke climbed above Galwegians into fourth place thanks to a 24-14 bonus point success against the Blue Belles in Glenina. It was very much a game of two halves, the early pressure coming from Wegians as tries from dynamic centre Ina Butler and replacement Edel Murray saw them put the squeeze on during the first half.

Cooke head coach Wayne Kelly was disappointed with his side’s efforts at putting points on the board early on, but credited their “phenomenal character” as the tables were turned after the break. Ireland international Ilse van Staden emerged as a key player for the visitors, proving very hard to bring down once she built momentum in the carry.

Strong surges from two-try prop van Staden and Naomi McCullagh gave the Belfast side some attacking momentum. Hannah Kilgore and Eliza Downey also touched down with Vicky Irwin supplying two conversions. Shannon Touhey was Galwegians’ standout player, but head coach Fraser Gow was “very disappointed with the result and our second half performance”.

Having enjoyed much of the possession during the opening 40 minutes, Gow was frustrated with Wegians’ return for the effort and energy expended. Cooke defended doggedly against their mid-table rivals and impressively held up two certain Galwegians tries – full-back Shannon Lane and number eight Denise Redmond were both denied.

– St Mary’s v Blackrock was postponed due to an injury to the referee

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