Midlands and North-Midlands claim Sarah Robinson Cup round 2 victories
November 2, 2023 9:32 am Des Berry
The second round of the Bearing Point Leinster Sarah Robinson U-18 Cup was played at Mullingar RFC on Wednesday.
North Midlands 17 North East 5
Once in front, North Midlands never looked like relinquishing the lead in a torrid affair.
Resolute defence was the order of the 70 minutes as the attacks were limited by the organisation and aggression on show.
The NM looked a touch sharper on the ball. This was illustrated in how they drove an attack for number Elle White to ground the ball in the 10th minute.
North East, backboned by three Ireland U18 internationals, were keen to rebound. They just lacked the cohesion to truly stress their opponents.
The NM props did all the damage for the next breakthrough, loose-head Kate Noons barging over and tight-head Emma Jane Wilson adding the conversion in the 21st minute.
Four minutes later, NE were on the verge of a response only for Wilson to arrive on time with a try-saving tackle to preserve the 12-0 lead at the interval.
Just one minute into the new half, the lead was extended when excellent centre Niamh Murphy burst through for the third try.
Nonetheless, the North East refused to accept their lot, battling for every inch of ground earned by the likes of Alma Atagamen and Chloe Ericson.
At last, they finished what they started when second-row Atagamen burst over to make a game of it in the 53rd minute.
The thrills and spills brought on by committed defence ensured there would be no further scores.
North-Midlands: E White, K Noons, N Murphy try each; EJ Wilson con.
North-East: A Atagamen try.
North-Midlands: Sophie Cullen (Naas); Ella Murphy (Athy), Shiela Bradbury (Athy), Niamh Murphy (PortDara), Ella Dunne (Athy); Laura Walsh (Athy), Muireann Cawley (Naas); Kate Noons (PortDara), Avril Whittle (PortDara), Emma Jane Wilson (PortDara), Muireann Smith (PortDara), Ella Keatley-Kindregan (Athy), Isobel Furlong (Naas), Orla O’Keeffe (PortDara), Ellie White (PortDara).
Replacements: Claudia Cuddy (Athy), Gabby Cuddy (Athy), Clodagh Goulding (PortDara), Brianna Brannock (PortDara), Louise Murphy (Athy), Orla Doyle (Naas), Erin Fitzpatrick (Portlaoise), Nicole Walsh (PortDara).
North-East: Emma Brogan (Navan); Anna Dawson (Dundalk), Maya Tolan (Skerries), Lillian Brady (Navan), Shayla Hollywood (Dundalk); Eve Conway (Dundalk), Alex Connor (Navan); Lauren Bryce (Skerries), Mia Coan (Dundalk), Lily Byrne (Skerries), Alma Atagamen (Balbriggan), Siun Douglas (Ashbourne), Katie Kearney (Navan), Tara Hickey (Balbriggan), Chloe Ericson (Skerries).
Replacements: Abigail Stokes (Ardee), Chloe Brady (Navan), Victoria Olatunji (Balbriggan), Orla Skerrett (Ashbourne), Sophie Malone (Dundalk), Katie Anne Bobbett (Ashbourne), Molly Whately (Dundalk), Kate O`Molloy (Dundalk).
Midlands 24 Metro 20
Metro was not inclined to stand on ceremony, moving into the lead when scrum-half Giselle O’Donoghue broke and centre Leah Nealon pierced the cover.
This advantage was wiped out after Sorcha Tierney caught a clearance kick and returned it with enough interest to finish for 5-all in the seventh minute.
Midlands captured the lead when solid ball work from the forwards created the room for Caoimhe McCormack to slice through for a try converted by Aoibhe Kelly.
In fact, Kelly, more usually an out-half, coped admirably with the change in responsibility, while centres McCormack and Aoife Hughes were effective in the middle.
Metro were not always on the receiving end and wing Teni Onigbode pounced for their second try.
Close to half-time, Midlands number eight Saoirse Guinan made it home for their third try which Kelly converted for 19-10 at the interval.
The physical presence of Guinan was impressive alongside the impact of replacement Claire Burke.
Midlands full-back Tierney was at it again in the third quarter, fielding another kick to counter at speed to the corner.
The Metro girls refused to accept the inevitable from there, forcing the pace for replacement Siobhan Layte to execute a diving finish.
They were able to make it interesting when captain Aoife Corcoran touched down for the fourth try to set up a frantic finish.
Midlands: S Tierney 2 tries; C McCormack, S Guinan try each; A Kelly 2 cons.
Metro: L Nealon, T Onigbode, S Layte, A Corcoran try each.
Midlands: Sorcha Tierney (Tullamore); Andrea Coleman (Mullingar), Aoife Hughes (Tullamore), Caoimhe McCormack (Mullingar), Jayne Charles (Mullingar); Aoibhe Kelly (Roscrea), Poppy Meyer (Tullamore); Thobile Lose (Tullamore), Julia Hooper (Tullamore), Moya Murtagh (Mullingar), Dervela Walsh (Longford), Mia Rowan (Longford), Hannah Kennedy (Tullamore), Eleanor Cole (Edenderry), Saoirse Guinn (Tullamore).
Replacements: Ava Horkan (Longford), Eabha O’Mahony (Mullingar), Claire Burke (Tullamore), Diana Izekor (Longford), Emily Murtagh (Mullingar), Abigail O’Connor (Mullingar), Chloe Mulcahy (Mullingar), Sorcha Ryan (Mullingar).
Metro: Sadbh Furlong (Greystones); Rebecca England (Greystones), Elisa MacGabhan (The High School), Leah Nealon (DLSP), Teniola Onigbode (Clontarf); Amy Bond (Old Belvedere), Gisselle O’Donoghue (Clontarf); Louise Byrne (MU Barnhall), Lizzie Cunningham (DLSP), Mandy Quadri (Clontarf), Roisin Ridge (Seapoint), Mia Gordon (MU Barnhall), Isobelle O’Sullivan (Greystones), Aoife Corcoran (Coolmine), Sandy Quadri (Clontarf).
Replacements: Ellie Dunne Rooney (Greystones), Ellie Moran (MU Barnhall), Katie O’Driscoll (Suttonians), Lucy Walsh (Greystones), Sara Moody (Greystones), Millie Devlin Merriman (Greystones), Tuathla Dempsey (Suttonians), Siobhan Layte (The High School).