I’d predicted that Railway would win this one but when I arrived at Park Avenue and viewed a bristling Boh’s side warming up, full of intent, I began to have my doubts. I shouldn’t have doubted myself because, boy oh boy, those Park Avenue Princesses have added iron girders to their tutus and, from 1 to 23, they gave the mean red machine a bit of a working over.
Both teams got their hits in early in this immensely physical game but after rebuffing early pressure from Boh’s it was Railway who claimed the first score with the impressive Katie O’Dwyer going over after a couple of dabs at the line following an attacking line out. Nikki Caughey added the extras and two minutes later she stepped up to send over a penalty to give Railway a 10 – 0 lead which they took into the second quarter.
The expected response from Bohs was blunted by the hard hitting Railway defence and with Caughey and Ailsa Hughes keeping Railway on the front foot, and in the Boh’s red zone, they crossed twice more with Dee Roberts battling over before Caughey sent Niamh Byrne through for the fourth. Caughey converted the first to give Railway a 22 – 0 lead on the half hour mark.
Boh’s finally got some time in Railway territory in the last 10 minutes of the half but despite incessant battering of the Railway defence they had to settle for 3 points, from the boot of Nicole Cronin, to give a score of 22 – 3 in Railway’s favour as the teams changed ends.
Boh’s piled on the pressure at the start of the second half and Sarah Quin crashed over at the second attempt. Cronin added the extras to pull the score back to 22 – 10 and a Boh’s comeback was on the cards.
However a second try from Robert’s, minutes later, seemed to settle the game and the boot of Caughey took over. The Leinster (pah) out-half produced two sublime cross-field kicks the first sending Aoife Doyle over and the second nearly doing the same again until stopped by the scrambling Boh’s defence. However, the second was worked back in-field for Stephanie Carroll to score on the opposite wing, giving a remarkable 37 – 10 win to Railway.
Railway Union: Aoife O Shaughnessy, Aoife Doyle, Niamh Byrne, Maggie MacKinnon, Stephanie Carroll, Nicole Caughey, Ailsa Hughes, Grainne O’Loughlin, Chloe Blackmore, Katie O’Dwyer, Aoife McDermott, Siobhan McCarthy, Emma Murphy, Deirdre Roberts, Kate McCarthy. Replacements: Megan Collis, Lindsay Peat, Keelin Brady, Molly Scuffil McCabe, Claire Keohane
UL Bohemian: Aoife Corey, Stephanie Nunan, Alana McInerney, Rachel Allen, Helen McDermott, Nicole Cronin, Muirne Wall, Chloe Pearse, Kate Sheehan, Fiona Reidy, Claire Bennett, Sarah Garrett, Clodagh O’Halloran, Edel Murphy, Ciara Griffin, , Replacements: Lily Brady, Eilís Cahill, Laura Delaney, Michelle Ring, Sarah Quin, Louise Costello, Abbie Salter-Townshend