20 Nov 2017
Tullamore 27 - 5 Galwegians
Things are on the up for Tullamore Ladies RFC after another successful win at home to 2016 champions Galwegians RFC in the AIL.
Looking to capatalise on their strong points from the previous weekend's encounter, the home side Tullamore got off the mark early and made the most of their attacking maul, gaining metres of ground.
It was only 5 minutes in when the pack ran over for the first try of the afternoon from 10 metres out to put them 5-0 ahead.
The game was abundant with scrums due to several handling errors from both sides, with the scrum acting as a perfect platform for the Tulliers to attack. Scrum-half Jill Draper was instrumental in both attack and defence, using her voice to direct her teammates into position.
Flanker Rose Dunne put in some strong tackles while young winger Clodagh Hannify who scored twice the previous week, made life difficult for her opposition, making some key tackles on the wing to prevent any attacking breaks by the visitors.
Tullamore enjoyed a large portion of possession throughout the first half in particular, and it didn't take long for winger Amanda Hollingsworth to slip through a gap in defence on the half way line. With 5 Galwegians players chasing her, it looked as if she wouldn't make it to the whitewash, but thankfully she showed real pace to outrun them.
The Tulliers third try of the afternoon was scored by second-centre Clare Currams out on the right wing, after some fantastic pick and drive efforts from the pack which acted as a ploy to lure the defenders in.
It wasn't all a one-sided affair however, as the visitors too enjoyed some brief spells of possession with Tullamore falling foul to a few knock-on's once tiredness set in. Having struggled in defence against the top three sides so far this season, Tullamore appeared to have regained their confidence as prop Katie Murray stole a lovely ball just inside the Tullier's half before the break. Her fellow prop Ciara Farrell also getting in on the action in front of the stand, just minutes later, which really boosted the crowd.
Galwegians full-back Mairead Coyne had proved a handful in the first encounter, however she struggled to break through on Sunday afternoon as the Tulliers held strong. There were one or two breaks by the visitors however as their #12 found space on one occasion, running 15 - 20 metres before the Tullamore full back Clare Cantwell hurled her to the ground.
Unlike Coyne, Tullamore centre Shannon Touhey's form continued as the two teams met for the second time, with Touhey bagging a brace of tries to take the home side's score up to 25-0. With out-half Pauline Keating forced off the pitch due to injury, Draper was forced to take over the kicking duties and did so duly, taking the tally to 27 points.
Despite a late consolation try for the visitors, it was a comprehensive victory for the home side as they go into a substantial Christmas break before they embark on their cup campaign in the new year.
Tullamore rise to 5th place in the table after back to back wins, which is a great lift after the criticism received across various media earlier in the season. With the club's u18 girls also winning 22-0 at home to Enniscorthy on Saturday afternoon, there's no doubt that there's plenty of talent coming through.