Ulster Kookaburras v Cork Vikings
The Vikings travelled north to play the Ulster Kookaburras in Belfast on Saturday on the back of a successful Leeside League campaign. The Cork women were hoping to bring that good form into Round 1 of the AFL Ireland Women’s Premiership.
The Kookaburras on the other hand boasted an impressive squad list for their first home game of the season, with 20 players named as part of the playing group for Round 1.
And it was the Ulster women who found the route to victory on the day, through great use of their interchange bench. There were no fewer than 8 goal scorers for the Kooks, with Eva Cafolla top scorer for the home side on the day, notching up 3 majors. Siobhan Sherrin was another player who got on the scoresheet, with 2 goals of her own. A player with a familiar name in AFL, Sherrin was one of the best on ground with her score involvement and all round play.
Annie Walsh, having snagged top scorer in the Leeside League, continued her red hot form for the Vikings. She bagged multiple goals for her side who to their credit tried to keep pace with their formidable Ulster opponents. Shannon Stevenson managed 5 goals of her own for the Cork outfit, which will no doubt give her and her team plenty of confidence going g into Round 2.
The Kooks were too good on the day overcoming the ladies from Leeside by 25 points in the end. Other notable performers were were Leah Casey, Aoife Halligan and Annie McCole.
Ulster Kookaburras 11 – 4 – 70
Cork Vikings 7 – 3 – 45
South Dublin Swans v Galway Magpies/Swans
On what was an historic occasion last Saturday afternoon, the South Dublin Swans and Galway Magpies took part on the first ever competitive game in AFL Ireland Premiership competition. The Magpies, as a tier 2 club, are in their development stage so will participate in 9s tournaments and development games as part of the 2021 season.
St Brendan’s GAA club in Dublin was the venue for the first ever meeting of these teams. The sun shone bright in Dublin on Saturday, and so did some future stars of women’s AFL in Ireland.
It was an 8 v 8 contest, with the Swans women rotating between teams throughout. Both sides traded scores throughout, with tough tackling being the theme of the day. Sorcha Nolan and Jane Leahy were the sharo shooters on the day, racking up 6 and 4 goals respectively. Tanya Farrell, Sarah Mullins and Karen Lawlor were impressive as the first 3 Galway representatives of the season. Karen kicked 2 goals of her own for the game.
Special mention to Ashling Hanley for the Swans, who was voted best on ground on her first ever game of AFL. Maria Jose was fierce in the tackle all day and Angie Crispe showed exceptional ball use.
Fantastic footy played in testing conditions in the capital. Exciting times lie ahead for both clubs if Round 1 is anything to go by.
Swans 9 – 6 – 60
Magpies/Swans 10 – 6 – 65
A great opening weekend of Women’s action with fantastic skills and hard tackling on show. And there is plenty more to come this summer as the sides look to Round 2. The Vikings will travel to face the Galway Magpies while the Kookaburras will be on the road to face the South Dublin Swans.