Ulster Women lost 5 – 24 to Leinster Women in the second round of the Women’s Interprovincials but the Ulster team made Leinster work hard for their bonus point.
It was a much improved performance from Ulster at City of Armagh Rugby Club on Saturday evening, the scoreline flattering Leinster who made the most of Ulster mistakes.
Ulster (5) 5
TRY: Neve Jones
Leinster (12) 24
TRY: Molly Scuffil-McCabe, Katie O’Dwyer, Hannah O’Connor, Megan Williams
CON: Larissa Muldoon 2
Leinster lay siege to the Ulster line in the opening minutes but the Ulster defence held firm until the quick thinking of Molly Scuffil McCabe saw her brush the ball against the base of the large post pads probably a good foot from the line as she ran past. No lines crossed but seven points gained as Larissa Muldoon knocked over the conversion.
Ulster kept it fairly simple and played it back up the park with Neve Jones, Beth Cregan and Lauren Maginnes to the fore. Ilse Van Staden and Stacey lea Kennedy punched a few holes and after a period of sustained pressure Jones and Kennedy drove over for Jones to touch down for the first proper try of the afternoon. Unfortunately Vicky Irwin hit the posts with the conversion leaving Ulster trailing 5 – 7 after 25 minutes.
Ulster’s dominance up front deserved more, Irwin tormented their defence and Jones harassed their attack but Leinster were next to score, Katie O’Dwyer crossing out wide as Leinster thrived on Ulster mistakes. The try went unconverted leaving the score a 5 -12 in Leinster’s favour as the teams turned round.
I covered the end Leinster were attacking in the second half but there wasn’t much action, the bulk of the play taking place in the Leinster half. Every crucial decision seemed to go the D4 way but, to their credit, the girls in blue were more clinical in attack and did score twice more in their infrequent excursions into the Ulster half.
Hannah O’Connor went over off the back of a maul about 15 minutes into the second half and Megan Williams sneaked in in the corner after good work from Lindsay Peat towards the end. Muldoon converted to give a somewhat flattering scoreline of Ulster 5 Leinster 24 at the final whistle.
ULSTER: Ella Durkan (Malone), Fiona Tuite (Old Belvedere), Kelly McCormill (Cooke), Maeve Liston (Cooke), Diane Ramsay (Queen’s University), Vicky Irwin (Cooke), Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere), Megan Brodie (Exile), Stacey-Lea Kennedy (City of Derry), Ilse van Staden (Cooke), Hannah Beattie (Malone), Keelin Brady (MU Barnhall), Beth Cregan (Cooke) (C), Neve Jones (Malone), Lauren Maginnes (Malone). Replacements: Aishling O’Connell (Cooke), Shannon Heapes (Cooke), Chloe McIlwaine (Malone), Katie Hetherington (Cooke), Storm Cobain (Exile), Peita McAlister (Malone), Jemma Jackson (Old Belvedere), Lucinda Kinghan (Ireland Sevens).
LEINSTER: Grace Miller (Old Belvedere), Anna Doyle (Tullow), Elise O’Byrne-White (Old Belvedere), Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere) (C), Meabh O’Brien (Suttonians), Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union), Molly Scuffil-McCabe (Railway Union), Christy Haney (Blackrock), Lisa Callan (Railway Union), Katie O’Dwyer (Railway Union), Judy Bobbett (Blackrock), Daisy Earle (Railway Union), Jeamie Deacon (Blackrock), Rachel Horan (CYM), Niamh Ní Dhroma (Old Belvedere). Replacements: Jennie Finlay (Old Belvedere), Lindsay Peat (Railway Union), Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere), Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock), Alison Coleman (Blackrock), Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union), Megan Williams (Old Belvedere), Michelle Claffey (Blackrock).
Photo credit – Bob Given Photography and John McMurtry