Bank of Ireland Leinster Paul Flood Cup and Paul Cusack Cup Round 1 Recap
March 13, 2023 10:25 am Des Berry
The Bank of Ireland Leinster Paul Flood Cup and Paul Cusack Cup first rounds played out on Sunday.
Sadly, Gorey and St Mary’s College conceded their fixtures to Greystones and Wanderers, respectively, leaving six matches outstanding in the Paul Flood Cup.
TULLAMORE RFC J1 41 GARDA WESTMANSTOWN RFC 0
The power and aggression of Tullamore overwhelmed Garda Westmanstown at Spollanstown.
Eimear Feighery, her sister-in-law Roisin Feighery and Veronica Smyth, at out-half, were the driving forces behind an impressive performance.
A fast start produced a brace of tries by centre Molly Flynn, sandwiching another by forward Ciara Dunne to make it 17-0 in just 12 minutes.
The experienced Eimear Feighery picked up the fourth try for the Offaly club to hold a 24-0 lead at the break.
Garda Laura Scoffil battled away at the base of the scrum and Odie Brassil was able to get onto the front-foot from number eight for Garda.
In terms of defence, Michaela Mulvey, playing out of position covered the grass really well at full-back.
Still, right-wing Jana Dembrehte’s fine individual try from long range was the highlight of the second period with left-wing Vanessa Craven adding a try and goal-kicker Roisin Kane scoring the final try and her third conversion.
Scorers – Tullamore – M Flynn 2 tries; R Kane try, 3 cons; C Dunne, E Feighery, V Craven, J Dembrehte try each.
LONGFORD 27 MU BARNHALL 5
Longford came through in fine style against the Leixlip club at CPL Park.
It didn’t take the home side long to settle into the game, Maria Kellaher bursting over from one of their first genuine attacks.
Then, a loose clearance kick was taken back by full-back Michelle Mulvey before Fidelma Fallon and Rebeka Stavuse combined for Megan Banahan to ground the ball for a 10-point lead.
A cheeky kick chase saw Tegan Evans dive on the ball over the line for the third try which Evans also converted.
On half-time, Longford earned a 5-metre lineout which was used to set up a strong maul for second-row Jessica Stewart to make it 22-0 at the break.
Longford used the strong wind to gain ground, Leona Hoare scoring in the corner after some lovely interplay between forwards and backs.
All the while, second-row Nicola Farrell, wing Aoife Walter and centre Cliodhna McLoughlin were doing what they could for Barnhall.
They came flying back and were rewarded with a try of their own from Regina O’Reilly-Carbery.
Scorers – Longford – T Evans try, con; M Kellaher, M Banahan, J Stewart, L Hoare try each. MU-Barnhall – R O’Reilly-Carbery try.
SOUTH EAST LIONS 5 NEW ROSS 32
New Ross delivered on their good League form to brush aside the Lions in a Wexford derby at Alcast Park.
An early kick upfield from New Ross full back Anna Breen was followed up by Carol Kavanagh, who offloaded for back-rower Aoife Murphy to steam over in the corner within 4 minutes.
On 12 minutes, clever hands from captain Meadhbh and Molly Crowdle and an equally clever kick by Jess Sutton led to a try by the latter.
A nicely kicked penalty to the corner saw a trademark claim in the air from Murphy and, from a controlled maul, she broke away for her second try.
Maedhbh Farrell, Siofra McGuinness, Aoife Dempsey and Flora Doran were all instrumental in keeping the Lions in the game.
They were finally able to use solid phase play to open a hole for scrum-half Clodagh Dee to make it 15-5 at half-time.
Replacement Jen Dunne got over within 90 seconds of the start of the new half and she set up Anne Marie Moloney for the fifth try before Eabha Cullen punished the Lions with the sixth try.
Scorers – South East – C Dee try. New Ross – A Murphy 2 tries; J Dunne try, con; J Sutton, AM Moloney, E Cullen try each.
KILKENNY 19 NAVAN 17
Two tries from Rosie Miller were key to Kilkenny’s passage to the second round at Foulkstown.
The home side had to absorb some early pressure as Navan moved ahead from a try by Cara Martin.
Kilkenny won the territorial battle without being able to break down a solid defence until the excellent full-back Natalie Clinton broke through to leave it 5-all at half-time.
It was then flanker Miller took an influential hand in proceedings, pouncing for back-to-back tries, converted by hooker Tara Holohan for 19-5 in the 53rd minute.
Navan had the character to come back strongly with tries by Geraldine Lynch and Louise Crinion, the first converted by Niamh Yourell, to make Kilkenny sweat all the way to the finish.
Scorers – Kilkenny – R Miller 2 tries; N Clinton try; T Holohan 2 cons. Navan – C Martin, G Lynch, L Crinion try each; N Yourell con.
CLONTARF 7 WICKLOW RFC J1 50
Wicklow was good value for a comfortable win over their hosts at Castle Avenue.
There was never really a period where ‘Tarf were in the game once Wicklow moved away in the first-half as Catherine Ward, Jennifer Maden and Amy O’Neill pinched tries to lead 22-0 at the break.
Wing Dervla Reilly came looking for work and flanker Tonishee Lee never stopped competing for Clontarf in the face of heavy traffic.
Ten minutes into the new half, Clontarf did produce an attack in which prop Trish Moyles got over the line for Diane McIlhagga to convert.
Any notion of a miracle was quickly put to bed when out-half Alex McGuinness pounced for a try which was followed by a double from wing Saoirse O’Reilly and one last effort from Madden.
Scorers – Clontarf – T Moyles try; D McIlhagga con. Wicklow – S O’Reilly 2 tries, pen, 4 cons; J Madden 2 tries; A McGuinness try, 2 cons; C Ward, A O’Neill try each.
ARKLOW AMAZONS 10 ATHY 7
Laura Rice became an instant heroine by kicking Arklow to victory with the last play of the game at The Oval.
Arklow had the first scoring opportunity, but were held up on the line, Athy working back up the pitch only to miss a penalty.
Play continued to move from one end of the pitch to the other. Athy gained another penalty opportunity, but it was again missed, leaving both teams scoreless at half-time.
Number eight Sabrina Mannion, prop Ellie Byrne and wings Clara Sexton and Sinead Ryan were all prominent for the Kildare club.
It was Athy who made the first breakthrough, outside centre Fiona Fennessy crossing for prop Jade Molloy to convert.
Arklow were determined to strike back, Emily Slater crashing over for Laura Rice’s conversion to level it up with five minutes left on the clock.
They now had the ball and the territory to squeeze a penalty which Rice slotted for the winning points.
Scorers – Arklow – E Slater try; L Rice pen, con. Athy – F Fennessy try; J Molloy con.
Sadly, Old Belvedere, Dublin University and Dublin City University had to give walkovers to Mullingar, MU-Barnhall and PortDara Falcons, leaving three outstanding matches in the Paul Cusack Cup.
CLONDALKIN 7 TULLOW 36
Chloe Farrell and Emma O’Toole both picked off a pair of tries for Tullow at Kingswood Farm.
The Carlow club was able to get around the outside for three of the four first-half tries by centre Farrell (2), O’Toole and blindside to lead 24-0 at the interval Orla Hanlon
Clon’ kept in the contest through the leadership of number eight Naomi Fynes, eventually striking through second-row Shona Byrne for Shauna Healy to convert in the 44th minute.
The elusive O’Toole got in for her second and number eight Grace Kelly completed the mission in the last minute, out-half Catherine Dempsey knocking over her third conversion.
Scorers – Clondalkin – S Byrne try; S Healy con. Tullow – C Farrell, E O’Toole 2 tries each; O Hanlon, G Kelly try each; C Dempsey 3 cons.
RAILWAY UNION RFC J1 34 BALBRIGGAN 43
Laura Brown fired in four tries as Balbriggan caused something of a surprise at Park Avenue
It was facilitated by the fact the home club played much of the match with eleven players against their opponents’ full deck of 13.
It didn’t look too good for the North Dublin club when they went 12 points down to tries by Dani Franada.
The recovery process started with tries by centre Megan McAuley and wing Sorcha Murphy, Rachel Mulligan converting both for 14-12 at the break.
The game swung in both directions as wing Brown began her personal crusade and McAuley grabbed her second.
Railway second-row Emerson Allen was able to register a second-half hat-trick which was trumped by Brown’s four in a high-scoring shootout.
Scorers – Railway – E Allen 3 tries; D Franada 2 tries; A Diebold try; H Simmons 2 cons. Balbriggan – L Brown 4 tries; M McAuley 2 tries; S Murphy try; R Mulligan 4 cons.
TULLAMORE 24 NAAS 7
It was a case of ‘a game of one half’ at Spollanstown where Tullamore was granted passage to the second round due to the game being abandoned at half-time.
The home club took control in the early going as Caroline Aherne struck for a double and Claire Leonard added a third try, Laura Sampson converting two from three, to move into a 19-0 lead.
Second-row Abbie Cullen and out-half Sheena Hubbard drove Naas forward for prop Molly Fitzpatrick to beat the defence and for Ali Miley to convert at the half-hour mark.
However, Tullamore marched down the pitch to turn the screw with a fourth try by Sampson on half-time.
Unfortunately, two head injuries and a long delay to treat Miley for a serious injury right on half-time convinced the officials to end the game there with Tullamore going through to the second round.
Scorers – Tullamore – C Aherne 2 tries; L Sampson try, 2 cons; C Leonard try. Naas – M Fitzpatrick try; A Miley con.