Cooke RFC Women successfully defended the Rosie Stewart Bowl on Sunday afternoon against an Ulster Women’s Select side. 

It was a somewhat scrappy but fairly intense game, typical of the trials game that it actually was. 

The select side took a deserved 0 – 8 lead into the break after a try by Malone’s Gemma McCamley and a penalty by Ballynahinch’s Alexa Grudgings. It should have been more as they created quite a few overlaps in the first half. Unfortunately, typical of a trials game, too many players opted for contact rather than looking to the outside. 

Just as the Select side dominated the first half, so did Cooke dominate the second. They simplified their game and took it to the Select up front with Beth Cregan and Ilse van Staden leading the way, ably supported by the rest of the pack who upped their workload considerably. 

Vicky Irwin excelled at dropping back to mop up any excursions, with the young out half putting in a huge amount of work, and with their cards now firmly marked the Select side ran out of ideas fairly quickly. 

Beth Cregan, crossed twice for Cooke, with Irwin converting both, and when captain fantastic went over for her second I suspected that the game was over, despite there being fifteen minutes remaining.  

There was still time for a few scuffles (lush) and a few big hits but Cooke martialled their opponents fairly comfortably to take the game 14 – 8. 

I’m off to get a promoter for Jones v Cregan II.  

Photo credit – Bob Given Photography and John McMurtry

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