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Week 2 of the Women’s All Ireland League saw home wins for Blackrock and Galwegians with UL Bohemians and Old Belvedere picking up vital away wins. 

Once again our featured match, Galwegians v Cooke was the closest encounter of the weekend with the home side winning by a solitary point in a fourteen try thriller in Galway. (Pictures below.) 

Galwegians 44 Cooke 43

Having driven down from Belfast to Galway in pouring rain it was with surprise and relief that I was greeted by strong sunlight on arrival at Crowley Park. The near perfect conditions certainly effected the teams who served up a feast of rugby with the match full of incident from the first to the last minute. 

The lead changed hands ten times in this thriller with fourteen tries scored in total. The telling statistic was Galwegians bagging eight tries to Cooke’s six though Cooke’s Jemma Jackson was prolific from the tee converting five of their tries to Galwegians two. Jackson also contributed a late penalty. 

Galwegians opened the scoring and it looked like Cooke would close it when Jackson knocked over the penalty to give Cooke a six point lead with a minute remaining. however up popped Nicole Fowley to race under the posts leaving Claire Rafferty a simple, but crucial, conversion to steal the game. Rafferty’s nerves held, the conversion giving the hosts that all important one point win. 

For the second week running Eliza Downey was the star player for Cooke, the fan’s favourite bagging three tries this time round. Teah Maguire and Sorcha Mac Laimhin also crossed for the visitors but the try of the game came from Cooke captain Shirelle Wilson who started and ended a wonderful flowing move from Cooke’s 22, finishing up under the posts. 

Blackrock 5 St Mary’s 0

St Mary’s second half revival last week obviously stuck with them as they defended heroically in this closely contested Dublin derby. 

Blackrock’s Naimh Griffin was the difference between the teams with the scrum half grabbing the only score of the game. 

Highfield 3 Old Belvedere 24

Reigning champions Old Belvedere join Galwegians at the top of the table after recording a bonus point win at Highfield with new signing Alison Millar going one better than last week with a hat-trick of tries in this game. Sophie Spence also crossed for the visitors. 

It’s early days yet but Belvo are looking like the team to beat after strong signings over the summer. 

Railway Union 12 UL Bohemians 15

It was another one score defeat for Highfield who are this season’s unluckiest side in the AIL, this time going down by three points to last week’s big scorers UL Boh’s. 

Ulster and Ireland’s Nikki Caughey scored all the points for the home side, knocking over four penalties to give Union a 12 – 8 lead before Anna Caplice crossed for the winning try after a first half effort from Liz Burke. Edel Murphy made the conversion after landing a first half penalty. 

After Week 2 the table looks like this: 

Pos Team Pl W D L F A Diff TB LB Pts
1 Old Belvedere 2 2 0 0 48 3 45 2 0 10
2 Galwegians 2 2 0 0 85 48 37 2 0 10
3 U.L. Bohemian 2 2 0 0 70 12 58 1 0 9
4 Cooke 2 1 0 1 57 51 6 1 1 6
5 Blackrock 2 1 0 1 5 24 -19 0 0 4
6 Railway Union RFC 2 0 0 2 19 29 -10 0 2 2
7 St. Mary’s 2 0 0 2 5 46 -41 0 1 1
8 Highfield 2 0 0 2 3 79 -76 0 0 0


Featured Gallery: Galwegians v Cooke


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