It was mixed fortunes for the Ulster sides in Week 2 of the Women’s AIL.
In AIL 1 Ulster’s top club, Cooke, suffered another hammering, this time at the hands of Highfield with the Belfast side going down 65 – 0. With a lot of new players in the club I suppose it’s just a case of grin and bear it for the Cookies as they try and build up experience! There will be easier games down the line.
AIL 2 saw four Ulster sides come up against each other with Cavan hosting Belfast Harlequins and Enniskillen travelling to, league newcomers, Queen’s University.
Ashleigh Baxter ran in three tries for Quins in their comprehensive 43 -0 win at Cavan. Zoe Templeton added a brace to the four she scored last week and Danni Boyd and Isle Van Staden pitched in with one a piece, Nikki Caughey converted four of the seven tries. While always welcoming, Co Cavan RFC is never an easy place to get a result so this was a big win for the Quins girls who are setting an impressive standard this season and are fully deserving of their top spot in the league.
They may face some stiff competition down the line from league newcomers Queen’s University who got their season off to a winning start with an impressive 43 – 10 victory against a physical Enniskillen in our featured match.
The students got off to a flying start at The Dub with Aiofe Walsh crossing the line for the opening score before I could get my camera out of the bag. Jemma Jackson converted from in front of the posts and Queen’s lead 7 – 0 after 5 minutes.
Despite Enniskillen creating a few overlaps they failed to take advantage and with Queen’s dominating the scrum and the lineout, and playing with a strong wind at their backs, the students kept the visitors pinned in their own half.
Further tries came from Kirsty Wright, Steffi Clarke, Aoife Walsh and Jemma Jackson with Jackson converting her own try to take the half time score to Queen’s 29 Enniskillen 0.
Enniskillen enjoyed more possession and territory in the second half but they struggled to cope with the pace of the Queen’s back line and the students worked their way up-field for two more scores with Clarke going over for her second try of the afternoon and Walsh for her third with Jackson converting both to take the score to 43 – 0.
Enniskillen can take some comfort out of their strong finish to the game and with their refusal to buckle under. The impressive Collette McMorrow was the first to cross the line for the visitors after some good play from the pack and the experienced Brenda Brogan sneaked in for their second with an intercept as Queen’s tried to run from deep.
Queens: Catherine Mallon, Paula Fahy, Michelle Fiddis, Colette Broome, Janine Mullan, Heather Cegla, Gemma McCutcheon, Dayna Jost, Imogen Porter, Cathy Craig (C), Claire McLaughlin, Jemma Jackson, Stephanie Clarke, Kirsty Wright, Aoife Walsh, Moya Lee, Grace Cole, Danielle Williamson, Emma Boyd, Natalie Smyth.
Enniskillen: Etna Flanaghan, Leanne Hall, Brenda Brogan, Shauna Hall, Paula Cadden, Caoimhe Morris, Noreen Neathercott, Collette McMorrow, Helen Carleton, Wendy Rogers, Leona Hallet, Shauna McMorrow, Alice Swan, Clare Brogan, Ashling Maguire, Emma Grey.