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Champs UL Bohs run riot ahead of table-topping clash in Dublin next weekend

Table-toppers UL set themselves up nicely for their trip to face second-placed Railway.

Women’s All-Ireland League Round 4

Allison Miller Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Old Belvedere 49 Tullamore 0, Anglesea Road
Blackrock 6 Railway Union 62, Stradbrook
Highfield 0-7 Cooke, Woodleigh Park
UL Bohs 48-7 Galwegians, Annacotty

THE OLD BELVEDERE Women got back to winning ways in no uncertain terms at Anglesea Road on Saturday. The Dublin outfit scored at will throughout the game and were fully deserving winners, but Tullamore will feel they were far more competitive than the scoreline suggests.

The winners were powered by Jenny Murphy and Alison Miller in the back-line and were always in charge as the scoreboard ticked along quite nicely. Three early tries got the home side up and running in the first quarter and they never looked back.

Tullamore, who are still searching for their maiden All-Ireland League victory, welcomed back Rose Dunne and Kate Conway for this one and despite the scoreline, the Offaly side were pleased with their performance in the middle third of the match.

They created a number of scoring opportunities and made some telling line-breaks but failed to trouble the scoreboard. The home side finished strongly to seal a confidence-boosting home win.

Blackrock’s first home league game of the season did not deliver the result they were hoping for as rampant Railway Union ran in ten tries.

‘Rock are currently embedding a new system which is in its infancy and while the result went against them, assistant coach Joe Halpin believes that the benefits will be seen very soon.

Thei hosts’ scores came courtesy of two Hannah O’Connor penalties while Manuela ‘Nini’ McCarthy and Mairead Holohan were very impressive in set piece and loose play as the ‘Rock scrum worked well.

However, Railway were much more clinical in attack as Rachel Healy, Larissa Muldoon, Cliodhna Moloney, Ciara Cooney and Melissa Slevin all crossed the whitewash, while Ailsa Hughes bagged a brace of tries and captain Meg Kendal scored a hat-trick. Claire Ryan added six conversions and Kendal said afterwards that she was happy with her side’s display.

“We played well at times and were happy to keep ‘Rock try-less. We did lose our urgency a bit in the second half and got a bit loose which was disappointing. We’ll go through the video on Tuesday and work on this,” she said. “We’ll integrate our Irish Sevens players back this week and are really looking forward to welcoming UL Bohs to Sandymount next Saturday. It should be a great game.”

Cooke were in fine form as they left Cork with a hard-fought 7-0 win over their Highfield hosts. As the scoreline suggests, there was very little to choose between the sides throughout and it was a real battle for possession and territory.

Highfield came into the match buoyed by their triumph over Tullamore last time out but they could not break down a Cooke defensive barrier that refused to yield at any stage. The Belfast side took pride in protecting their line and won the game thanks to a try from Teah Maguire which was converted by Jemma Jackson.

Highfield tried everything they knew to balance the scores but Cooke, who had Ilse van Staden and Alanagh Chipperfield to the fore, were in no mood to leave Cork with anything other than victory.

Reigning champions UL Bohemians recorded an impressive 41-point success against Galwegians at Annacotty while running in eight tries.

Bohs secured the bonus point in the first half after two tries from Anna Caplice and one apiece from Mairead Kelly and Niamh Kavanagh. Edel Murphy added two conversions and the scoreboard read 24-0 at the interval.

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At times the game lacked intensity, but there was always great skill and endeavour on view. Influential back rower Caplice completed her hat-trick early in the second half and was followed over the whitewash by Syphonia Pua and Aine Staunton.

Galwegians replied when their international full-back Mairead Coyne got over for a try, converted by Denise Redmond. The Blue Belles rallied at that stage with Amelie Roux, Edel ‘Tricky’ McMahon, Redmond and new cap Oceane Plet all prominent.

However, table-topping Bohemians got back on track again near the end when Chloe Pearse got over for a fine try to seal the deal and set the champions up nicely for their much-anticipated trip to the capital to take on second-placed Railway next weekend. Just a single point separates the sides at the summit.

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