On a very cold Wednesday in UL, the girls Junior Cup Team lined out against St Annes CC. From the beginning this was a physical encounter with both forward packs competing for the ball.
The first half was a bruising affair for the CPB girls, who despite their continued efforts as a team went in 19-0 down at half time. Ciara Kelly, who was playing centre for the first time did some great chasing and made some important tackles in the first half, while Muireann McCarthy and Mary Fox made some great hits and strong carries. The CPB girls approached the St Annes line on multiple occasions but were foiled by knock ons caused by the pressure of the St Annes defence. Their flanker, at 7, in particular was an expert at poaching the ball from the CPB rucks. The highlight of the first half came in the form of Seren Lehane, who ran half way accross the pitch to make a try saving tackle by launching herself through the air at a St Annes breakaway player. There were audible gasps from the entire crowd!
The second half started like the first with St Annes dominant before CPB came into their own, scoring 3 trys in a row in 7 minutes. Much of this came from strong team play with Nora Fox driving through the opposition and Tina O’ Sullivan showing her skill on the ground. The first try came from a powerful carry by Muireann McCarthy and the pack, the second was a great individual effort with strong leg drive by Tina O’ Sullivan and the third a very skillful break by Grace Kingston, who noone could keep pace with once she broke the St Annes line. Grace also showed her skills in some great chasing and tackles throughout the game.
While the team were glad that they showed the supporters from school and family what they were capable of in the second half, they were devastated by the result. The girls can be very proud of themselves. They worked hard for eachother throughout the game and kept their heads up when the going was tough. The score was not a reflection of the effort, the skill and the workrate. This has been a fantastic experience for all who were involved and has raised the profile of girls rugby in the school. The future of girls rugby is bright in CPB.
We wish St Annes all the best in the Munster Junior Cup Final.