Defending champions UL Bohemian showed their championship mettle with a convincing 29 – 12 win against their nearest rivals, Railway Union, on Saturday afternoon at the University of Limerick Sports Grounds.
The match was dominated by a strong wind, blowing diagonally across the pitch, towards the Bohs end, and Railway enjoyed the better of the opening half hour as they kept the home side pinned in their own half.
Despite the visitors coming close on a couple of occasions they were unable to break down the well organised Bohs defence and the home side broke upfield for Niamh Kavanagh to claim the opening score to give Bohs a 5 – 0 lead.
Railway hit back and after a period of sustained pressure on the Bohs line Katie O’Dwyer battled over the line to level the game on the stroke of half time.
With the wind behind them Bohs started the second half strongly and full back Aine Staunton scored out wide to give Bohs a 10 – 5 lead within five minutes of the restart.
Some astute tactical kicking from the home side kept Railway pinned in their own 22 and the pressure led to a clearance charge down by Chloe Pearse who regathered the ball to battle over the line for the home sides third try. Edel Murphy added the conversion to push the score to 17 – 5.
Minutes later Bohemian’s took a decisive lead when scrum half Laura O’Mahony spotted a gap in midfield and sprinted through to score under the posts. Murphy again converted to give Bohs a decisive 24 – 5 lead.
Railway finally broke the siege and with Meg Kendal and Emma Taylor to the fore they broke up field for Kendal to score, and Taylor convert, to take the game to 24 – 12 with about ten minutes left.
However it was one of very few incursions into the Bohs half and the home team finished off the game on the attack with wing Laura Sheehan crossing out wide to give Bohs a 29 – 12 bonus point win.
With only four games left in the league this could be a decisive win for Bohs. We’ll have a look at the run in in our Women’s feature on Tuesday plus we have interviews with Bohs Aine Staunton and Railway’s Emma Taylor.