We had expected coverage of three of the games in the opening round of the Women’s All Ireland Cup but due to the continuing disconnect between the IRFU and the women’s game, at all levels, only one of our fixture’s was fulfilled thanks to Malone and Railway Union organising a Friday Night Lights fixture to get their game out of the way ahead of Ireland women’s game against Japan on Saturday.
Unfortunately, the game at Gibson Park, wasn’t a great advert for the state of the women’s game in Ulster as Railway Union, without 9 of their front liners, dispatched Malone by 102 points to nil in as one sided a match as you are going to see.
You could account for the disparity between the two sides as down to the teams being in a disjointed season coming off the back of 18 months of lockdown but in reality it comes down to the fact that Railway invests well in excess of Euro 100,000 in their women’s program per season and there are few clubs in Ulster, or Ireland for that matter, that would match this level of investment.
The Malone players did what they could, there was plenty of effort and commitment, as you would expect, but they were outgunned in every aspect of the game from the well drilled and somewhat ruthless Railway who showed no signs of letting up as the tries rained in from all quarters.
Railway Scored 16 tries in all with Dierdre Roberts and Ava Ryder bagging a hattrick each, Siobhan McCarthy and Keelin Brady added a brace each and the rest came from Nikki Caughey, Steph Carroll, Maggie MacKinnion, Niamh Byrne, Amanda McQuade and Aimee Clarke. Caughey added nine conversions with replacement Hazel Simmons adding two more towards the end.
Malone: Holly Brannigan, Anna Stanfield, Emma Jordan, Sophie Armstrong, Emma Taylor, Peita McAlister, Cara O’Neill, Sarah Murphy, Ashleigh Currie, Chrissie McKee, Hannah Beattie, Rebecca Smyth, Jo McMorris-Cloughley, Amonae Dabbs-Brown, Lauren Maginnes. Replacements: Zoe Cheshire, Jennifer Collins, Erin Jones, Laura Maybin.
Railway Union: Ava Ryder, Stephanie Carroll, Niamh Byrne, Maggie MacKinnon, Emer O’Mahony, Nicole Caughey, Claire Keohane, Amanda McQuade, Chloe Blackmore, Megan Collis, Sonia McDermott, Siobhan McCarthy, Keelin Brady, Molly Boyne, Deirdre Roberts. Replacements: Aimee Clarke, Claire Byrne, Emma Murphy, Clodagh McMahon, Hazel Simmons, Eva Martinez Gil.
Pictures by Bob Given Photography
All Ireland Cup Results: Round 1
|Fri 19 Nov||Malone||0||102||Railway Union||Gibson Park|
|Sat 20 Nov||Co Cavan||10||36||Wicklow||Swellan Park|
|Sat 20 Nov||Kerry||10||20||Galwegians||Tralee|
|Sat 20 Nov||Queen’s University||W||L||Suttonians||Match conceded|
|Sat 20 Nov||Cooke||W||L||Tullamore||Match conceded|
|Sat 20 Nov||Ballincollig||50||0||OLBC||Ballincollig|
|Sun 21 Nov||Tipperary||3||46||Blackrock College||Thurles|
|Sat 18 Dec||Old Belvedere||KO||TBC||UL Bohemian||Ollie Campbell Park|