Malone RFC Women’s team missed out on promotion to the AIL after a narrow defeat to Suttonians RFC Women on Saturday afternoon at Donnybrook.
Due to a series of unfortunate events we didn’t get down to Donnybrook but we were kept up to date by Team FRU member Brittany Hogan who had a day off from her Ireland Sevens duties.
It looked for a while that it would be Malone that would go through as they led 20 – 17 at the end of the third quarter but a second try from Suttonians Nicole Purdom, converted by Sophie Gibney, pushed the Dublin side back in front with fifteen minutes to go and they were able to hold on to their four point lead with a degree of comfort.
Malone coach Grace Davitt pulled on her boots for this one and she opened the scoring after 20 minutes with a try and conversion to give the Belfast side a 7 – 0 lead,
Suttonians responded minutes later with Purdom crossing for her first score, converted by Nicole Carroll, to tie the game and the Leinster champions went into the lead before the break through an unconverted try from full back Gibney.
The teams turned round with the score at 12 all after Peita McAlister crossed for Malone for an unconverted try.
Davitt kicked Malone into a 15 -12 lead before Suttonians Lindsey Mayo crossed for a controversial try minutes later. In a flurry of scoring, Jasmine Ward crossed to restore Malone’s three point lead going into the final quarter.
However it didn’t last long with Purdom and Gibney combining to give Suttonians their four point lead shortly after,
MALONE: Holly Brannigan, Anna Stanfield, Ella Durkan, Peita McAlister, Jasmine Ward, Grace Davitt, Jenna McKeown, Sarah Murphy, Neve Jones, Susan Kane, Gemma McCamley, Naomi McCord, Eimear Hagan, Shirelle Wilson, Lauren Maginnes. Replacements: Nichole Hutchinson, Rebecca Lawlor, Ashleigh Currie, Zarah Joyce-Ryan, Fern Wilson, Brogain Ni Chiarain, Sara Houston.
SUTTONIANS: Sophie Gibney; Lindsey Mayo, Catherine Martin, Kerry Browne, Meabh O’Brien; Nicole Carroll, Tina Aprahamian; Lexi Higginbotham, Julia O’Connor, Julia Bauer, Roisin O’Driscoll, Grainne Tummon, Katie Grant Duggan, Sue Shirley, Nicole Purdom. Replacements: Amber Chandu, Orlaith Phelan, Catherine Murphy, Aislinn Layde, Lindsey Mahoney, Precious Jere, Leona Byrne.
Suttonians will now join and increasingly Dublin centred AIL joining, Railway Union, Old Belvedere, Blackrock and St Mary’s who will be looking to fight off the provincial challenges from UL Bohemian (Munster), Cooke (Ulster) and Galwegians (Connacht).