UL Bohs, Railway Union and Blackrock record huge wins on opening weekend

The new amalgamated Kerry team made an immediate splash in Munster Conference 1.

UL BOHEMIANS, RAILWAY Union and Blackrock College showed their All-Ireland League class with a glut of tries during the opening round of the Women’s Energia Community Series.

Louise Galvin, who recently announced her retirement from international Sevens rugby, touched down during UL Bohemians’ 57-0 nine-try win over Shannon/LIT. Galvin and Niamh Kavanagh formed a strong-running centre pairing.

Full-back Aoife Corey claimed a hat-trick of tries with the rest of the scores coming from Laura O’Mahony (2), Ciara O’Halloran, Galvin, Kavanagh and Sarah O’Gorman. Flanker Edel Murphy finished with six conversions.

aoife-corey Aoife Corey scored a hat-trick for UL Bohs (file photo). Tom O'Hanlon / INPHO Tom O'Hanlon / INPHO / INPHO

According to experienced loosehead Fiona Reidy, it was UL’s young guns who really shone. “Sarah O’Gorman was awarded the player-of-the-match for a brilliant performance from a young prop,” she said. “Alana McInerney, on the left wing, and Aoife Corey both stood out in an experienced back-line.”

The Leinster Conference took centre stage on Saturday evening and Railway Union and Blackrock College both hit the ground running. Ireland Sevens star Eve Higgins scored two of Railway’s 10 tries in a comprehensive 62-3 victory over Suttonians at Station Road.

Winger Cat Galvin kicked Sutts’ only points, while Railway’s Ireland Sevens-capped flanker Anna McGann starred with a hat-trick of tries. Grace Moore, Katie Heffernan, Molly Scuffil-McCabe, Meaghan Kenny and Deirdre Roberts also crossed the whitewash, with Nikki Caughey kicking six conversions.

Railway’s director of rugby John Cronin commented: “Megan Collis, Alex McGuinness and Orla Hayes are all 18-year-olds who made their senior debuts against Suttonians after an impressive pre-season. Collis is a product of Greystones, McGuinness with Wicklow and Hayes from Ashbourne.

julia-oconnor-and-anna-mcgann Anna McGann of Railway Union and Suttonians’ Julia O’Connor. Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

“The back row were excellent with number 8 Grace Moore dominant in contact and scoring a fine individual try. Anna McGann capped an energetic performance with her three tries, including one in the last play of the game.”

A number of players who have been part of the IRFU Women’s Development pathway, including current Sevens international Megan Burns, registered tries in Blackrock’s 61-0 defeat of AIL newcomers Wicklow. Former Ballinasloe backs Aoibheann Reilly (2) and Meabh Deely had a try-scoring impact too.

Kerry, a new amalgamated team made up of players from Abbeyfeale, Killarney, Listowel and Tralee, made an immediate splash in Munster Conference 1. Two late tries from impressive duo Laoise O’Driscoll and Meabh McElligott closed out a  24-5 home win for Kieran O’Reilly’s side against Ballincollig.

Kerry captain Anna Murphy was delighted that they ‘clicked so well’ on such an historic occasion, praising the defensive grit and organisation they showed when facing into against a strong wind in the second half. Ballincollig were 14-5 behind at the break with centre Christine O’Sullivan scoring their try.

Ballincollig director of rugby Denis Stevenson said: “There were some very good individual performances with (front rowers) Aoife Flynn and Orla Rea carrying very well into the wind. When we got the ball, winger Heather Kennedy made good ground.

“Roisin Ormond continued to have a strong performance from the base of the scrum. (Fellow back rower) Eimear Perryman was also excellent in the lineout. Unfortunately, inexperience showed in the end and those very late tries for a 24-5 scoreline didn’t reflect the effort we gave throughout the game.”

meabh-mcelligott Kerry's Meabh McElligott pictured in Munster colours (file photo). Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

Listowel starlet McElligott, who played for the Ireland Under-18 Sevens team last year, shone in the centre for Kerry. She scored a try in each half, her first coming in the 12th minute as the hosts’ tactic of nudging kicks in behind the Ballincollig defence paid off.

Number 10 Laoise O’Driscoll led the scoring with a handsome 14 points, landing three first-half penalties and reaching over in the corner for the first of those late tries. McElligott completed her brace in the dying minutes, while number 8 Lisa Marie Murphy and prop Maura Collins were the best of the Kerry forwards.

The only match that went ahead in Ulster finished in a 26-0 bonus point victory for Cooke at Belfast rivals Malone. Hanna Harris, Ilse van Staden, Teah Maguire and Aishling O’Connell shared out the tries with Amanda Morton booting three conversions.

Leinster Conference:

Suttonians 3 Railway Union 62, Station Road
Wicklow 0 Blackrock College 61, Ashtown Lane
Old Belvedere – Bye

Munster Conference 1:

UL Bohemians 57 Shannon/LIT 0, University of Limerick 4G pitch
Kerry 24 Ballincollig 5, Abbeyfeale 

Munster Conference 2:

Ennis v Kilrush, Lea Road (Match postponed)
Thurles v Skibbereen, Loughtagalla (Match cancelled – 0-0. Both teams are awarded two points)

Ulster Conference:

Malone 0 Cooke 26, Gibson Park
Queen’s University v City of Derry, Dub Lane (Match cancelled – 0-0. Both teams are awarded two points)
Cavan – Bye.

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