The Ulster U18 Girls’ season ended in disappointment when they were beaten by a resurgent Munster team in the final of this year’s Interprovincial Championship in MU Barnhall, Co. Kildare on Saturday 21st September.
This talented, motivated and ambitious group of players will have been frustrated that they didn’t get their hands on silverware, having made the final, but when they sit back and take stock of this year’s Interpro season they should reflect on the many positives. These included a season opening win versus US touring team Midwest Thunder, a rare away win versus Munster in Cork and victories over Connacht in the ‘round robin’ stage and again in the semi-final, where they came back from a 12-22 deficit to win 24-22.
Key figures in all six matches were local lassies: India Daley, Zara Flack, Lauren Kilfedder, Lucy Thompson, Farrah McCloskey, Moya Hill and Sophie Barrett. All seven girls play with Enniskillen RFC and the coaching staff at ERFC should take great satisfaction in seeing so many of their players representing their Province. Indeed India and Zara were both called up to the Irish U18 ‘7s’ squad with India going on to represent Ireland in the European Championships in Poland. It is a great indicator of the strength of female rugby in ‘the west’ but should come as no surprise with many of these players being members of last season’s Enniskillen Royal Grammar School’s U18 and Erne Integrated College’s U15 Ulster Schools’ Cup winning sides.
For Zara and India this was their last season at U18 for Ulster but the other 5 girls will be available to play at this level for at least another season. All, bar Zara, now return to their club and into what should be an exciting Enniskillen U18 girls’squad for the upcoming season. Zara moves on to play her rugby at Ulster University where her heroics on the rugby pitch earned her a much coveted sports scholarship.