REPORTS Virginia RFC Boys U14s v Letterkenny & Girls U15s and U18s v Enniskillen

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Virginia RFC U14s March On In Donegal

Virginia RFC U14s traveled to Letterkenny RFC on Saturday for the 4th game of their Ulster Premier 1 campaign. With three wins already under their belt they were hopeful of continuing the successful defence of their title. Mixed weather greeted them in Donegal, but by the time the match kicked off the promised sun made an appearance, and for the main stayed with them throughout the match.

The Virginia forwards were once again the solid base for the teams performance. Jake Sullivan, Killian Collins, Robert Lochaden and Jamie Osbourne all providing the necessary strength in the set piece and aggression in the loose. The backs this week were determined to put all their recent work to good use, and with Jason Henderson at scrum half quickly began to spread the ball wide at every opportunity. The first to profit was Adam Carters at fly half who spotted a gap in the home defence to touch down for the first score. Forward power resulted in the next three trys with John Smyth, Michael Mckeon-Boyle, and Cai Walker all crossing the whitewash. The half was rounded off by brilliant work from our centres Ryan Kennedy and Niall Carolan, whose great handling set Paddy Gordon free on the wing for a trademark powerful run and score. Although largely starved of possession Letterkenny worked hard to create chances when they had the ball. Their attacks were quickly snuffed out though by a solid defensive display from David Gibney and Jack Vaughan. Four conversions from Michael meant Virginia led 33-0 at the break.

The visitors rang the changes at half-time, but started very much as they left off with Michael, John and Cai all grabbing a second try. Thomas Sheridan and James Smith came on in the front row and maintained Virginia performance, whilst the ever improving Callum Finane provided added aggression at the breakdown. Adam Sherriff took over at Scrum Half and continued to get the backs on the front foot, whilst Evan Manning and Joey McCabe kept up the solid defence by not allowing the hosts a sniff of the try line. More good work by the backs once again released Paddy into space for try nine, before Adrian Lynch rounded things off with a score of his own. Niall had taken over the kicking duties and he duly kept the scoreboard ticking over, giving a final result of 64-0.

No league games for the coming weekend, but both 1st and 2nd XVs have friendlies arranged with Leinster opposition before resuming the League campaigns the week after.

Virginia Under 15 & Under 18 Girls Have a Great Start to Their League Campaign Away to Enniskillen

On Sunday morning, both the under 15 and 18 girls travelled to Enniskillen to play their first matches in the League.

First match to kick off was the under 15’s and Virginia hit the ground running. By the end of the first twenty minutes, the girls had crossed the try line six times and converted three tries with the score reading 36 – 0. The second twenty minutes started with some quick thinking from an Enniskillen player when she took a quick penalty and ran in for what was to be Ennikillen’s only try of the match. Virginia girls added a furter two converted tries and the scoreline was an an impressive 50-5 as the third twenty minutes kicked off. The Virginia girls continued the same pressure using their full panel of twenty girls which included a lot of new players, and added a further five tries. The final score of the match ended 75-5 in the visitor’s favour.

Squad: Ruth Gilsenan, Sarah McNamee, Amy O’Dowd, Amanda McQuade, Ciara Byers, Lisa Mullen, Rachael McEnroe, Emily Gregory, Emma Ryan, Samantha Snell, Sarah Corrie, Sorcha McCormack, Ava Fannin, Sorcha Higgins, Eimear Coyle, Renate Strode, Chloe Duffy, Hannah Grimes, Emma Lochaden and Leah Rooney.

The under 18 girls’ match followed, and this game proved to be a tight exciting affair. Enniskillen enjoyed a lot of possession for the first ten minutes of the game, until the Virginia forwards took control of a move, resulting in a try from Cáolinn McCormack, which was ably converted by Leah Gregory. The rest of the first half was a hard fought contest and Enniskillen were rewarded with a well deserved try just before the half time whistle, leaving the half time score 7-5 in the visitor’s favour. The second half continued in the same vein with some excellent defence and rucking from both teams. Virginia’s Sara Whitley crossed the try line for her team’s second try , and this was followed almost immediately by a converted try from the home team bringing the score to 12-12. Virginia made a few changes and dug deep for the remainder of the game with two tries, one each from Leah Gregory and Virginia captain Ciara Brown. The final score of 22-12 to Virginia sees a good start to Virginia’s under 18’s league.

Squad: Eimear McEnroe, Amy Claffey, Leah gregory, Keavy McDermott, Rebecca Warren, Ciara Brown, Amber Redmond, Keelin Brady, Victoria Whyte, Nicole Higgins, Megan Brodie, Cáolinn McCormack, Megan Higgins, Sara Whitley, Niamh Daly, Sarah Drumm, Sorcha Fitzsimons and Michelle McAuley

Both the under 15’s and under 18’s girls’ coaches were pleased with very determined performances from both their teams, and the girls look forward to welcoming Enniskillen to Virginia for the return match.

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