Blackrock 24 UL Bohemians 39
UL Bohemians maintained their presence at the top of the table with a hard-earned 39-24 win over a much-improved Blackrock at Stradbrook this afternoon.
The reigning champions ran in seven tries but Blackrock never threw in the towel and deservedly secured a bonus point try in the last play of the game. ‘Rock showed great vigour, patience and perseverance throughout and worked hard to implement their game-plan, but the Red Robins were deserving winners.
Bohemians showed the depth in their squad after a busy week, which included the historic Barbarians v Munster match, with players stepping up in impressive fashion. The handling and movement was eye-catching with the footwork of captain Fiona Hayes particularly noticeable. Laura Sheehan scored three tries for the winners, Niamh Kavanagh contributed two while Aine Staunton and Rachel Allen grabbed one apiece.
‘Rock’s opening try came from a well-executed lineout with a soaring Alix Doyle gathering. This set in train a move which ended with impressive out-half Michelle Claffey jinking in under the posts with Hannah O’Connor converting.
Their second try came from a classy against-the grain move with newly-converted back rower O’Connor racing in from 35 metres out. Ireland Sevens flyer Kathy Baker then got on the scoresheet, demonstrating her strength and composure with her third try in as many games for ‘Rock, and they went in search of the bonus point.
Photos Courtesy of Barry Baker.
As the referee declared ‘last play’, the Dubliners were camped in UL’s 22. The home side applied a wave of pressure and were given their just reward when Lena Fitzsimons crashed over the whitewash to secure a bonus point. Significant improvements were evident in Blackrock’s play, which made Joe Halpin, their forwards coach, incredibly happy as the squad begin to show their true potential.