Monday 5 December 2016

U-18 girls in green hope to maintain blitz form in Munster tie

Published 02/10/2015 | 02:30

Rachel Tierney makes a tackle
Rachel Tierney makes a tackle
The team huddle after the game
Niamh O’Grady on the charge

Westmanstown was the venue for the U-18 Girls Inter-pro blitz on Saturday where Connacht took on their Leinster and Ulster counterparts.

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The sun shone brighter than it has all summer and the setting was fantastic in the capital. Connacht's first match was against Leinster and our girls gave them the shock of their lives in the first half as we trailed them by just one score, 5-0, at the break.

The Connacht girls were pumped and ready to go for the second half; however, things didn't go their way. Connacht had a player sent to the bin and conceded two more tries leading to a final score of 21-0.

The fact that so many Leinster people commended the Connacht girls on how much they have improved was of little consolation - as the cliché goes the score didn't reflect the performance of our girls but that's sport.

Connacht then had some down time, two-and-a-half hours, before taking to the field again against a very tough Ulster side.

It took Connacht a long time to get going and we were down 5-0 at half-time. After a rousing speech by captain fantastic Elizabeth McNicholas, the girls turned things around and a brilliant team try was finished off by Sarah Walsh, Grainne Lohan converted and the supporters went wild with excitement - 7-5 to the girls in green.

Alas, it was not to be. An unfortunate knock-on in our 22 and allowed the Ulster girls to get in for a try from the resulting scrum. The subsequent conversion left the final score at 12-7.

The final result was tough to take for a Connacht side who had given their all. There were tough words and tears at the final whistle and this was merely a reflection of how much all involved wanted the win their efforts deserved.

Encouragement

There were yet more words of encouragement from opposing teams on how much the Connacht girls have improved and this underlines the huge progress that is being made in the province.

The Connacht U-18 girls had their final training session in Tuam on Wednesday. They take on Munster in Westport RFC at 2.0pm tomorrow.

Please come and support our girls in green and here's hoping we give the Munster girls the game of their lives tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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