It was another exciting week in the Women’s All Ireland League with Belfast outfit Cooke Women RFC returning to winning ways with a hard fought win in Cork on Sunday afternoon.

Cooke fullback Teah Maguire crossed for the only try of the game and Jemma Jackson converted to give Cooke a 0 – 7 win against Highfield.

Cooke started the game strong with big carries from Ilse van Staden and Lauren Maginnes keeping Cooke on the front foot. The visitors patience payed off with some good handling getting the ball to the wing for Maguire to cross. Jemma Jackson converted to take the score to 7-0.

The weather conditions appeared to disrupt Cooke’s fluency, which allowed Highfield to get back into the game. However Cookes defence remained strong with big tackles from Claire McLaughlin and Peita McAlister pushing Highfield back, the first half ending without further score.

The third quarter saw the momentum shift as Highfield enjoyed the majority of possession, pinning Cooke in their 22. The Belfast sides defence was again sharp and their speed off the line kept the home side scoreless.

Some smart kicks from Vicky Irwin and Jemma Jackson eased pressure but Highfield came running back, the remainder of the game played back and forth between the twenty-twos. The defences won out and the game ended with Cooke holding on to thier one score lead.

This was a massive defensive effort for the Belfast girls and it’s good to see their defence work starting to pay off.

Captain Beth Cregan told the Front Row Union after the game:

“It was a big physical game for the full 80 minutes. Highfield kept coming at us but, very well done to our girls,  our massive defensive effort ensured our line remained untouched. It’s great to get back to winning ways and this was an important win for us on the road.”

In the other matches over the weekend Old Belvedere kicked the round of with a convincing 49 – 0 win against Tullamore with Jenny Murphy and Alison Miller featuring strongly.

Railway Union continued their unbeaten run with another high scoring win, this time against Blackrock, thier ten try romp all the more impressive given it was away from home.

Ulster’s Larissa Muldoon was again among the scorers with Rachel Healy, Cliodhna Moloney, Ciara Cooney and Melissa Slevin all grabbing a try apiece. Scrumhalf Ailsa Hughes bagged a brace and captain Meg Kendal scored a hat-trick for the second time this season.

In the final match those old foxes at U.L. Bohemian turned over Galwegians by more than we expected with Anna Caplice scoring a hat trick and Mairead Kelly, Niamh Kavanagh, Syphonia Pua and Aine Staunton grabbing one each in their 48 – 7 win in Limerick. Miread Coyne crossed for Galwegians.

Boh’s win sets up “the match of the season” next week as Boh’s and Railway Union go head to head with both teams undefeated records on the line.

The results see the All Ireland League Table as follows after four rounds.

Team Pl W D L F A Diff TB LB Pts
U.L. Bohemian 4 4 0 0 154 38 116 4 0 20
Railway Union RFC 4 4 0 0 261 23 238 3 0 19
Cooke 4 3 0 1 77 32 45 1 0 13
Old Belvedere 4 2 0 2 92 53 39 2 1 11
Highfield 4 1 0 3 49 94 -45 2 1 7
Blackrock 4 1 0 3 63 134 -71 1 0 5
Galwegians 4 1 0 3 34 167 -133 1 0 5
Tullamore 4 0 0 4 32 221 -189 0 1 1


Pictures below from Highfield v Cooke by Kevin Day.