Retired Ireland prop Lindsay Peat kicked off Railway Union’s run of three unanswered second half tries during a 24-5 bonus point victory away to UL Bohemians.
Railway began their Energia All-Ireland League Women’s Division title defence with a tough assignment, but Peat, who is now also the club’s scrum coach, steered them in the right direction.
The Dubliners drew first blood through flanker Molly Boyne, but UL manufactured a tremendous 20-metre maul try, driving prop Geena Behan over to make it five points apiece at the break.
Emerson Allen’s lineout steal, and a charging run by Lisa Callan, paved the way for Peat to restore Railway’s lead, yet it was not until the closing stages that John Cronin’s charges made certain of the result.
Ireland Sevens international Anna McGann showed her speed to finish off an excellent 80-minute breakaway effort, before number 8 Deirdre Roberts converted some late pressure for try number four.
Meanwhile, Ellen Connolly’s late try was converted by captain Nicole Fowley as Galwegians drew 31-all with Suttonians to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.
'Wegians already had a game under their belts and showed the benefit of it at the Station Road venue. They surged into a 24-7 half-time lead thanks to tries from Sinead O’Brien, Lea Turner, Dearbhla Canty and out-half Fowley, who finished with 11 points.
Australian recruit Annie Buntine and her new centre partner, Sutts skipper Catherine Martin, got among the tries as Stephen Costelloe’s talented side recaptured the form which saw them win last season’s Conference crown.
Nonetheless, there was still enough time for tighthead prop Connolly to cross right at the death and Fowley, just inside the 22 and to the left of the posts, held her nerve to land the levelling conversion.
Ballincollig suffered a second heavy defeat, going down 85-10 at home to Old Belvedere. Ireland starlet Dannah O’Brien kicked 10 conversions, while Clare Gorman (4) and captain Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (3) led the ‘Belvo try-scoring.
Ireland’s Enya Breen made her Blackrock College debut during the second half of their 40-7 triumph over Cooke at Stradbrook. A fifth-minute try from skipper Michelle Claffey set ‘Rock on their way to a 21-0 interval advantage.
The home pack did the donkey work at maul time for try number two, scored by scrum half Maeve Liston, and quick hands released Doyle for the third. Ireland-capped full-back Méabh Deely tagged on the three conversions.
Replacement Dolores Hughes did get Cooke on the board, but yellow cards for Claffey, who had jinked over for the bonus point try, and Doyle failed to derail Blackrock in what was a six-try success for the new table toppers.
Deely made it over in the corner following an Eimear Corri break, Hughes hit back for the Belfast club, and fleet-footed winger Doyle completed her brace with a searing intercept effort from 65 metres out.
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