The Connacht Under 18 Girls produced a brilliant performance on Sunday to defeat Munster 26-10 and make it two wins from two in the Under 18 Girls Interprovincial Series.
With the girls boosted from a late but deserved win over Ulster on the opening weekend, the side were again able to find an additional gear in the closing stages when needed, this time overcoming a late Munster fightback
The opening quarter saw Munster dominate much of the possession and territory, and the pressure eventually told when a quick tap penalty saw them touch down in the corner and a 5-0 lead.
That immediately sparked a resurgence in the Connacht camp, and they got a crucial score just before half-time when Beibhinn Parsons got her first of three tries, showing her lightning pace to set-up an easy conversion opportunity for Meabh Deely which made it 7-5 to Connacht at the break.
The second half which followed saw Connacht produce some magnificent rugby, and Parson’s second try made it 14-5 entering the closing 10 minutes. A second Munster try brought the gap back to 5 points, and with the visitors then on the front foot the Connacht defence had to continue in much the same vein that they started the game. That’s exactly what they did and they got their just rewards with two late tries to spark jubilant scenes at the Sportsground.
While Parsons grabbed many of the headlines, the performances of Niamh Kenny, Lily Brady, Grace Browne-Moran and skipper Aoibheann Reilly also stood out.
The now unbeaten Connacht meets Leinster in Barnhall RFC tomorrow (Saturday) to determine the 2018 top spot while Munster and Ulster battle for third place in a finals day festival setting.
Sunday’s win was again the highlight of an otherwise mixed set of interprovincial results for the province. Following the U18 Girls game was the Senior Womens meeting of Connacht and Leinster, with Leinster proving to be far too strong in a 47-0 win. Meanwhile the U19s headed to Bangor last weekend for their second intpro game, but it was Ulster who came away with a 33-17 win.
The Women will be aiming to finish their campaign on a high when they welcome Ulster to the Sportsground tomorrow (k/o 3.30pm), while the U19s are in Thomond Park tomorrow for a 1.30pm kick-off against Munster.