AIL Roundup: Women’s Division Round 16

With just two rounds left of the regular Women’s AIL season, second-placed Railway Union moved six points clear of Old Belvedere in the race to reach next month’s final at the Aviva Stadium. UL Bohemian confirmed already to have made one of those spots as mathematically they cannot be caught.

Ballincollig (1T) 5-42 Blackrock College (7T), Tanner Park

Blackrock were impressive as they overcame Ballincollig on the road on Saturday, crossing for seven tries in an impressive outing.

The visitors were a lot sharper in the second half in Tanner Park, the lead at the break was 13-5. Gemma Lane grabbed the only score for Ballincollig in that opening half.

Maggie Boylan crossed for a hat trick while Lisa Mullen, Orla Wafer, Hannah O’Connor, and Catherine Martin also crossed for tries for the visitors. O’Connor also slotted two conversions for Blackrock as Lisa Mullen slotted a penalty.

Old Belvedere (2T) 18-34 Railway Union (5T), Ollie Campbell Park

Railway Union took the advantage over their Dublin counterparts to make the league decider as they produced a strong performance to also confirm UL Bohemian’s spot in the final.

Stephen Costello’s charges had a cagey opening half leading 17-13 at the interval but showed their ruthless nature in front of the posts to power to victory. A bonus point win over The Red Robins would see Railway make the decider with a game to spare.

Tries by Aimee Clarke, Faith Oviawe, Ailsa Hughes and a brace by Niamh Byrne helped Railway to victory. Nikki Caughey struck three conversions and a penalty, putting the Railway out-half on 106 points for the campaign.

Emma Tilly and Megan Edwards crossed for tries for Belvedere and while Jemma Farrell hit a conversion and two penalties they were unable to claw back their opponents in that second half.

Suttonians (4T) 22-19 Galwegians (3T), JJ McDowell Memorial Grounds

Suttonians had a nervy finish to their tie with Galwegians but had enough in the tank to take the result in the finish.

Opening half tries from Lauren Farrell McCabe and Leomie Kloppers along with a conversion from Katelyn Faust had the hosts ahead 12-0 at the break.

Galwegians really came back fighting in the second half, Emma O’Leary crossed for a brace of tries while Orla Dixon also added a try for the visitors, Sinead O’Brien converted both second half tries. Suttonians had tries from Róisín O’Driscoll and Julia O’Connor which proved vital in the bonus point win.

Wicklow (4T) 29-19 Cooke (3T), Ashtown Lane

Wicklow produced a strong showing to overcome Cooke at Ashtown Lane, pushing them away from the bottom spot in the table.

Cooke did take the lead, Aishling O’Connell going over and Amanda Morton converted the score. Wicklow replied well as Robyn Johnston crossed for their opening try converted by Beth Roberts on her 50th AIL start on the half hour mark. Eimear Douglas soon added their second and Roberts converted for a 14-7 lead at the break.

Into the second half and Johnston added her second try to extend the lead to 12 points. Cooke went over for a second in reply, Gemma McCamley with the score and Morton converted. Beth Roberts struck a penalty further the hosts lead and Wicklow added their bonus point inside the final ten minutes Lauren Barry crossed the whitewash and Roberts converted the score. Tara O’Neill added a late consolation try for Cooke at the death.

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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