|Enniskillen Ladies 1st XV
||10 - 5
||City of Derry Ladies 1st XV
Enniskillen hosted fellow Ulster Cup finalist’s City of Derry in the Quarter Finals of the All Ireland Plate, where the home team kicked off in what would be a dramatic and close encounter.
There were numerous phases of strong carries from Sarah Teague, Collette McMorrow and Ashling Maguire who created line breaks and crash ball’s to draw in the opposition, allowing scrum half Kathryn Dane to filter the ball out through the newly formed backline of Eimear Corrigan, Noreen Nethercott and Alana McCaffrey. This backline was to take several forms throughout the game, with the first change coming when Corrigan moved to outside centre allowing Shauna Murphy her starting position after arriving late to the field after representing Fermanagh Ladies Gaelic earlier in the afternoon, an all round sports woman!
The first try of the half came from a penalty within the oppositions 22, Dane drew the defence and delayed a beautifully weighted pass to prop Maguire who used her strength to go over the line and score Enniskillen’s first points.
Enniskillen’s second try came from quick reactions and even quicker feet when Derry was awarded a scrum deep in their own half, just inside the 22. The scrum was under pressure from the Skins front row, were a fumble from the scrum half at the back strayed loose and was picked up by Dane who side stepped 3 defenders to add a second try to the score sheet.
The second half was mostly played in Enniskillen’s own half with little in the way of attacking play due to Derry’s excellent ball retention and counter rucking. A break from Nethercott early in the 2nd half was shut down early by Derry when Skins failed to support the darting runs of their vice captain.
Derry hammered at the Enniskillen try line and on 2 occasions they were held up, but after persistent and constant levels of attack, they produced well earned points on the board 20 minutes into the 2nd half when they crashed over in the corner. Their replacement number 8 was hard to contain and proved to be a real thorn in the side for Skins. Her strength at pace was hard to defend and with poor tackling it left her with too much room to gain advantage.
City of Derry pressed hard for an equaliser try in the final 15 minutes and continually battled Enniskillen’s defence but in the end it was the home sides defence and calm under pressure that sealed the victory.
A penalty in the final 2 minutes on Skins 22 awarded a scrum to City of Derry - which their number 8 would have relished running hard and scoring from – but this was not to be. Skins knew they had to step up in the scrums and the first resulted in a turn over ball against the head, followed very shortly by a collapsed front row. The re-set scrum was won by City of Derry who made a break down the blind side only to be put into touch by flanker Shauna McMorrow where the final whistle was blown and a triumphant success was awarded to the home team.
The final score was 10 – 5 to the home side who now progress to the semi final of the All Ireland Plate against Old Belvedere J1 this coming Sunday in Dublin.