Round 5 of the Women’s All Ireland League got off to a disappointing start with the top of the table clash between Railway Union and UL Bohemian cancelled early Saturday morning due to storm Brian.

Normal service resumed on Sunday with the remaining three fixtures taking pace as scheduled with Cooke and Old Belvedere taking advantage to close the gap on the leaders.

Our featured match was the clash between Tullamore and Cooke at Spollanstown with the visitors coming away with a 0 – 22 win in a scrappy match, typified by the hosts playing with their strip turned inside out due to a colour clash.

Cooke started sharply with Eliza Downey crossing for an early try, converted by Jemma Jackson. The Belfast outfit had to work harder for their second but strong running by Ilse van Staden and Beth Cregan kept them on the front foot. the ball was kept alive through several phases and Teah Maguire finished off with an unconverted try.

Maguire was on hand again, just before half time, this time taking advantage of space created by a loop by Jemma Jackson. Jackson missed the conversion to leave the score at Tullamore 0 Cooke 17 at the break.

The expectations were for Cooke to push on in the second half, but the resilient Tullamore defence largely kept them at bay. Frustration led to indiscipline and two Cooke players ended up in the bin as Tullamore enjoyed a good spell.

However, with time running out, and the Cooke contingent fully restored, an extended play involving both forwards and backs ended with Brittany Hogan crossing out wide for that all important bonus point try, the game ending with the score reading Tullamore 0 Cooke 22.

Both teams wore wristbands, with #LEGACY wrote large, in protest at the IRFU’s downgrading of the Women’s XV programme post the 2017 World Cup.

In the other #LEGACY games this weekend Old Belvedere continued their rich vein of form with a 57 – 0 win against Blackrock at Anglesea Road with Ulster’s Kathryn Dane amongst the scorers and Highfield came from behind to secure a 15 all draw at Galwegians.

The results leave the Women’s AIL Table as follows:

Team Pl W D L F A Diff TB LB Pts
U.L. Bohemian 4 4 0 0 154 38 116 4 0 20
Railway Union RFC 4 4 0 0 261 23 238 3 0 19
Cooke 5 4 0 1 99 32 67 2 0 18
Old Belvedere 5 3 0 2 149 53 96 3 1 16
Highfield 5 1 1 3 64 109 -45 2 1 9
Galwegians 5 1 1 3 49 182 -133 1 0 7
Blackrock 5 1 0 4 63 191 -128 1 0 5
Tullamore 5 0 0 5 32 243 -211 0 1 1


Pictures from Tullamore v Cooke below.