Both sides went into this game looking to open their AIL account after two defeats each.

Cooke started the brighter and enjoyed a positive opening spell before Marys found their rhythm and established themselves in the match. Marys were dominant in possession and territory for the next quarter but just couldn’t find their way through the Cooke defence which held firm under sustained pressure.

Aoife Moore and Ciara Scanlan carried well but the killer blow eluded the Templeville outfit.

On the half hour, a breakout from the Cooke 22 saw Lauren Pedlow touch down to open the scoring. A second try followed from Hannah Kilgore on 35 mins, which again went unconverted.

As the second half got underway, conditions worsened and handling became difficult as the rain began to fall. It was down and dirty and both sides found handling to be a challenge.

For Cooke, Ilse Van Staden was very prominent in the loose and provided some powerful go-forward impetus. Marys struggled in the scrum and the game turned finally when a third Cooke try (and a second for Pedlow) came off a Marys fumble on 65 mins and from there it was just a matter of time before the bonus point try came in the gathering gloom as Cooke’s superior fitness began to tell and Shannon Heapes crossed.

Cooke will be delighted to have secured the bonus point win on the road with a powerful performance from their pack and their ability to take their chance when they came along. Marys can take heart from an improved performance that showed no lack of character and bravery and just required a little more composure in the opposition’s red zone.

Report & Picture credit – JC Sports Photography

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