Sligo RFC U16 Girls reach the Connacht Cup final

Defeated a strong Ballinasloe outfit in hugely entertaining semi-final

Sligo U16 Girls are through to the Connacht Cup final for the second successive year.

Sligo Champion

Sligo RFC U16 Girls are through to a second, successive Connacht Cup Final, following a fiercely competitive semi-final against an excellent Ballinasloe team on Saturday.

This was always going to be a tough away game for Sligo and an early Ballinasloe try only added to the pressure. However, Sligo responded well with two converted tries, the first from Sophia Sweeney with a pick and go from the back of a scrum, the second from a kick and chase by out-half Lara Clinch. Ballinasloe soon hit back with a converted try of their own before inside centre, and recent recruit, Catherine Gallagher sniped over following some good pressure from the Sligo forwards.

A breathless first half ended with Sligo leading 19 – 12.

Ballinasloe began the second half with a lot of possession but a promising attack down the right wing was halted on the Sligo 22 by an excellent tackle from Lauren Maye, forcing the ball carrier to make a hasty offload.

The offload didn’t reach its intended destination as Lara Clinch intercepted the pass and ran down the wing to score in the corner. Once again Ballinasloe responded well, crossing the whitewash, and converting the try to close the lead to a one score game. All cup games are tense, and this was no exception. In the last ten minutes of the game Sligo looked the stronger team as they pressed Ballinasloe on their own 5 metre line. With the last play of the game Sligo found some space on the right to seal victory with a fifth try and win the game 29 – 17.

The U16 girls now look forward to playing Division 2 Champions, Claremorris Colts in the Connacht Cup Final on April 2nd at The Sportsground in Galway.

“Huge thanks to the Ballinasloe players and coach, Gearoid, for a great game of rugby. And to all at Ballinasloe RFC for the excellent hospitality we received in the clubhouse after the match. Final thanks go to the match referee, Abraham Afolabi,” the club said.

Sligo RFC U16 Girls: Tiara Smet, Ana Isidro, Mimi Lee, Maya Donaghy, Kate Golden, Leia Meehan, Lauren Hunter, Sophia Sweeney, Alba Ruiz De Alda Salvador, Lara Clinch, Rebecca Doherty, Catherine Gallagher, Roisín Gormley, Lauren Maye, Mollie Ronan, Elin Siochain Simeoni, Shauna Williams McDermott, Freyja Mullen-Whelan, Emma Meehan, Saoirse Love, Anna Raftery.