Dublin: 14°C Tuesday 28 June 2022

Wicklow's spirited recovery continues with win in battle of promoted clubs as Railway Union run riot

Ireland-capped centre Nikki Caughey scored two tries and kicked 12 points for Railway, and sits top of the scoring charts.

Nikki Caughey was in flying form for Railway Union (file pic).
Nikki Caughey was in flying form for Railway Union (file pic).
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO


WICKLOW’S SPIRITED RECOVERY from some heavy early losses in Energia Women’s All-Ireland League continued with a 15-10 win over fellow promoted club Ballincollig.

Jason Moreton’s young side outscored ‘Collig by three tries to two at Ashtown Lane, with out-half Beth Roberts and co-captain Amy O’Neill both impressing.

Denise Redmond touched down for the visitors on the half-hour mark, before Wicklow levelled on the stroke of half-time through a nice break from winger Aoibhin Stone.

Sarah Gleeson raided over in the right corner for her second try of the campaign, and with the wind behind her, Roberts pinned Ballincollig back at key stages of the second half.

Wicklow’s strong scrum provided the platform for Gleeson’s centre partner Meagan Parkinson to run in the clinching score, before Katelyn Fleming claimed a late losing bonus point for gritty ‘Collig.

After Covid-19 robbed them of two recent run-outs, Railway Union were full of running in their 62-3 defeat of Suttonians at Park Avenue.

Their 10-try tally included braces from Stephanie Carroll, Nikki Caughey and Maggie MacKinnon, with Ireland-capped centre Caughey also kicking 12 points. She is currently top of the scoring charts with 56 points.

Former Ireland U18 Sevens international Ava Ryder, who made her AIL debut off the Railway bench, said: “I’m delighted. I got a good few carries, was under a few high balls. We had fun in the end, it was very enjoyable.

“It’s brilliant to play against such a good team. Suttonians put it up to us, especially in the first half. It was a slow start but we came together in the end and got a good result.”

Railway director of rugby and head coach, John Cronin, commented: “We were obviously missing the (Ireland) 15s who are camp and the Sevens internationals who are in France. We had a lot of changes to the team, but we’ve got a good squad and a lot of people pushing for positions.

“We had three 19- or 20-year-olds, two props and a second row, who did really well, which was really positive. I thought Amanda McQuade, who had her first start at loosehead, was excellent. She was up against Julia Bauer who plays for Connacht. She turned over scrums and contributed around the field.

“Keelin Brady, the second row, was excellent to be fair. Ava (Ryder) came off the bench and had a great cameo for 30 minutes. She dealt with everything that was kicked to her, carried really well and was unlucky not to get in for a score. It’s a really good step on their development.”

Suttonians were only 26-0 behind at the break, with a Jessica Kelleher penalty getting them off the mark in the second half. Their sterling all-round effort was all the more admirable considering they only had 18 fit players available due to injuries.

Sutts head coach Stephen Costelloe commented: “26-0 at half-time from small errors capitalised on by very good players. It wasn’t until the last 25 minutes when we lost players through injury, used all our subs and had to play players in positions that were alien to them, that Railway scored again.

“I couldn’t be prouder of each and every one of them. We fought to the very end and they did themselves, the team and the club proud.”

There is only a single point between the top four teams in the table, Old Belvedere leading the way thanks to a 28-21 bonus point success at home to Cooke.

The Belfast outfit were much-improved from last week, stringing together second half tries from Lucy Thompson, Dolores Hughes and captain Aishling O’Connell for a hard-earned losing bonus point.

a-view-of-training A general view of Old Belvo training last year. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Belvedere were seven points clear at the break, with prop Alice O’Dowd making the breakthrough from Jemma Farrell’s tap penalty. They added a penalty try and further efforts from pacy backs Vanessa Hullon and Alannah O’Carroll.

Munster’s Maggie Boylan bagged her eighth try of the season as Blackrock College got the better of a dogged Galwegians side, winning 19-5 at Crowley Park. Running back a kick, she flew down the left touchline, beating three players to score behind the posts.

Leinster captain Christy Haney used two big hand-offs to burst through for ‘Rock’s third try. Natasja Behan had an earlier breakaway score, which ‘Wegians had cancelled out when working the ball wide for winger Saskia Morrissey to finish powerfully in the corner.

Energia Women’s AIL results


Galwegians Scorers: Try: Saskia Morrissey
Blackrock College: Tries: Natasja Behan, Maggie Boylan, Christy Haney; Cons: Lisa Mullen 2
HT: Galwegians 5-12 Blackrock College

GALWEGIANS: Mairead 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.

BLACKROCK COLLEGE: Maggie Boylan; Natasja Behan, Michelle Claffey (capt), Jackie Shiels, Caoimhe O’Callaghan; Lisa Mullen, Laura Delaney; Aoife Moore, Emma Hooban, Christy Haney, Mairead Holohan, Eimear Corri, Caoimhe Molloy, Niamh Griffin, Casey O’Brien.

Replacements: Niamh Tester, Anna Potterton, Hannah Hodges, Valerie Power, Kate Cullen, Orla Molloy.


* Match cancelled – the IRFU National Competitions Committee has determined five league points and a scoreline of 28-0 will be awarded to UL Bohemians

OLD BELVEDERE 28-21 COOKE, Ollie Campbell Park

Old Belvedere scorers: Tries: Alice O’Dowd, Penalty try, Vanessa Hullon, Alannah O’Carroll; Cons: Jemma Farrell 3, Pen try con
Cooke scorers: Tries: Lucy Thompson, Dolores Hughes, Aishling O’Connell; Cons: Amanda Morton 3
HT: Old Belvedere 7-0 Cooke

OLD BELVEDERE: Laura Carty; Kate Balance, Vanessa Hullon, Katelyn Faust, Alannah O’Carroll; Aine Donnelly, Jemma Farrell; Alice O’Dowd, Rachel Murphy, Vic Dabanovich O’Mahony, Jan Carroll, Elaine Anthony, Ivanna Dempsey, Lesley Ring, Clodagh Dunne.

Replacements: Melissa Hayden, Dawn Keegan, Ciara O’Dwyer, Niamh O’Dowd, Jennie Finlay, Ava Jenkins.

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

Replacements: Cara McKevitt, Fiona McCaughan, Georgia Boyce, Eimear McQuillan.


Railway Union scorers: Tries: Stephanie Carroll 2, Nikki Caughey 2, Maggie MacKinnon 2, Niamh Byrne, Aimee Clarke, Deirdre Roberts, Molly Scuffil McCabe; Cons: Nikki Caughey 6
Suttonians scorers: Pen: Jessica Kelleher
HT: Railway Union 26-0 Suttonians

RAILWAY UNION: Aoife O’Shaughnessy; Stephanie Carroll, Maggie MacKinnon, Nikki Caughey, Niamh Byrne (capt); Claire Keohane, Molly Scuffil McCabe; Amanda McQuade, Chloe Blackmore, Megan Collis, Keelin Brady, Siobhan McCarthy, Emma Murphy, Molly Boyne, Deirdre Roberts.

Replacements: Aimee Clarke, Claire Byrne, Kate McCarthy, Christine Coffey, Erin Coll, Alex McGuinness, Ava Ryder.

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

Replacements: Ciara O’Brien, Megan Cullen, Emily McKeown, Molly Fitzgerald.


Wicklow scorers: Tries: Aoibhin Stone, Sarah Gleeson, Meagan Parkinson
Ballincollig scorers: Tries: Denise Redmond, Katelyn Fleming
HT: Wicklow 5-5 Ballincollig

WICKLOW: Orla O’Neill; Aoibhin Stone, Meagan Parkinson, Sarah Gleeson, Tammy Breen; Beth Roberts, Erin McConnell (co-capt); Lauren Barry, Amy O’Neill (co-capt), Kathy Byrne, Ciara Brennan, Caitlin Griffey, Jessica Schmidt, Emma Curran, Niamh Ni Dhroma.

Replacements: Robyn Mullen, Noelle Ward, Laura Newsome, Nicola Schmidt, Emily Ryan, Karen Douglas, Alexandra Dalton.

BALLINCOLLIG: Lauren Fahey; Michelle Stafford, Mona Fehily, Ellen O’Keeffe; Kelly Griffin, Gemma Lane; Roisin Ormond, Clodagh Walsh, Clare Coombes, Meaghan Kenny, Eimear Perryman, Kira Fitzgerald, Katelyn Fleming, Denise Redmond.

Replacements: Alix Cunneen, Naoise Murray, Laurileigh Baker, Niamh O’Regan, Gillian Coombes, Christine Arthurs, Sarah O’Donovan.


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