Bank of Ireland Leinster Paul Flood Cup and Paul Cusack Cup Quarter-Final Recap
March 28, 2023 10:55 am Des Berry
The Bank of Ireland Leinster Paul Flood Cup quarter-finals were down for decision on Sunday.
Mullingar and Tullamore came through impressively, while Portlaoise was forced to concede a walkover to PortDara Falcons due to an extensive injury list.
Tullow will host MU Barnhall at home in Blackgates on Friday night (KO7pm) in the remaining quarter-final.
Mullingar 40 CYM 10
Ciara Wynne was the hat-trick hero as Mullingar marched into the semi-finals.
It wasn’t as straight-foward as the final scoreline might suggest. Sure, they moved into a 14-0 lead through tries by out-half Aine Hayden and flanker Eadaoin Liddy and conversions from Ciara Foxe.
However, CYM were able to respond in impressive fashion to hit back not once, but twice, as centre Caoimhe Brady broke through for tries to leave it 14-10 at the interval.
Thereafter, the physicality of Liddy and the control of Hayden led to good things happening for the Westmeath club.
Wynne was involved in everything, the centre striking for two tries back-to-back in what amounted to the decisive moments.
CYM were just unable to keep pace and the holes that opened up due to tiring bodies were exposed by Kara Mulcahy and Wynne with Foxe converting five from six tries overall.
Scorers: Mullingar – C Wynne 3 tries; A Hayden, E Liddy, K Mulcahy try each; C Foxe 5 cons. CYM – C Brady 2 tries.
Balbriggan 8 Tullamore 44
The home side were in the mood to show what they could do, marching ahead 8-5 early on as a reward for pressure after Clare Leonard had given Tullamore the lead.
Balbriggan had a fine general in out-half Rachel Mulligan, who struck a penalty and created their only try of the game.
As the Offaly club pushed up in defence, Mulligan slid a clever kick in behind where Sorcha Murphy pounced.
Left-wing Leonard turned fine approach play into a second try and a third followed from full-back Caroline Aherne for 15-8 at the break.
Balbriggan were in it for an hour as centre Laura Browne, prop Caoimhie Coleman and the scrum provided encouragement.
The Dubliners were not without their chances before scrum-half Aoibhe Kelly sniped to the line from a ruck.
Tullamore kept their feet on the accelerator as Sinead Rigney notched two tries in a minute, number eight Hannah Foxe cruised over and Aherne picked up her second.
Scorers: Tullamore – C Leonard, S Rigney, C Aherne 2 tries each; H Foxe, A Kelly try each; L Sampson 2 cons. Balbriggan – S Murphy try; R Mulligan pen.
New Ross, Wicklow and Greystones all made it through to the Bank of Ireland Paul Cusack Cup semi-finals on Sunday.
The last of the quarter-finals will take place on Friday night (KO8pm) when Tullamore will host Longford.
New Ross 52 Wanderers 7
New Ross welcomed Wanderers to FBD Park today for the quarter-final of the Paul Cusack Cup.
The first half began in perfect conditions with New Ross playing against a slight breeze.
From the off, the home side looked hungry and organised, Carol Kavanagh firing through a gap to stride home for Cora Cousins to convert.
Georgina Hearn and Anna Breen, from 40 metres out, added tries and Cousins nailed all them for a 21-point lead.
Wanderers weren’t deterred by their slow start and always showed glimpses of real talent and threat.
They slipped through the fringes nicely and after good retention, Jess Kickham managed to crash over the line for a well-deserved try which was converted by Pia Kammer.
Wanderers now had their heads up and really started to grow into the game as the half was coming to a close, centre Heather Cullen leading the charge.
However, a loose pass was hacked on by second-row Jen Dunne before she brilliantly controlled her second kick to then pick up and dot down, Cousins again converting for 28-7 at the half.
Thereafter, the Wexford club added fresh bodies from the bench to keep the tempo up, Eabha Cullen and Jess Sutton going over.
New Ross were now starting to really implement their brand of rugby, taking advantage of the opposition’s understandably tired legs for Caoimhe McDonald, Emma Flood and Kavanagh all finished off tries in a comprehensive victory.
Scorers: New Ross – C Kavanagh 2 tries; G Hearn, A Breen, J Dunne, E Cullen, J Sutton, C McDonald, E Flood try each; C Cousins 6 cons. Wanderers – J Kickham try; P Kammer.
Kilkenny 7 Wicklow 45
Saoirse O’Reilly registered 20 points in Wicklow’s win over their hosts at Kilkenny College.
There was a spread of six try-scorers with full-back O’Reilly claiming two tries and five of seven conversions.
It all started with centre Katherine Ward breaking through and left-wing Jen Madden, O’reilly, out-half Nicole Humby and scrum-half Megan McConnell added further tries to open up a 31-0 lead at the interval
Kilkenny came out renewed with energy and struck for a try by Emma Kenny which Tara Holohan converted.
The work rate of hooker Jenny Kirwan, prop Holohan and flanker Rose Miller was obvious and out-half Leah McCarthy took them out of trouble.
However, it was never going to amount to a comeback as Wicklow struck for two more tries by replacement hooker Leah Murphy and O’Reilly to close out an emphatic victory.
Scorers: Wicklow – S O’Reilly 2 tries, 5 cons; K Ward, J Madden, N Humby, M McConnell, L Murphy try each. Kilkenny – T Holohan con.
Arklow Amazons 12 Greystones 39
Greystones made the best of a solid start to come away from Arklow with a comfortable win.
It all began with a penalty by Eibhlin Laffin-Downes and continued through the direction given by out-half Leah Kearney and the incursion of wing Aisling Dalby
The Amazons fought tirelessly against a very strong Greystones defence. They were very unlucky not to score in the first half despite getting over the line.
Of course, possession means nothing without the points to go alongside. ‘Stones Niamh Kelly and Kearney pierced the home defence to forge a lead of 15 at the interval.
Arklow came out with more aggression, scoring two tries in quick succession by Hannah Mai-Jones and Alex Byrne, one converted by Laura Rice, to make it a contest.
It was an impressive all-round performance by ‘Stones, however, as forwards Aine Hughes and Amy O’Mahony took the ball up and were central to holding the line when Arklow camped out close to their line for a full 10 minutes.
Dalby, O’Mahony and captain Ana Iraizoz, who was superb, added to the total before Kearney delivered the last of the six tries.
Scorers: Arklow – H Jones, A Byrne try each; L Rice con. Greystones – L Kearney 2 tries; A Dalby, A O’Mahony, A Iraizoz, N Kelly try each; E Laffin-Downes pen, 3 cons.