Just reading through my preview for Week 8 of the Women’s AIL and I must admit I was pretty much spot on in my predictions, apart from the one that matters, well, matters to me at any rate. Our Cookies were once again tossed by Railway Union, and though not quite making me sick, it did leave me a little disappointed.

Now, Railway Union are, in my opinion, the best team in the league at present. I’m sure there are plenty in Limerick that will disagree with me (and we’ll find out next week) but at the moment I think they have an edge. So losing twice in successive weeks is no disgrace. Both matches were more competitive than the score lines suggest and Cooke have a lot of positives to take out of both games, particularly with their set pieces.

However, Railway looked to have put a lot of work into their set piece in the seven days between the matches, with noticeable improvements. The improvements required from Cooke, in their ball retention and kicking out of hand, were not so evident.

At least I can say that three Ulster players scored, with Nikki Caughey and Larissa Muldoon amongst the scorers for Railway,  Alanagh Chipperfield responding for Cooke.

Railway’s other scores came from the hugely impressive Susan Vaughan (2) with Katie O’Dwyer and Meg Kendal also crossing.

Railway will go forward into next week’s fixture against, top of the table UL Bohemian, with added confidence following these two wins, but Bohs won’t be short any confidence either following an emphatic 62 – 5 win against Blackrock to maintain their incredible 100% record. Bohs tries came from Laura Sheehan (2), Helen McDermott (2), Edel Murphy (2) Chloe Pearse, Niamh Kavanagh, Aine Staunton and Syphonia Pua. 

Another confident team, at the minute, will be Tullamore, who completed the double over Galwegians with a 27 – 5 win at Spollanstown.  Not only a win but a bonus point win for the Tullys, who have now shot to the dizzy heights of 5th in the league after the most testing of starts in their first All Ireland League campaign. The Offaly outfit go into the December break a lot happier than they were two weeks ago.

Old Blevedere moved up the third place in the league thanks to their 12 – 29 win over Highfield in Cork, the result meaning that all four winning teams completed the double in this mid-point series of back to back matches. The results sees Highfield slip to bottom spot despite a much improved performance from last weekend.

Pictures below by Bob Given Photography