Laois girls shine for Leinster U-18s

Eimear Corri (Portlaoise), Rebecca Mullen (Portlaoise), Maebh Donohue (Tullow), Rachel Cullen (Portarlington), Anna ONeill (Portlaoise), Jessica Sissy Weiss (Portarlington)

Eimear Corri (Portlaoise), Rebecca Mullen (Portlaoise), Maebh Donohue (Tullow), Rachel Cullen (Portarlington), Anna ONeill (Portlaoise), Jessica Sissy Weiss (Portarlington)

The Leinster U18 Girls travelled to the Queen’s University Sports ground on the Upper Malone Road in Belfast to play Ulster in the final match of the inter-provincial series. Simultaneously Munster played Connaught at a separate venue.

No less than five Laois girls were part of squad. Portlaoise were represented by Anna O’Neill, Rebecca Mullen and Eimear Corri while Portarlington provided Jessica Weiss and Rachel Cullen.

Leinster made most of the play in the first twenty minutes with the ball being tightly controlled by the forwards and play concentrating in the central channel. Ulster provided a stout defence but created few chances. Ulster conceded a penalty near the posts and Leinster opted for a kick and secured three points. Leinster continued to dominate the forward play but the score line remained 3-0 at half time.

Leinster immediately opened up the wings in the second half and scored a brilliant fast paced try on the right hand side within the first five minutes. The conversion attempt narrowly missed, leaving an eight point cushion.

Ulster responded with a period of sustained forward movements that led to penalties and territorial advantage. Eventually Ulster crossed the line but the ball was held up by Leinster. The Ulster pack reformed quickly and scored a try round the corner. Ulster missed the very kickable conversion that would have reduced the lead to a single point.

Leinster re-opened play on the wings and delightful runs by Eimear Corri sucked in many Ulster players. This provided an opportunity for Leinster forwards to score another try. The conversion was expertly kicked and Leinster held the 15-5 lead.

The win put Leinster on top of the interprovincial table and the draw between Munster and Connaught widened the gap between Leinster and the other provinces.

It was the first time Leinster U18 Girls had won the series. The slam nature of three wins delighted coaches Shane McDonald, Jennie Bagnell and David McKeown. The five Laois girls can be rightly proud of the part the historic occasion.




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