AIL Roundup: Women’s Division 1

Round 1 of the AIL Women’s League, gave us plenty of action and excitement, with Galwegians and Blackrock College both putting up big scores on the opening day.

Just three games went ahead in Round 1, following Malone’s departure it left four games down for decision, the passing of Queen Elizabeth II brought a hault to all sporting actives across the UK< meaning Ulster based side Cooke RFC had to postpone their meeting with Suttonians.

On the pitch Old Belvedere started their year of with a slender 14-5 win over UL Bohemian, Dannah O’Brien continuing to impress kicking three penalties to give them victory. Having got her Ireland debut last month, she came off the bench to land three penalties in the second half, Lesley Ring’s try had given them the advantage, but her kicking proved the insurance.

Clodagh O’Halloran crossed for a second half unconverted try, their only score of the tie, an early defeat for the Limerick outfit with Railway Union next on the agenda, they will bid for better success next time out.

Galwegians put 12 tries past Ballincollig with a comprehensive 74-0 bonus point win at Crowley Park. Ballincollig with some new facers in the setup, had a real baptism of fire against the Galway side, trailing by 41 points at the break, they could not get a foot in the tie.

Winger Laoise McGonagle had an exhibition in attack, finishing with four tries for the afternoon, while there were braces from Sarah O’Connell and Niamh O’Grady. Nicole Fowley on her first day as captain of Wegians kicked seven conversions from the tee, as they lay a mark down early.

Blackrock College were the second to get a bonus point victory at the weekend, but had to work for it against a spirited Wicklow team. Wicklow were ahead 10-5 in the opening half as Ella Roberts scored a superb try, however Maeve Liston and Lisa Mullen both touched down for a 12-10 lead at the interval.

Further Tries by Ali Coleman and Michelle Claffey secured the bonus point early in the second half, despite Saoirse O’Reilly crossing for another converted try to leave the score 24-17, Blackrock would see out the remainder in convincing fashion.

Diarmuid Kearney is a freelance Sports Journalist based in Co Kerry. He has more than 5 years experience covering domestic and international soccer for different media organisations, while also working for local and national print and digital organisations covering GAA.

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