Club News

Cooke hosted Tullamore at Shawsbridge, in Belfast in their round 10, return fixture in the AIL.

The Belfast womens’ brick wall defence was the hero of the day, surviving many prolonged sieges of their Try line.

Two scores from Amy Graham, playing from the centre, set the standard for Cooke for the remainder of the day, with her midfield partner Brittany Hogan’s unforgiving tackling switching the momentum away from Tullamore during some of their many attacks. Unfortunately a costly ruck infringement from Cooke gave the Offaly women a penalty 5 metres out, taken quickly, and crashed over for their only try of the game. Combined with an earlier penalty and the conversion the half ended 12-10 to Cooke.

Cooke came out in the second half to re-affirm their position as one of the leading sides in the League by securing the bonus point win, and denying any further scores against them.

Relentless pressure saw the Cooke pack, whose hard work and ferocity around the park, notably with Lauren Magennis and Helen McGhee refusing to be brought down, gaining their side hard  yards and quick attacking ball. The industrious work of Beth Cregan and Gemma McCutcheon at the breakdown frustrated the Tullamore women, and Lesley Megarrity bowling over many counter ruckers.

The Cooke forwards made for a scary sight when pressuring the Tullamore’s defence at their own line for several minutes, with the strength of Alanagh Chipperfield proving too much, powering over with a pick and go on the line.

Tullamore looked to be deflated from this point, as smashing runs from midfield by Brittany Hogan saw Cooke move the ball quickly to the wing and score through Emma Jordan shortly after she came off the bench.

With the bonus point secured, and only a few minutes left in the game, the Cooke backs seemed to enjoy the late stages, Amy Graham always threatening to grab her Hat Trick, when Jemma Jackson, having moved into scrum-half and relishing the freedom, cleverly chipped the Tullamore defensive line, and gathered herself to close out the game with Cooke’s fifth try, which she also converted, finishing 34-10 to the Ulster side.

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