U16 Girls Leinster Premier League
Enniscorthy’s U16 Girls rugby team made it 10 wins from 10 in this their final Leinster Premier league match to qualify for the knockout stages as top seeds. Coach Eamon Whelan rotated his squad making 7 changes from last week in order to give Amelia Morycka, Laura Doyle, Elaine Oladirin, Hannah Byrne, Katie Bates, Ellen Rogan and Chloe McGrath fully deserved starts.
Their opponents, a slightly under strength Portdara, only beaten twice in the league to date, played with the aid of a howling gale for the first half and led 7 nil at half time courtesy of a try after 10 minutes from their dangerous full back who did really well to field a clearance kick and run 40m through several would be tacklers for a great try that was converted. The home team spent the entire half defending without really threatening in attack. It is a credit to their determination that they only conceded 1 try after being under the cosh for so long. Laura Doyle, Amelia Morycka, Ellen Rogan and Katie Bates were excellent in this regard but full back Chloe McGrath takes the prize for a massive tackle on a far bigger opponent when a try looked certain.
Five minutes into the second half, a great 50m kick by influential centre Ciara Boland gave her team possession in the Laois girl’s 22 and good carries by replacement Aoife Wafer, winger Hannah Byrne and centres Boland and Katie Bates allowed Elaine Oladirin to power over from 15m out. The home team emptied the bench at this stage bringing on all the subs and they immediately made an impact. Good work by the pack resulted in a 5m scrum and a lovely blind pass from Boland put Katie Whelan in for a 10-7 lead for the Ross Roaders. Heroic defence from the away team kept the now rampant Scorthy girls at bay for the next 10 minutes. Wafer, Whelan, Ciara O’Leary twice and Oladirin all went close. Just when it looked like the away team might get a breakaway try, a thundering tackle by winger Jessica Blythe on her flying opponent resulted in Whelan gathering the loose ball and sprinting in from half way for a try converted by Mia Kelly. Kelly herself benefited from great passing by Aoife Codd and Boland to burst through two tacklers to score a 5 pointer that she also converted. Final score 24-7.
Portdara return to the Ross Road next week for the Leinster Premier Semi final and if they get their injured players back in time, this could be a match that goes right to the wire. Wicklow or Tullamore await the winners in the final.
Team and subs: 1.Brid Kavanagh 2.Jessica Wickham 3.Amelia Morycka 4.Laura Doyle 5.Ciara O’Leary 6.Miriam Knoblauch 7. Mikayla O’Leary 8. Elaine Oladirin 9. Kaci O’Connor 10.Aoife Codd Capt, 11. Hannah Byrne 12.Ciara Boland 13. Katie Bates, 14.Ellen Rogan 15. Chloe McGrath Replacements: Jessica Blythe, Katie Whelan, Mia Kelly, Erin Cahill, Aoife Wafer, Taragh Cooper.