Club Notes | Killarney Compete In Girls Blitz With Leinster & Connacht Clubs
3rd October 2023 By The Editor
The latest edition of Club Notes comes from Killarney RFC.
By Liam Murphy, Killarney RFC PRO.
On Saturday 30th the U18 girls teams from Killarney RFC, Tuam RFC/Oughterard RFC and Portdara (an amalgamation of Cill Dara RFC and Portarlington RFC) took part in a 15-a-side tournament hosted by Old Crescent RFC at Takumi Park, Limerick.
Facilities and pitches at Old Crescent were excellent, but weather conditions in the morning were challenging for rugby with a lot of rain and a strong breeze. Despite this the three teams served up a very close and entertaining series of games with great skill and endeavour on display.
The format was three round-robin games of 35 minutes and first up was Killarney v Tuam/Oughterard. The two sides were evenly matched in a physical contest that looked like it might finish scoreless until Tuam’s Keannagh Irons capitalised on a rare Killarney handling error inside their 22 to cross for a try and give her side the win 0-5.
In the next game Killarney faced Port Dara in a game that was a real display of hard running, offloading rugby. Port Dara took the lead with an unconverted Ellie White try. Killarney levelled with Niamh Dorrian finishing a good team try and Fia Whelan slotted the conversion to make it a 7 – 5 win for Killarney.
The final match saw Port Dara take on Tuam/Oughterard in another close end-to-end contest with scoring opprotunities created by both sides. The Connacht side proved more clinical in converting their chances and tries from Irons and Ailbhe Gannon and a conversion from Chloe Conneely gave them a 12-0 victory.
After the tournament all three squads enjoyed a trip to Thomond Park for the Munster v Barbarians double-header and were treated to really exciting try fests in both games.
Speaking after the games Killarney coach Josh Whelan said, “This event was a great opportunity for our squad to get a run out against quality opposition from Leinster and Connacht. The girls really enjoyed it and we’re sure it will serve as great preparation for our regular season games starting in October. It was great to connect with players and coaches from outside Munster, and from what I saw this morning I’d say the future of female rugby in Ireland should be in a good place. The standard of rugby played by all three teams in difficult conditions was really high.”
A big thanks to Owen Lydon and Marie Hayes for refereeing and to Old Crescent RFC for hosting.
Killarney: Marina Eagar, Isabella O’Leary, Holly O’Sullivan, Niamh Dorrian, Mary Ellen McDonnell, Fia Whelan (Co- Captain), Bronagh Dorrian, Annie O’Reilly, Ella Guerin-Crowley, Emer O’Keefe, Jasmine Dwyer, Jess O’Sullivan, Joanne O’Keefe, Melissa McCarthy, Lily Morris (Co Captain). Team Manager: Elaine Clifford. Coaches: Diarmuid O’Malley, Josh Whelan.