Rock Women Win AIL Plate
Women's 1st XV 24-12 Cooke
Cooke started the stronger and scored an early try however, they missed the conversion. Blackrock, who were without their 15s and Sevens internationals, wasted little time in threatening to level the score with former international Jackie Shiels and their pacy back-three making headway. Blackrock also sought a high tempo, with Lisa Mullen’s quick tap and pass allowing powerful lock
Judy Bobbett to barge over to the right of the posts. Shiels converted for a 7-5 ‘Rock lead.
Cooke moved back in front midway through the half with a converted try. Cooke’s defence then stood firm despite a brilliant break from deep by Blackrock full-back Maggie Boylan.
Meadbh Scally carried closer in but the ever-influential Cregan managed to hold her up. Ben Martin’s Blackrock side had a late purple patch approaching the interval, maintaining their presence in the Cooke half and had a Shiels penalty to cut the gap to just two points.
The 'Rock woman increased her influence after the restart, threatening from a chip-and-chase before she used scrum ball to wriggle free from two defenders and touch down on a clever burst to the whitewash. Shiels converted her own try, edging the Dubliners into a 17-12 lead, and with Boylan, Ray-Ray Lawless and Caoimhe O’Callaghan showing their speed in the wide channels, Cooke’s defensive workload was ramping up.
It took its toll in the 56th minute, Mairead Holohan going close with a strong carry before a neat necklace of passes via Mullen, captain Val Power, Shiels and Ellen Taite freed up Boylan to make it 22-12. Shiels’ deft conversion cleared the crossbar to take her tally to 14 points. Cooke continued to attack however, Blackrock kept them out, a combination of Shiels and Scally earning a relieving penalty and they closed out the game in Cooke territory, grinding out a deserved result in the end. Relieve the action and gallery here