- Result: Galwegians Women 0 - Old Belvedere 45
- Venue: Crowley Park on Sun Sep 22nd 2013
- Competition: AIL Womens League
Galwegians hosted Old Belvedere in glorious clear conditions on Sunday, and as hosts they were superb.
While running around after your visitors may make for a great party, it rarely bodes well for a rugby result and a 45-nil seven-try clean sweep for the Dubliners left few in doubt Old Belvedere wish to kick on from their Paul Flood Leinster Cup victory last winter.
Given Galwegians' hegemony over the black-and-whites in 2010-11 and 2011-12, and Belvedere's dominance last year and showing on Sunday suggests they are now officially top-dogs where these two are concerned.
Furthermore, given the manner in which they kept ball alive and allowed continuity rather than the breakdown to dictate the pace of the game, Old Belvedere may well prove the likeliest thorn in UL Bohemians' and Highfield's side too later this winter.
On Sunday, aside from the first quarter-hour, it was largely one-way traffic. The Galwegians line-out forwards snaffled two Belvo feeds in the first 10 minutes, flanker Fiona Glynn linking well with the talismanic Clare Raftery (10) to put Belvedere a way back into hostile territory.
Handling errors from the locals and simple, stock-issue forward football from the east coasters set up Old Belvedere's forwards to crash over from close in, Ailis Egan the beneficiary on that occasion. Irish cap Jennie Murphy led the next few charges ably using her bulk and experience to probe gaps in the Wegians' backs and she grabbed two tries before halftime.
Old Belvedere added a fourth right on the whistle to go 24-nil up at the break. Again, handling errors and communication glitches conspired against Galwegians' making any real inroads on attack but their defence picked up no end despite the deficit. Wing Trish McNamara, prop Ruth O'Reilly, lock Katherine McDonagh and eight Heather Cary most notable in stemming the tide throughout.
Irish stalwart Marie-Louise Reilly for Belvo, colleague Egan, loose forward maestro Sharon Lynch and livewire scrumhalf-cum-hooker Fionnuala Gleeson proved too difficult for Galwegians to contain and their footwork and toil in the heavy traffic freed up the outsides to make yards in open space with the visitors running in three more in the second spell.
Galwegians meet St Mary's in Dublin for their next hit-out, in Dublin on October 6. St Mary's went down by two to Div Two promotees Tralee in week one, and Highfield this weekend; giving the October 6 showdown an added edge for both.