Ulster U18 Girls got their competitive season off to the best of starts with a 10 – 5 win against Leinster at City of Armagh Rugby Club on Saturday night. The game marked the first ever competitive fixture for the girls at this age grade, and about time too!
I’m pleased that the Women’s U18 management convinced me to go along to this fixture as it was a match that reaffirmed my love of rugby, played as it should be. The professional men’s game tends to be a bit formulaic and overly reliant on the physical side of the game, however, while there were plenty of hard hits, in this match both teams concentrated on their highly polished skill sets making the ball do the work in an enthralling match.
Neve Jones opened the scoring for Ulster after Vikky Irwin and Brittany Hogan had punched through the Leinster midfield, the only score in the first half.
The impressive Eimear Corri replied for Leinster with a solo effort from the middle of the park, the rangy winger outstripping the Ulster defence to go over in the corner.
Ulster countered almost immediately with Irwin once again taking play into the Leinster half and Kelly McCormill showed great strength to go over with ten minutes to go.
It was a nervous ten minutes for those watching but Ulster held out reasonably comfortably to claim their first historic win, sparking an impressive volume of high pitch squeals at the final whistle! 🙂 Fantastic!
Ulster Women U18: Ciara Browne, Kelly McCormill, Leah McGoldrick, Brittany Hogan, Lucinda Kinghan, Vikki Irwin, Carla Rafferty, Emma Kearney, Sara Whitley, Neve Jones, Hannah Beattie, Caoilinn McCormack, Bethany McDowell, Claire Boles, Storm Cobain. Replacements: Grace Shrestha, Megan Brodie, Tommy Millar, Keelin Brady, Natalie Kinghan, Lisa Mullen, Ellie Ingram, Dolores Hughes.
Coaches: Davy Chambers (Forwards), Charlie Farrell (Assistant), Zoe Templeton (Backs). Manager: Jemma Jackson.