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Celtic Challenge: Wolfhounds extend unbeaten run with bonus-point win over Gwalia Lightning

Wolfhounds maintained their unbeaten run in the Celtic Challenge with a bonus-point 36-24 win over Gwalia Lightning at Energia Park.

First half tries from Katie Heffernan, Niamh Marley and two from Katie Corrigan gave the Wolfhounds the lead at the break.

Further scores from Corrigan and Christy Haney secured another impressive win for the Irish side.

Gwalia Lightning managed a four try bonus-point.

Katie Thicker, Jenna De Vera, Caitlin Lewis and Rebecca De Filippo notched the scores for the Welsh side.

The unbeaten Wolfhounds had sealed their place in the top three play-offs with last weekend's comfortable 41-10 bonus point win over Brython Thunder.

They got off to a perfect start, with Heffernan crossing in the corner after a skilful offload from second-row Hannah O'Connor.

The visitors hit back minutes later after full-back Rhodd Parry found Thicker on the wing, who sprinted over to level the scores.

Neill Alcorn's side started to dominate in terms of territory and possession, showing patience as they worked their way up the pitch before getting the ball wide to Corrigan, who applied an excellent finish, stepping inside past several defenders to put her side ahead.

Corrigan struck again minutes later with an opportunistic interception try, demonstrating her pace to pick off a pass and scamper over for a quick-fire double. Caughey added the extras from the kicking tee.

Gwalia Lightning battled their way back into the game and a probing kick from Sian Jones allowed centre De Vera to pounce on the loose ball and crash over to put her side within touching distance.

Momentum swung in the direction of the Irish side just before the break , with Marley collecting a kick which bounced awkwardly in front of Lightning's full-back Parry and sprinting over to give her side a comfortable advantage at the interval.

A well-taken intercept try from Lewis at the start of the second half made the encounter interesting, with the Welsh side still very much still in the game.

However, Corrigan struck again for her hat-trick, collecting a delicate cross-field kick on the wing from Caughey, who also added the extras from the kicking tee.

De Filippo scored a late try for the visitors after a period of patient possession in the Irish side's half, but substitute prop Haney powered over for the hosts with minutes to go.

That sealed an impressive performance and a perfect record for Neill Alcorn's side in the competition, sending them into the play-offs full of confidence.