- Result: Galwegians Women 45 - New Ross -22
- Venue: New Ross RFC on Sun Feb 3rd 2013
- Competition: Paul Flood Leinster Womens Cup
Galwegians continued to cut a swath through east coast counterparts with a resounding 45-nil win over New Ross in game three of its Leinster Cup campaign.
Having disposed of Blackrock now, Portlaoise and New Ross (Navan's week-three encounter was weather-affected), St Mary's, Old Belvedere (and Navan) remain.
Having disposed of St Mary's in league play this winter already, Galwegians is odds-on favourite to tick the Navan box as well. Old Belvedere looms as the preliminary speed bump.
Belvedere - reigning titleholders and 2011 beaten finalists - are favoured for this competition the second year running. Galwegians suffered a resounding defeat to them in the AIL league back in November and will approach this coming weekend's break and the following's OB fixture buoyed by a try-heavy start to the Leinster Cup confident they can score them from anywhere on the paddock.
Last weekend's four-try flyer Carol Staunton repeated her efforts this weekend, dotting down for four more against the Wexford side, but it was footballer Mary Healy who opened the ledger three minutes in.
Healy, along with fellow county cap Mairead Coyne, have proven genuine finds this winter taking to the oval ball like proverbial ducks to the wet stuff. Healy, standing no taller than anyone on the paddock, is yet to let a ball slip and graduated to midfield ranks on Sunday with nary a blip on her radar. While lacking the stature of colleague Coyne, Healy is every bit the threat Coyne poses and happily covers both wings, fullback and now outside centre.
Staunton featured on the scoreboard at both the seven and nine minute-marks and chased them up with a third on the stroke of halftime. Skipper-outhalf Clare Raftery misjudged the first conversion but made no mistake with the next three further bumping the visitors up the scoreboard six points with three from four for a 26-nil buffer at the break.
Connacht scrum half Sorcha Ni Chadhain relinquished the nine jersey to bolster an underpopulated backline in Lisa McDonagh and Moggs Fitzgibbon's absence at inside centre, and did so with typical aplomb. The ever-vocal Anne O'Callaghan slotted in to nine and proved vital linking the engine room with the backline executive.
Ni Chadhain, solid and mistake-free throughout the first half, took a Wexford-sized hit early in the second which forced her from the field dropping the Blue Belles to 13 (having started one-short in the forwards).
Staunton added her fourth and 'Wegians fifth 10 minutes in putting the result beyond doubt at the 50minute mark.
Evergreen toiler Katherine McDonagh, so often the mainstay of what has matured into a bruising tight five, found herself with ball-in-hand over the line and posted her first points in a blue jersey. It proved just reward for the lock forward and resounding shrieks convinced several standing sideline that Galwegians had won the William Webb Ellis trophy let alone the pool fixture 20minutes short of full time.
Healy crossed for the last, as she did the first, and Raftery - battling a gale (and an errant drunken ball on the sideline) calmly dropped the conversion off her foot and sent it straight and true from the chalk for one of Irish rugby's more notable conversions.
Galwegians welcome the layoff this weekend coming before the pool's feature match against Old Belvedere in what is shaping at this stage to be a final pre-play between 2011's competition finalists.