Old Belvedere women went one step further than their men with a 17 – 21 win against Malone women at Gibson Park on a cold and dank Saturday evening.
Malone started the game strongly with Shirelle Wilson leading the way as they kept Old Belvedere pinned in their own half for the bulk of the first quarter despite the visitors having a strong wind at their backs. The pressure told and Wilson sent Lauren Maginnes through for their first unconverted try after 20 minutes.
Malone kept up their quick tempo game and some strong running from Neve Jones, Peita McAlister and Alexa Grudgings created space for Anna Standfield to send Ella Durkan clear to score their second try out wide, just past the half hour mark.
A somewhat chastened Old Belvedere finally got their act together and a quick penalty saw their flyer Elise O’Byrne White break free minutes later for a long range try converted by Jemma Jackson to take the score to 10 – 7 as the teams changed ends.
As in most of the games today, the team playing into the strong wind enjoyed the bulk of possession and Old Belvedere took full advantage with Alison Miller and Clodagh Dunne both crossing for tries, expertly converted by Jackson in difficult conditions, pushing the score along to 10 – 21 midway through the second half.
However, a sensational late break from Durkan saw the talented full back leave the defence for dead to rescue a well deserved losing bonus for Malone. Grudgings, who had her best game with the ball in hand, added the extras to finish the game.
Final Score: Malone 17 Old Belvedere 21.