- Result: Galwegians Women 7 - UL Bohemians 48
- Venue: Annacotty on Sun Oct 15th 2017
- Competition: AIL Division 1A
Annacotty proved fertile ground for UL Bohemians on Sunday, welcoming Galwegians with high cloud and a furious onslaught and sending them off 41 points adrift of the competition leaders come full-time.
While 48-7 should leave neither reader nor player in any doubt as to which side deserved maximum points on Sunday, this was a game of opportunities rather than disparities.
UL received from the kick-off and mounted a six-minute barrage against a rock-solid defensive system which kept the Munster women’s flagship within its own territory for five-and-a-half of them. A momentary lapse on the left allowed Irish cap Anna Caplice to scarper 35m and draw first blood.
UL blindside Edel Murphy made no mistake with the conversion, 7 nil.
Galwegians weathered another prolonged assault for a further four minutes before securing their first chance with ball in hand.
Neither camp paid much heed to reputatiom, both sides bruising and battering on defence, and for the next quarter hour each confined their war of attrition between the respective 22m lines.
Galwegians newcomer Oceana Plet showed great nous to snuff out Bohs’ second chance diving headlong and fullstretch on a long-range grubber as Bohs wing Syphonia Pua looked good to score. The reprieve didn’t last long however, ‘Wegians lost lock Amelie Roux to a yellow (collapsed maul) 13 minutes before half-time and Bohs made short work of the ensuing line-out to go over for their second 18m right of the upright, 12 nil.
Needing an inspired restart to close the 12point deficit with a little over 10 to go till the break, another rare ‘Wegians defensive lapse saw the score stretch to 19 nil within 90 seconds.
A fourth try on 37 minutes effectively sealed the result in the hosts's favour, Caplice the only international to exert any real influence over proceedings. That said, there was no shortage of interpro (and international) names on the paddock, Ciara O’Connor (8), Edel McMahon (12) and Roux upon her return the most telling defenders for the visitors, Lisa Anglim (2) and Tracey Gannon (3) notable throughout the first 40 also. For Bohs, Irish flanker Ciara Griffin (7) operated at a fairly customary hundred-and-something percent, Fi Hayes (1) the perennial nuisance at the breakdown and World Cup discovery Nicole Cronin (9) safe and steady throughout at nine..
If the Bohs forwards shouldered much of the early grunt, the backs stood up to be counted in the second. Former international Niamh Kavanagh (13), stalwart midfielder Mairead Kelly (12) and fullback Aine Staunton combined with short passes time and again to probe and plunder half-gaps in a tiring Galway system.
Most disappointing as the scoreline began to mount against Galwegians were several easy turnovers in tackles.
Relinquishing that much possession that late in the game forced tiring support runners to backpedal in cover as UL Bohs repeatedly snuffed out any promise at the fourth, fifth and sixth phase, and immediately turned it into points.
Mairead Coyne, who had threatened on occasion with ball-in-hand at 10, darted through a half gap 22mins into the second spell, from a Ciara O'Connor break and restored a little respectability. Converted by Denise Redmond.
While a far cry from the Bohs brigade which stomped its way through the noughties, this current side has everything to stake a valid claim early in 2018 in Cup and League competitions. Galwegians on the other hand, while competitive at full strength, will need as much of its experience and talent available, and often, to compete with the top of the table.