Ulster Women came up short against Connacht to record their 21st game without a win in this competition.
Ulster (12) 19
TRY: Stacey-Lea Kennedy 2, Lauren Maginnes
CON: Jemma Jackson, Vicky Irwin
Connacht (8) 20
TRY: Mairead Coyne, Aoibheann Reilly, Laura Feely
CON: Meabh Deely
PEN: Meabh Deely
Connacht kicked off and for the next 10 minutes Ulster worked their way up the pitch from a series of breaks and pick and goes. Eventually from a driving maul Stacey Lee Kennedy broke and hit the whitewash in the corner. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
Almost immediately Connacht were back in the game from a close range penalty by Maebh Deely. It was nip and tuck for the majority of the rest of the half with Ulster shading territory and possession.
Ulster had a try disallowed for a knock forward but responded with a break, followed by quickly recycled ball, which allowed Stacey Lee Kennedy to drive over under the posts. Jemma Jackson was successful with the conversion.
A loose kick from Ulster deep into the Connacht half was fielded and run back allowing Mairead Coyne to score to leave Ulster leading 12 – 8 at the break.
The second half was all Connacht with Aoibheann Reilly and Laura Feely scoring, Deely converting one, to give the visitors a 12 – 20 lead.
Ulster’s Lauren Maginnes crossed late on, Vicky Irwin converting, to give Connacht a one point win.
ULSTER: Holly Brannigan (Malone), Ella Durkan (Malone), Kelly McCormill (Cooke), Vicky Irwin (Cooke), Emma Jordan (Malone), Jemma Jackson (Old Belvedere), Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere); Megan Brodie (Exile), Stacey-Lea Kennedy (City of Derry), Ilse van Staden (Cooke), Chloe McIlwaine (Malone), Keelin Brady (MU Barnhall), Katie Hetherington (Cooke), Neve Jones (Malone) (capt), Lauren Maginnes (Malone). Replacements: Emma Kearney (Cooke), Shannon Heapes (Cooke), Aishling O’Connell (Cooke), Storm Cobain (Exile), Peita McAlister (Malone), Maeve Liston (Cooke), Lucinda Kinghan (Ireland Sevens), Fiona Tuite (Old Belvedere).
CONNACHT: Mairead Coyne (Galwegians), Aoibheann Reilly (Ballinasloe), Catherine Martin (Suttonians), Shannon Touhey (Galwegians), Alison Miller (Old Belvedere); Meabh Deely (Ballinasloe), Mary Healy (Galwegians), Laura Feely (Galwegians), Moya Griffin (Tullamore), Anne-Marie O’Hora (Galwegians), Tara Buggie (Galwegians), Denise Redmond (Galwegians), Ciara Farrell (Tullamore), Edel McMahon (Galwegians), Nichola Fryday (Galwegians) (C). Replacements: Elizabeth McNicholas (Tuam), Katie Murray (Tullamore), Aifric O’Brien (Suttonians), Alex O’Brien (Tullow), Shannen Lane (Galwegians), Rebecca Gavin (Westport), Orla Dixon (Galwegians), Aisling Brosnan (Co. Carlow).
Picture credit Bob Given Photography and Helen McGhee.