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As well as having six sides in the AIL, Ulster also has a thriving Development League in Women’s Rugby with eight teams competing for promotion to the All Ireland competition. This week Carrick Ladies  Pauline McFerran brings us up to date on their successful start to the season.

With the third match of the season looming, Carrick ladies are aiming for a 3 match unbeaten run in the Ulster qualifying league. Following a 31-24 victory over Carrick-on-Shannon in Enniskillen and a 30-12 home victory over Letterkenny, the ladies are confident of a successful trip to Malone this Sunday.

A last-minute cancellation of the season’s first match against Ards saw a hastily assembled friendly match against Connacht development league side Carrick-on-Shannon take place in Enniskillen and allowed captain Lydine Wilson x 2, Hilary Cawood x 2 and Jemma Boyd to get their names on the scoresheet. Carrickfergus were losing going into the second half, but their determination rose to the fore and come the final whistle, were ahead by 7 points.

The second match of the season saw Carrick welcome last seasons Ulster Development Cup winners Letterkenny, however the visitors left disappointed following a 30-12 defeat. The first half ended 10-12 with tries from new girl Pauline McFerran and Christi-ann Orr. There must have been something in the half time oranges, as Carrick came back to score another 4 tries courtesy of Laura Johnston, Sabrina Higgins, Jemma Boyd and Robyn Kelly, who was also voted player of the match. The final score of 30-12 should have been much higher, with captain Lydine Wilson having 3 (yes, THREE) tries disallowed due to a knock-on, being held up and an injury whistle as she crossed the line.

The former AIL Division 2 side are confident of winning promotion back into their previous league, with a mixture of youth and experience in the side. The team also welcomes a number of ladies who are new to the game and already showing great potential, including forwards Jemma Boyd, Stacey Chesworth and winger Laura Lynch.

The ever-growing squad have been training hard and are excited for the upcoming Malone match and season ahead. Determined to return to the more challenging Division 2, Carrick certainly are a team to take seriously this season.

New players of all ages and abilities are always welcome, training is Tuesday night from 7pm. Participation is not mandatory but we can guarantee that you’ll be dying to join in!

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