Connacht’s U18 women were the shining light of interpro action last weekend, coming from behind to claim first round spoils over Ulster in Ballinasloe on Sunday.

Ulster opened its account with a pack rumble wide of the right upright to lead 7 nil in the first quarter and chased it up with a penalty within five minutes, 10-nil up.

Starved of any real possession in Ulster territory defending the road, Connacht scrambled for much of the first half before a concerted passage of clinical phase-play set skipper Beibhinn Parsons loose on a fractured Ulster backline. Steering clear of contact for her first 20m, she skittled the inevitable cover contact 22m from the Ulster line and ran in under the bar, closing the gap to five. The conversion was a formality and three points separated the pair with 10mins to go.

A reluctance to clear deep in green territory meant a second Ulster score followed before the break, again 7m wide of the right post enabled the visitors to stretch the buffer from three to 10 on halftime.

The second spell took on much more of a test-match feel, tackles tolled heavily and close-quarter exchanges reigned supreme.

For Ulster Emma Kearney at loosehead was immense. At setpiece, immovable; in open space she rivalled any of the loose forwards on show for ground coverage and was difficult to contain until her untimely departure with a half-hour to go (injury sub). Inside centre and vice captain Kelly McCormill of Monaghan justified her leadership role with ball and leading the defences. McCormill’s elusive running was integral to Ulster’s first half dominance.

In green, midfielders Lauren Flaherty and Parsons worked well in tandem, Flaherty struggled to snare some of the quicker movers opposite while defending but more than made up for any shortfall once given the ball. Locking up two and three defenders for every carry allowed Parsons greater room to work her magic on the outside in open territory. Flaherty was one of very few who stopped Kearney’s forays at the first hurdle.

Openside and Ireland Sevens rep Lily Brady opened her account with a massive contribution preventing Ulster racking up more damage in the first quarter, and shone again in the final quarter busy in everything along with outhalf Meabh Deely, eight Grace Browne-Moran and frontrow super-sub Mia Fahy.

Coach Fraser Gow lauded the team spirit on show for the final 50 minutes.

 “I thought the team was fantastic in the second half, they showed great character to turn round the halftime deficit. It took us 20 minutes to settle, and Interpro rugby is new to a lot of the squad.

“That it only took 20 minutes to find our feet and then build a victory in the next 45 or 50 minutes is a huge credit to these players. There are definitely things we need to work on but it is a great start for us. Full credit to Ulster too, they played very well and could have easily emerged on top. Either way though, the determination and fight from our players swung the momentum Connacht’s way in the end.”

Gow’s U18s meet Munster at The Sportsground in an interpro double-header this Sunday, as curtain-raiser for the senior women.

Connacht Rugby would like to thank Ballinasloe RFC for hosting the game and to ‘Crumbs + Cream’ for supplying the catering for the day.

The Connacht U18s Girls team has been named for their opening U18s Girls Interprovincial Series clash with Ulster.

The game takes place on Sunday September 2nd at 2pm at Ballinasloe RFC.

1 Mary McLaughlin Westport RFC

2 Claudie McNicholas Ballinasloe RFC

3 Kayley Mannion Westport RFC

4 Jordan Hopkins Ballinasloe RFC

5 Eva McCormack Westport RFC

6 Emily Gavin Ballinasloe RFC

7 Lily Brady Westport RFC

8 Grace Browne Moran Westport RFC

9 Aoibheann Reilly Ballinasloe RFC

10 Meabh Deely Ballinasloe RFC

11 Hannah Gullane Ballinasloe RFC

12 Lauryn Flaherty Buccaneers RFC

13 Béibhinn Parsons Ballinasloe RFC

14 Ava Ryder Westport RFC

15 Aine Galvin Ballinasloe RFC

 

16 Macy McDermott Westport RFC

17 Mia FahyBallinasloe RFC

18 Sarah O’Rourke Buccaneers RFC

19 Hannah Johnston Sligo RFC

20 Rian Callaghan Buccaneers RFC

21 Nina Mathastein Westport RFC

22 Niamh Kenny Ballinasloe RFC

23 Finola Collins Ballina RFC

The Connacht Women’s Squad for the 2018 Interprovincial Series has been confirmed by the management team.

A squad of 33 has been announced ahead of the series which begins on Saturday 1st September when the squad travel to Irish Independent Park in Cork to face Munster (k/o 2.30pm).

Connacht Women then play two home games – firstly against Leinster on Sunday 9th September (k/o 3pm) followed by the visit of Ulster on Saturday 15th September (k/o 2.30pm). Both games will be played at The Sportsground.

Team Manager Mark Moran has been talking about the squad’s build-up to the upcoming fixtures:

“Preparations for this year’s inter pro series have been going well. Like all years, we have lost some players from last season and also welcomed some exciting new ones. The players and coaches are working together extremely hard and it’s encouraging to see the standards improving every week. As a team, we are all looking forward to the series kicking off in September where we will be hoping for more great support.”

CONNACHT WOMEN 2018/19

Aifric O’Brien – Suttonians
Anne-Marie O’Hora – Castlebar / Galwegians
Amelie Roux – Galwegians
Catherine Martin – Suttonians
Ciara O’Connor – Galwegians
Clodagh Dunne – Old Belvedere
Denise Redmond – Galwegians
Edel McMahon – Galwegians
Elizabeth McNicholas – Tuam
Ellen Taite – Mullingar
Grainne Egan – Railway Union
Hilary Griffin – Tullow
Jane O’Neill – Old Belvedere
Jill Draper – Tullamore
Julia Bauer – Suttonians
Laura Feely – Galwegians
Lauren Retig – Suttonians
Mairead Coyne – Galwegians
Mary Healy – Galwegians
Moya Griffin – Tullamore
Nicola Caldbeck – Tullow
Nicole Fowley – Galwegians
Nichola Fryday – Galwegians
Orla Dixon – NUIG
Rachel Healy – Railway Union
Rachel O’Brien – UL Bohemians
Sarah-Jane Fox – Galwegians
Shannen Lane – Galwegians
Shannon Tuohey – Galwegians
Tara Buggie – NUIG
Tracey Gannon – Galwegians
Ursula Sammon – Castlebar / Galwegians

MANAGEMENT TEAM
Jarleth Naughton – Head Coach
Brian Murphy – Assistant Coach
Jason East – Assistant Coach
Barney Moran – Team Manager
Dan McCabe – Physio

FIXTURES
Saturday 1st September
Munster Women v Connacht Women (k/o 2.30pm @ Irish Independent Park)

Sunday 9th September
Connacht Women v Leinster Women (k/o 3pm @ The Sportsground)

Saturday 15th September
Connacht Women v Ulster Women (k/o 2.30pm @ The Sportsground)

Connacht Open training days for Girls Minis, U15’s, U17’s and U19’s (more…)

Things did not go Galwegians’ way when they took on UL Bohs at Crowley Park on Sunday.
Having claimed 3 out of 4 wins in the starting half of the league, Galwegians were hoping to maintain this display against last year’s league winners UL Bohs. (more…)

Connacht Women's 2nd Development Day June 6th (more…)

Wednesday April 29th is the Women's Southwest Development League Final, with UCG ladies looking to defeat Galbally for the first time. Kick off is 8pm in the Sportsground. This will be a tough encounter, as Galbally defeated UCG during the season 5-0. Please come and support! (more…)

Last Saturday the 28th of March Connacht U18 girls took to the field in Dubarry park for their very first Interprovincial fixture. (more…)

Connacht U18's host it's first ever Interpro match in Buccaneers Saturday, March 28th at 2pm. (more…)

Connacht's Helen Jones gets call up to Irish Team in deserved victory against Scotland (more…)

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