Leinster Girls u'18 League Semi- final
Boyne/Ardee 10 – Enniscorthy 7Stunning Victory for Boyne/Ardee Girls.
In this their first season in competitive rugby Boyne/Ardee u'18 Girls have made tremendous progress and achieved some notable successes not least in finishing in the top 3 of their league and reaching the knock-out stages. However all this was surpassed when the team defeated the favourites and league toppers Enniscorthy by 10 points to 7 in a pulsating encounter in Navan on Thursday night. The win puts the girls into the League final in Donnybrook, Dublin this Saturday (April 9th) where they face the Midlanders of Portarlington/Cill Dara.
On a great evening for rugby, Boyne/Ardee took the game straight to their opponents mounting wave upon wave of attacks through Aoife O'Malley, Olive Maguire, Holly Keogh, Emer McCoy and Hannah Ettie. On 2 occasions McCoy and Keogh were held up over the line. Following a series of scrums and lineouts Aine Reilly and Louise McCleery combined well down the blindside but again got stopped just short of the line by a resolute Enniscorthy defence. The vital breakthrough came on 25 mins when Boyne/Ardee elected to kick a penalty and the ever dependable Niamh Tester stepped up to convert the points from quite a distance and give
Boyne/Ardee a 3-0 lead – a score that proved crucial in the end. This score seemed to awaken the team from the South East and with a series of plays, they made inroads from the restart into the Ardee/Boyne half. A quick switch of play to the left touchline got around the Louth team’s defence and the winger outpaced the cover to score in under the posts. The conversion was added and Enniscorthy took a 7-3 lead into the halftime break.
In the second half Boyne/Ardee wrested the initiative back and again mounted intense pressure on the Enniscorthy defence this time through the backline. Breahna Millington, Soha Smith, Niamh Osborne, Deirdre Walsh and Roisin Feehan all drove at the line and Millington looked to have grounded but the try wasn't awarded. With time running out, Susie Keogh wrestled possession back and broke through to the 22m line, Orla Balfe in support fed Niamh McBride and from the ensuing ruck, Tess Meade powered her way over the line to get the deciding try. Niamh Tester added another superb conversion to give Boyne/Ardee a narrow 10-7 lead going into the last 5 minutes. Having got the lead, the girls were not going to give it up and from the restart, quickly gathered possession and got a foothold back in Enniscorthy territory. From here they were able to see out the game and finished worthy winners and secure their place in the final.
All support for the girls would be most welcome for the final in Donnybrook next Saturday (April 9th) KO 11.30am.
Boyne/Ardee Squad: Roisin Feehan, Holly Keogh, Niamh Tester, Susie Keogh, Hannah Ettie, Olive Maguire, Rebecca Murray, Orla McDonnell, Orla Balfe, Aine Reilly, Louise McCleery, Deirdre Walsh, Emer McCoy, Aoife O'Malley, Breahna Millington, Rachel Wickam, Leah McCarthy, Sally Kirk, Tess Meade, Soha Smith, Niamh Osborne, Zoe Dolfi, Catrine O'Connor, Niamh McBride.