Tullamore 20 Blackrock 40
Tullamore might still be searching for their first win of the season after a 40-20 reversal at the hands of Blackrock, but the Offaly side have to be happy with some impressive attacking play in this Round 6 clash.
Shannon Touhey, who claimed their opening try, Emer Phelan and Ciara Farrell were very impressive in that regard, with winger Clodagh Hanniffy also getting on the scoresheet as Tullamore registered their first try-scoring bonus point since their promotion to All-Ireland level.
However, some missed tackles cost the hosts dearly and Blackrock punished them with their pace and power. The south Dubliners were more clinical in attack and three tries from free-running youngster Eimear Corri, allied to singles from Michelle Claffey, Kathy Baker and Alannah Byrne, were added to by five conversions from Claffey as Rock took home maximum points.
Rock benefited from the return of some familiar faces with Dawn Smith, Katie Norris and Amy O’Neill all part of a well-drilled pack. Norris, in particular, had a great day at the office with strong dynamic running which saw her evade the Tullamore tacklers.
Richie McDonald’s charges grew in confidence throughout the opening half with their pods working well and allowing the backs a solid platform to be released out wide. Corri capitalised on turnover ball and ran the length of the pitch three times to punish the Tulliers.
Byrne scored from a training ground move involving the whole Rock back-line, while Baker’s try was a result of a beautifully-timed switch line which opened up the Tullamore defence and allowed her run in under the posts untouched.
Mairead Holohan also produced one of the moments of the day when she put in a try-saving tackle under the posts at a crucial moment and turned defence into attack for the eventual winners.