Last weekend saw girl’s U15’s and U18’s teams from nine clubs converging on Portarlington RFC for a day of highly competitive rugby played in a spirit of cooperation and friendliness as the season was kicked off with the North East Blitz…
The hosting of this blitz being awarded to Portarlington recognised the ongoing work being done by the club to develop girl’s rugby in the area. With their Community Rugby Officer, Alex Mihajlovic, working in local schools as well as housing estates to promote rugby to both boys and girls as well as a highly successful summer camp being run in the club, numbers of girls participating have grown strongly recently resulting in Port fielding at U12’s, U15’s and U18’s in recent seasons.
Spectacular sunshine welcomed girls from the host club, Navan, Ashbourne, Ratoath, Naas, Mullingar, Tullamore, Longford and Westmonstown for a blitz that will go a long way towards
Before the competition began, Women’s Development Officer Jennie Bagnall did some lineout work with the u18s girls and this clearly paid dividend as all teams could be seen lifting in the lineout by the end of the day. It was a combined team of Navan, Ratoath and Ashbourne who put down a marker in the early matches but there was very little between the sides in all u18s matches. In the end it was a combined team of Naas and Mullingar who proved too strong for the opposition and ran out winners.
When the U15’s kicked off, new comers Tullamore created a stir with great lines of running and some strong tackling. It was great to see so many new girls taking to competitive action with ease, practicing what they had learned in training. It was another combined team which took the title at the end. Ashbourne and Ratoath claimed the title, undefeated in all matches.
The day finished with a BBQ and the girls from the combined teams stayed together for this part of the day highlighting the new friendships forged through the alliances of competition. All clubs will have left the blitz feeling that much good work had been done ahead of another busy season of rugby.