Wednesday, September 26, 2012

11-try Highfield lead the way in Women’s AIL

Every Wednesday morning Sarah Lennon keeps us up to date on the Women’s game in Ireland.

Women's Rugby column

The women's AIL Division 1 got off to a ferocious start at the weekend with 4 of the eight teams streaking out of the blocks to lay down early markers. This season there are only 7 league games so every fixture is crucial and already there are some indicators of how the league may pan out.

First to defending champions UL Bohemians who took on St Mary's in Annacotty. It's not often that a 46-0 win in the opening game would see you placed fourth in the table, but that is exactly what happened this week. The Robins scored had secured a bonus point win within half an hour and in total scored 8 tries through Niamh Kavanagh with a hat-trick, Liz Bourke on her debut, Claire Keohane, Fiona Hayes, Jeanette Feighery and Olivia Stapleton. Claire Keohane was also on hand to add two conversions.

Next up for Bohs is Galweigans, who secured a bonus point win of their own with a hugely impressive 69-12 win in Belfast against Cooke. Unbothered by the 4 hour drive, the current AIL Cup holders ran in eleven tries in total. Considering that Galwaigans scored 130 points in the whole of last season, they have already scored half as many and would look to be a force to be reckoned with this season. Next weeks tie versus Bohs in Crowley Park Galway promises to be a humdinger.

In Dublin, newly promoted Tralee took on Old Belvedere. It was to prove to be a difficult debut for the Kerry team and Old Belvedere opened the scoring early through Ailis Egan, tries followed through Janice Daly, Nora Stapleton, Jenny Murphy, Carol Murphy and Jane Murphy with Elaine Cohalan adding conversions and a penalty. The final score in this match was a 53-0 win for Old Belvedere, but this was still only the the third highest score of the weekend.

Top spot in the division after round one goes to Highfield, who I mentioned last week will be determined to shake off the bridesmaids tag. Their 69-3 win against Blackrock must go down as somewhat of a surprise, certainly how comprehensive this defeat was for Blackrock in Stradbrook. 11 tries in total for Highfield with 7 converted and the sole Blackrock reply was a penalty midway through the second half.

Highfield will host Cooke next week as the Ulster outfit look to bounce back, it is difficult to see anything other than a home win there and Tralee and Blackrock will play each other in Kerry with one team able to get off the mark for the season, rounding up next week's performances will be St Mary's V Old Belvedere in the season's first Dublin derby.

In Division 2N, Navan RFC pipped a win over Cavan by 18-15 but trail Belfast Harlequins after one game and New Ross got an excellent narrow win over Young Munster by 24-19. Shannon defeated Ballincollig to go top.

I'm delighted to report that the Women's rugby results section is now up and running on the Leinster Rugby Domestic page, this should make reults and fixtures easier to compile.

In Leinster Division 1 , Edenderry continue to lead the way with two bonus point wins out of two, Cill Dara are following closely behind and these two teams face off in the next round. In Division 2 Both Kilkenny and Old Belvedere J1 opened their accounts with a win with Kilkenny topping the table thanks to a bonus point win in Enniscorthy. In Division 3 Arklow scored a big win against near rivals and debutantes Wicklow and fellow debutantes Railway Union scored an impressive 27 unanswered points against Mullingar. There was only one match played in Division 4 which is a worrying sign this early, in that match Newbridge beat athy 14-0.

There were a few postponed matches across the 4 divisions and in particular Division 4 and hopefully this is down to teething problems, rather than anything more significant.

In conclusion, the Leinster squad for this season's Interpro series has been named. Leinster are looking to defend that title that they won against Munster last season when the series kicks off in December. Maz Reilly of Old Belvedere has been named as captain of what is a fresh looking squad. In total there are 9 Belvo players in the 24 woman squad, with 5 from Blackrock, 3 from UL Bohemian, 2 from Garda, 2 St Marys and a single Navan and Railway Union representative. Congratulations to all the women who have been selected and I will be reporting on the series later on in the year.

Sarah Lennon (@sarahlennon08) is passionate about all things rugby. A Leinster Season Ticket holder since the Donnybrook days, a supporter of the Irish teams home and abroad and can regularly be seen cheering on Junior Rugby at Stillorgan RFC (a labour of love). As well as spectating, she dabbles in playing a bit and is a member of Old Belvedere RFC and fully paid up member of the front row union.

Blog Archive