Old Belvedere's young guns were central to their 24-7 Dublin derby win over Suttonians as they moved to the top of the Energia All-Ireland League Women's Division.
Four members of Leinster’s Under-18 Interprovincial title-winning side from last season, Katie Whelan, Eadaoin Murtagh, Aoife Dalton and Dannah O'Brien, all ran in first half tries at Ollie Campbell Park.
Ever-alert scrum half Whelan scampered over from a quick tap after just two-and-a-half minutes, and some neat passing set up a 19th-minute converted try out wide for winger Murtagh on her first start.
A lovely dummying run from O’Brien saw her send Dalton over on the half hour mark. The Carlow teenager, the league’s top points scorer after the first two rounds, closed out the opening half with her first senior try.
Suttonians had some decent spells of pressure, making good yards through Emily McKeown's speed and the hard carrying of number 8 Shannon Touhey, but Belvedere were clinical when presented with opportunities in the visitors’ 22.
O’Brien showed her footballing skills with a clever chip kick, exposing Sutts in the backfield and she dribbled through twice before dotting down. Her second conversion of the game took her season’s tally to 38 points.
With the bonus point in the bag, Belvedere, who were led superbly well again by Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird, were forced back on the defensive during the third quarter.
Suttonians made it count, Mary Healy with a great burst and well-timed offload for Touhey to cross the whitewash. Out-half Orfhlaith Murray added the extras to the left of the posts.
However, there was no repeat of their four-try second half salvo from last week’s draw with Galwegians. Defences were on top for the remainder, with ‘Belvo successfully negotiating replacement Emma Buckley's sin-bin period.
Meanwhile, Wicklow went very close to upsetting UL Bohemians at home before the former champions edged their way to a 27-24 bonus point victory.
Tries from first-time captain Ella Roberts and Jocelyn Jones (2) had Jason Moreton's charges leading 17-10, but Bohs showed their experience to avoid a third straight defeat.
Second row Claire Bennett touched down twice and Kerry youngster Muirne Wall added the clinching try off the bench. Replacement Lauren Barry barged over late on to give Wicklow a deserved brace of bonus points.
Elsewhere, captain Nicole Fowley notched a try and kicked nine points in Galwegians' 29-5 dismissal of Cooke. She is now top of the division’s scoring charts with 41 points.
Reigning champions Railway union did not have it all their own way but ultimately triumphed 79-0 against Ballincollig, with two tries each from Aoife Doyle, Spanish international flanker Carmen Rodera and Ailsa Hughes.
Hughes ran hard off a ruck and fed Claire Boles for an opening fourth-minute try, and Railway ended the first quarter at Park Avenue with a 10-0 lead after Rodera put Doyle away to the right of the posts.
Ballincollig’s defence succeeded in frustrating the hosts, while jinking out-half Kelly Griffin looked sharp with ball in hand and returning lock Demise Redmond was a powerful carrier.
The Cork side were turned over just metres from the Railway line, though, and back near halfway, Rodera seized the initiative with a quick tap and burst of acceleration to run in under the posts.
Christine Coffey converted and also added the extras to three more tries before half-time, the first of them run in by Doyle after Molly Scuffil-McCabe's initial break and a well-timed inside pass.
Full-back Scuffil-McCabe was rewarded for her trail running, set free by Boles to score from 30 metres out, and hooker Lisa Callan broke in between two defenders to claim try number six and make it 38-0 at the interval.
‘Collig full-back Heather Kennedy hunted down Deirdre Roberts to deny her a try early in the second half, but some crisp passing across the line saw Emerson Allen release blindside Rodera to complete her brace in the 46th minute.
Although Railway suffered a double blow with injuries to Katie O'Dwyer and replacement Nikki Caughey, Stephanie Carroll skillfully fastened onto a Coffey kick to send the supporting Hughes over from inside the visitors’ 22.
Coffey’s conversion saw the Dubliners hit the half-century mark, with Ireland scrum half Hughes duly doubling her tally following Roberts’ quick thinking at a ruck.
A counter ruck saw ‘Collig exposed out wide again in the 63rd minute, Rodera scooping up the ball and feeding winger Ave Ryder for a pacy finish from the visitors’ 10-metre line. Railway’s lead stood at 62 points.
Aoife McDermott provided the assist for replacement Claire Byrne to get on the scoresheet, before good work at the breakdown from replacement Clare Coombes gave Fiona Hayes' team a chance to build something in attack.
Kennedy showed her speed to break down the right wing, yet Railway captain Niamh Byrne brought her down to deny her a try and their own wingers, Ryder and Carroll, responded by bringing them back downfield.
Roberts outmuscled two tacklers to score, with lock McDermott supplying the final pass once more. Coffey knocked over her seventh conversion to make it 74-0 and Kellin Brady squeezed in a final try, set free by a smashing offload from fellow replacement Grainne O'Loughlin.
ENERGIA ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE WOMEN’S DIVISION – ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Saturday, September 24 –
GALWEGIANS 29 COOKE 5, Crowley Park
Scorers: Galwegians: Tries: Laoise McGonagle, Niamh O’Grady, Mairéad Coyne, Nicole Fowley; Cons: Nicole Fowley 3; Pen: Nicole Fowley
Cooke: Try: Helen McGhee
HT: Galwegians 14 Cooke 5
GALWEGIANS: Maria Gorham; Sinead O’Brien, Mairéad Coyne, Emma Keane, Laoise McGonagale; Nicole Fowley (capt), Olivia Haverty; Jessica Loftus, Elizabeth McNicholas, Ellen Connolly, Grace Browne Moran, Dearbhla Canty, Niamh O’Grady, Emily Gavin, Lisa-Marie Murphy.
Replacements: Ruby Lynch, Lea Turner, Faith Oviawe, Jordan Hopkins, Mary Healy, Aoife Williams, Mollie Walsh.
COOKE: Dolores Hughes; Teah Maguire, Lucy Thompson, Kelly McCormill, Megan Edwards; Ashleigh Orchard, Hannah Downey; Ilse van Staden, Megan Simpson, Aishling O’Connell (capt), Gemma McCamley, Cara O’Kane, Stacey Sloan, Naomi McCord, Helen McGhee.
Replacements: Sadhbh McGrath, Eimear McQuillan, Fiona McLaughlan, Amanda Morton, Christy Hill, Georgia Boyce, Tamzin Boyce.
WICKLOW 24 UL BOHEMIANS 27, Ashtown Lane
Scorers: Wicklow: Tries: Ella Roberts, Jocelyn Jones 2, Lauren Barry; Cons: Beth Roberts 2
UL Bohemians: Tries: Eilis Cahill, Alana McInerney, Claire Bennett 2, Muirne Wall; Con: Kate Flannery
HT: Wicklow 12 UL Bohemians 10
WICKLOW: Ella Roberts (capt); Aoibhin Stone, Vicky Elmes Kinlan, Sarah Gleeson, Jocelyn Jones; Beth Roberts, Roisin Stone; Caoimhe Molloy, Maya McDevitt, Linda Dempsey, Caitlin Griffey, Rachel Griffey, Nicola Schmidt, Jessica Schmidt, Emma Curran.
Replacements: Eimear Douglas, Lauren Barry, Orla Molloy, Leah Murphy, Saoirse O’Reilly, Naoise O’Reilly, Jennifer Madden.
UL BOHEMIANS: Aoife Corey; Aoibhe O’Flynn, Alana McInerney, Brianna Heylmann, Laura O’Mahony; Kate Flannery, Abbie Salter-Townsend; Geena Behan, Kate Sheehan, Eilis Cahill, Sarah Garrett, Claire Bennett, Clodagh O’Halloran, Lily Brady, Chloe Pearse (capt).
Replacements: Ciara O’Dwyer, Leah Sweeney, Fiona Reidy, Emma Daly, Ciara Farrell, Muirne Wall, Nina Mathastein.
OLD BELVEDERE 24 SUTTONIANS 7, Ollie Campbell Park
Scorers: Old Belvedere: Tries: Katie Whelan, Éadaoin Murtagh, Aoife Dalton, Dannah O’Brien; Cons: Dannah O’Brien 2
Suttonians: Try: Shannon Touhey; Con: Órfhlaith Murray
HT: Old Belvedere 24 Suttonians 0
OLD BELVEDERE: Aine Donnelly; Elise O’Byrne-White, Aoife Dalton, Jenny Murphy, Éadaoin Murtagh; Dannah O’Brien, Katie Whelan; Melissa Hayden, Rachel Murphy, Aine Rutley, Clodagh Dunne, Elaine Anthony, Fiona Tuite, Niamh O’Dowd, Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (capt).
Replacements: Jennie Finlay, Emma Buckley, Hannah Wilson, Rachel Winters, Laura Canty, Jemma Farrell, Minonna Nunstedt.
SUTTONIANS: Sophie Gibney; Molly Fitzgerald, Annie Buntine, Catherine Martin (capt), Emily McKeown; Órfhlaith Murray, Lena Kibler; Grainne Tummon, Julia O’Connor, Mary Healy, Brenda Barr, Roisin O’Driscoll, Ciara Spencer, Louise Catinot, Shannon Touhey.
Replacements: Aoife Brennan, Ailish Carroll, Janita Kareta, Nicola Bolger, Jools Aungier, Soneva Scott.
RAILWAY UNION 79 BALLINCOLLIG 0, Park Avenue
Scorers: Railway Union: Tries: Claire Boles, Aoife Doyle 2, Carmen Rodera 2, Molly Scuffil-McCabe, Lisa Callan, Ailsa Hughes 2, Ava Ryder, Claire Byrne, Deirdre Roberts, Keelin Brady; Cons: Christine Coffey 7
HT: Railway Union 38 Ballincollig 0
RAILWAY UNION: Molly Scuffil-McCabe; Aoife Doyle, Niamh Byrne, Deirdre Roberts, Ava Ryder; Christine Coffey, Ailsa Hughes; Lindsay Peat, Lisa Callan, Katie O’Dwyer, Emerson Allen, Aoife McDermott, Carmen Rodera, Kate McCarthy, Claire Boles.
Replacements: Chloe Blackmore, Grainne O’Loughlin, Claire Byrne, Keelin Brady, Molly Boyne, Stephanie Carroll, Nikki Caughey.
BALLINCOLLIG: Heather Kennedy; Michelle O’Driscoll, Christine Arthurs, Meaghan Kenny, Kira Fitzgerald; Kelly Griffin, Mona Fehily; Roisin Ormond, Clodagh Walsh (capt), Aoife Flynn, Gillian Coombes, Denise Redmond, Caolainn Healy, Katelyn Fleming, Tiare Siguenza.
Replacements: Tamsin Richards, Orla Rea, Clare Coombes, Sarah Cronin, Aoife Buckley, Michelle Stafford, Sinéad O’Reilly.
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