Wins for South-East and North Midlands in Sarah Robinson Cup
January 4, 2023 11:25 am Des Berry
The Bank of Ireland Sarah Robinson (U18) Cup was centre stage again in a double-header at Energia Park on Tuesday afternoon.
It followed the formbook as North Midlands and South-East maintained their unbeaten records at the expense of Metro and North-East, respectively.
North Midlands 43 Metro 12
It took North Midlands longer than they would have wanted to hit their stride.
Metro were quickly into their patterns, looking to release the back three off good carrying work up front from Isobel O’Sullivan and Emily Tarrant.
North Midlands didn’t quite adjust to this, centre Niamh Murphy doing a good job at preventing the ball from reaching wings Hannah Scanlan and Adara Carthy.
The reason for going wide was soon uncovered when Scanlan was given the ball in space to skin the cover in the 10th minute.
Then, NM number eight Orla McDonald was stopped by a tremendous tackle by full-back Brooke Fagan-Merrigan.
However, nimble work on the floor by wing Ellie White enabled centre Murphy to make it 5-all in the 18th minute.
Out-half Amy Rushton was beginning to turn the screw from a variety of kicks and this was met with agile ruck work by Metro, led by Tarrant and Sarah Moody.
It would take something special to break down Metro, Rushton, Heidi Lyons and Emma Jane Wilson all taking a hand in sending Murphy in for the second try, converted by Ruston for 12-5 in the 26th minute.
Metro out-half Sadhbh Furlong pushed the pace, creating a hole Moody could not quite exploit.
They stayed on point long enough for second-row Saidhbh Poullain to muscle over for Charlotte Nagle to level it up at half-time.
On return to action, North Midlands wasted no time in hammering home their advantage by striking twice in three minutes through Katre Noons and Julie Nolan, Rushton converting both, for a 14-point lead.
They were moving menacingly onto the ball, Murphy almost holding on for her hat-trick before Nolan secured her second from an exquisite late line, Rushton kicking the extras for 33-12 in the 45th minute.
Metro had to offer more than defence, although Sasha Sweeney made back-to-back tackles and the pack counter-rucked brilliantly on their own line.
They just couldn’t move away from the danger zone and full-back Sophie Cullen was next on the scoresheet.
A determined burst from Metro prop Hope Lowney came to nothing. Rushton intercepted to make headway, eventually leading to flanker Emma-Jane Wilson’s try in the 51st minute.
Scorers – North Midlands: N Murphy, J Nolan 2 tries each; K Noons, S Cullen, EJ Wilson try each; A Rushton 4 cons. Metro: H Scanlan, S Poullain try each; C Nagle con.
North Midlands – (15) Sophie Cullen (Naas), (14) Faye O’Toole (Clane), (13) Niamh Murphy (Port Dara), (12) Heidi Lyons (Naas), (11) Ellie White (PortDara), (10) Amy Rushton (Port Dara), (9) Julie Nolan (Athy), (1) Aoife Thompson (PortDara), (2) Lucy Snoddy (Athy), (3) May Kelleher (Naas), (4) Roisin Kehoe (PortDara), (5) Alannah O’Brien (Athy), (6) Emma-Jane Wilson (PortDara), (7) Kate Noons (PortDara), (8) Orla McDonald (PortDara, Capt).
Replacements: (16) Lizzie Crumpton (North Kildare), (17) Clodagh Goulding (PortDara), (18) Ellen Dunne (Athy), (19) Orla O’Keeffe (PortDara), (20) Lily Haslam (Naas), (21) Erin Fitzpatrick (Portlaoise), (22) Emma Henry (Athy), (23) Bridgette Cummins (Clane).
Metro – (15) Brooke Fagan-Merrigan (Clontarf), (14) Hannah Scanlan (Clontarf), (13) Charlotte Nagle (Clontarf), (12) Alyssa Pasley (MU-Barnhall), (11) Adara Carthy (MU-Barnhall), (10) Sadhbh Furlong (Greystones), (9) Giselle O’Donoghue (Clontarf), (1) Kate O’Driscoll (Suttonians), (2) Sinead Farrell (MU-Barnhall), (3) Hope Lowney (MU-Barnhall), (4) Laoise McAuley (MU-Barnhall), (5) Saidhbh Poullain (DLSP), (6) Isobel O’Sullivan (Greystones, Capt), (7) Emily Tarrant (MU-Barnhall), (8) Sarah Moody (Greystones).
Replacements: (16)Emma Counihan (MU-Barnhall), (17) Louise Byrne (MU-Barnhall), (18) Mia Gordon (MU-Barnhall), (19) Sasha Sweeney (Greystones), (20) Lucy Simpson (Terenure College), (21) Millie Merrigan-Devlin (Greystones), (22) Aoibhe Curran (MU-Barnhall)
South-East 64 North-East 0
A difficult-looking assignment for North East got even more testing when a sweet pass from Abby Healy allowed Katie Corrigan to scoot through for the first try, converted by Healy in the third minute.
Out-half Healy doubled the advantage by collecting her own kick and converting with ease from the shadow of the posts.
The passes started to stick for NE and Lily Byrne and Meah Reid cracked the gain line aggressively without the penetration necessary further out.
A barnstorming break from Carla Cloney put SE back in charge, Corrigan and Robyn O’Connor paving the way for centre Clara Dunne to dot down for Healys conversion for 21-0 in the 16th minute.
It wasn’t before Dunne was making it two tries in as many minutes with flanker Ciara Short rewarded for supporting Dunne’s surge for the fifth try, converted by Healy, for a 33-point gap.
There were moments of encouragement from the dancing feet of Emma Brogan and physical carrying of lock Alma Atagamen.
But, number eight Orla Wafer’s speed from deep allied to soft hands put Short on the ball. The flanker was the link to Corrigan outflanking the defence for another converted try.
It was Short’s turn to claim a second when Healy, O’Connor and the sure passing of the forwards created the opening to make it 45-0 at the interval.
Centres Dunne and Corrigan were flowing onto the ball, Dunne doing the legwork for Robyn O’Connor’s touchdown in the 42nd minute.
This was quickly followed by another effort from long-range, Emer Sweetnam cutting in from the right for Doireann Kiloran to tag on two.
Replacement Kiloran was making an impression, running in the tenth try and adding the conversion.
The best NE could muster was to defend their line, while Atagaman and Nicola Campbell tried to drive them out of trouble.
The tenacity of centre Brogan and hooker Lily Byrne was an example to those around them to keep going to the end when Alam Atagamen finally secured a try under the stand.
SOUTH-EAST – K Corrigan, C Dunne, C Short 2 tries each; A Healy try, 5 cons; D Kiloran try, 2 cons; R O’Connor, E Sweetman try each.
NORTH-EAST – A Atagamen try.
South-East – (15) Robyn O’Connor (Wexford Wanderers), (14) Alannah Dixon (Wicklow), (13) Katie Corrigan (Tullow), (12) Clara Dunne (Wicklow), (11) Molly O’Gorman (Wexford Wanderers), (10) Abby Healy (Wicklow), (9) Eve Prendergast (New Ross), (1) Kelly McKee (Wicklow), (2) Molly Callery (Wicklow), (3) Melissa Quirke (Wexford Wanderers), (4) Usha Daly-O’Toole (Gorey), (5) Carla Cloney (Enniscorthy), (6) Deirbhile Gavighan (Wicklow), (7) Ciara Short (Wicklow), (8) Orla Wafer (Enniscorthy).
Replacements: (16) Bronagh Boggan (Wexford Wanderers), (17) Aoife Cullen (Wexford Wanderers), (18) Rachel Dempsey (Wexford Wanderers), (19) Amy O’Brien (Enniscorthy), (20) Rebecca Brennan (Wicklow), (21) Amelie Birrell (Wicklow), (22) Doireann Kiloran (Arklow), (23) Emer Sweetnam (Gorey).
North-East – (15) Eve Conway (Dundalk), (14) Kate O’Molloy (Dundalk), (13) Emma Brogan (Navan), (12) Nicola Campbell (Dundalk), (11) Maya Toolan (Skerries), (10) Lilian Brady (Navan), (9) Alex Connor (Navan), (1) Chloe Brady (Navan), (2) Lily Byrne ( Skerries), (3) Lauren Bryce (Skerries), (4) Alma Atagamen (Balbriggan), (5) Sarah Guinan (Ardee), (6) Caoimhe Stewart (Ardee), (7) Ava Govern (Ardee), (8) Meah Reid (Navan).
Replacements: (16) Orla Haughey (Ardee), (17) Mia Coan (Dundalk), (18) Makia Carey (Ashbourne), (19) Victoria Olatunji (Balbriggan), (20) Shannon Campbell (Balbriggan), (21) Rachel Fanning (Boyne), (22) Emily Flynn (Navan), (23)Sadhbh Casserly (Navan).