Tullamore girls in 7s heaven after Donnybrook double
The Bank of Ireland Leinster Schoolgirls 7s Junior and Senior Cup Finals took place in the sun-soaked Donnybrook Stadium last Friday.
With 11 different schools participating in the U-16 and U-19 competitions, almost 200 schoolgirls had the opportunity to showcase their 7s rugby prowess against their provincial counterparts.
The group stages were a tight affair with each game proving crucial in the shield and cup qualification standings.
Sacred Heart, Tullamore got into an early lead in both the junior and senior competitions with New Park, Firhouse and St Raphaela's keeping pace. Indeed it was the Tullamore outfit that ran out impressive winners in both the U-16 and U-19 cup finals, beating off stiff competition from St Louis and The High School respectively. St Louis made up for their junior cup final disappointment by taking the senior shield title with St Kevin's capturing the junior title.
Present on the day were some provincial and international stars of Leinster and Irish rugby including Katie Fitzhenry, Nora Stapleton, Jenny Murphy, Hannah Tyrrell and current Irish captain Niamh Briggs who posed for pictures and imparted some words of wisdom on the young players.
Credit must go to the teachers and coaches in all of the schools who prepared their players so well for this competition as well as the schools committee and Leinster Rugby for their support of the initiative. With girls' and women's rugby growing so rapidly across the province, the future looks bright for the growth of the schools game.