Ulster Women came up short against their Munster counterparts on Saturday afternoon at Irish Independent Park on Saturday afternoon with the home side securing a 38 – 12 win.
Munster (17) 38
TRY: Laura O’Mahony, Clodagh O’Halloran, Kate Sheehan, Niamh Kavanagh, Chloe Pearse (2)
CON: Niamh Briggs (2), Rachel Allen-Connolly (2)
Ulster (12) 12
TRY: Maeve Liston, Fiona Tuite
CON: Jemma Jackson
Ulster raced to a 7 – 0 lead following a first minute try from Maeve Liston, converted by Jemma Jackson, but they didn’t hold on their lead too long as Munster replied through an unconverted try from Laura O’Mahoney, following a yellow card for Ulster’s Lauren Maginnes.
Clodagh O’Halloran crossed for the home side at the start of the second quarter and with Niamh Briggs adding the conversion the red machine took a 12 – 7 lead.
Youngster Chloe Pearse crossed for her first score before the break, converted by Briggs but, just as it looked like Munster were going to pull away Vicky Irwin gave Fiona Tuite just enough room to squeeze over out wide for Ulster’s second, after good work by Neve Jones.
Jackson was just short with the conversion leaving the score 17 – 12 in Munster’s favour.
Unfortunately poor execution let Ulster down in the second half. Disappointedly, after 12 weeks of preparation, the front five never gelled in any of its many formats and Munster largely bossed the breakdown, Ulster taking contact too upright too often for consistent ball presentation.
The set piece always gave Munster a way out whenever Ulster applied pressure and with the home side dominating the break down the plentiful supply of ball saw Munster’s Kate Sheehan and Niamh Kavanagh cross to secure the game.
Ulster had their chances and, once again, Irwin and Jones covered a huge amount of territory in attack and defence. Unfortunately any forays into the Munster half were either turned over or thrown away with untidy passes becoming more prevalent as the game wore on.
Munster kept turning the screw until the end with Pearse going over close to the end to secure the 38 – 12 win.
MUNSTER: Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemian), Laura O’Mahony (UL Bohemian), Enya Breen (UL Bohemian), Claire Keohane (Railway Union), Eimear Considine (UL Bohemian), Rachel Allen (UL Bohemian), Christine Coffey (Thurles), Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemian), Kate Sheehan (UL Bohemian), Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemian), Clodagh O’Halloran (UL Bohemian), Ciara O’Halloran* (UL Bohemian), Chloe Pearse (UL Bohemian), Grainne Fennelly* (Thurles), Sarah Quin (UL Bohemian). Replacements: Edel Murphy (UL Bohemian), Sarah O’Gorman* (UL Bohemian), Roisin Ormond (Ballincollig RFC), Sarah Garrett (UL Bohemian), Dorothy Wall* (Fethard & District), Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemian), Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemian), Laura Sheehan (UL Bohemian).
ULSTER: Ella Durkan (Malone), Fiona Tuite (Old Belvedere), Maeve Liston (Cooke), Vicky Irwin (Cooke), Emma Jordan (Malone), Jemma Jackson (Old Belvedere), Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere), Emma Kearney* (Cooke), Neve Jones (Malone), Ilse van Staden (Cooke), Hannah Beattie (Malone), Keelin Brady (Barnhall), Lauren Maginnes (Malone), Beth Cregan (Cooke), Shannon Buller* (Queens). Replacements: Megan Brodie* (Harlequins), Stacey Lea Kennedy (City of Derry), Shannon Heapes (Cooke), Chloe McIlwaine (Malone), Katie Hetherington* (Cooke), Diane Ramsey (Queens), Kelly McCormill* (Cooke), Dolores Hughes (Virginia)