REPORTS Virginia U14s v Ballynahinch + Virginia U15 Girls v Letterkenny

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U14s shade top of the table clash v Ballinahinch RFC
Virginia RFC U14s were back in action Saturday when they travelled to Ballinahinch RFC for a top of the table clash in Ulsters Section One, both teams coming into the game with 100% records so far. The match started in bitterly cold conditions with the wind gusting, so it was to be a day to keep the play tight.
Ballinahinch started the stronger, having most of the territory and possession in the early stages. Virginia held firm though with some great tackling from Ryan Kennedy and Adrian Lynch. The visitors then worked their way into the game, mainly of the back of an excellent scrumaging performance. Props John Smyth and Jake Sullivan were once again solid as a rock on their own put in, and with Killian Collins at hooker stealing many of the Hinch balls they were soon camped in the opposition half. Line breaks were hard to come by due to stout defence, but the line eventually broke when Cai Walker burst through taking a few defenders with him, well supported by Michael McKeon-Boyle and Robert Lochaden at the ruck. Jason Henderson was quick to get the ball wide to fly half Adam Charters, and his deceptive step saw him split the Hinch defence to drive over for a try. The swirling wind was to prove a challenge for the conversion, but Aaron Mannion slotted it over with aplomb to make the score 7-0 to Virginia. The hosts though were a strong side and came back at Virginia, but more strong tackling by Evan Manning and Jamie Osbourne would ensure they retained their lead at half time.
The second half brought more of the same in a tight and enthralling contest. As the day wore on the wind died down, the sun broke the clouds, and Virginia started to expand the play. Niall Carolan was again influential at centre, trying to bring wings Paddy Gordon and Jack Vaughan into the action, both testing the home defence. Hinch weren’t going to lie down though, and spent plenty of time testing Virginias resolve. Continued great defence kept them at bay, and replacements Callum Finane, James Smith, and Conor Nulty played their parts in a stout rearguard action. It was to be Virginias day, and after a scoreless second half they held on to win 7-0, and keep their 100% record intact. Also in the squad were Adam Sherriff, David Gibney, and John Dolan.
The 2nd XV Qualifying League game v Instonians (also a top of the table clash) was postponed sadly. Next week the 1st XV travel to Armagh, and the 2nd XV are on their way to Limavady.

U12s Entertain Half-Time Crowd at Ravenhill
Virginia RFC U12s represented the club at Ravenhill last Friday as Ulster took on Saracens in the Champions Cup.
They played Armagh RFC at half time and were a credit to themselves and Virginia. A mad rush straight from school saw them on a lengthy bus journey to the Kingspan Stadium where they were welcomed by the Ulster Rugby team. They had great seats as they watched the first half before being whisked onto the field to entertain the 18,000 people packed in on a bitterly cold evening.
Squad was Matthew Byers, Tyrone Tynan, Patrick Sheridan, Ben Curren, Nathan Tobin, Tiarnan Walsh, Christine Charters, Darren Kavanagh, Martha Smith, Oscar Erikkson, Cormac O’Reilly, and Malachy Walker.

Under 15 Girls Have A Convincing Win Over Letterkenny in League

On Sunday afternoon last Virginia welcomed Letterkenny after their long journey to Deerpark for their first encounter in the league. The match was played in three parts of twenty minutes each, and the hosts started the game off with a try from Emily Gregory. This set the tone for the first part of the game and seen Letterkenny defending furiously but Virginia were not to be deprived and by the end of the first twenty minutes, the score was 38-0, with a second try from Emily, and tries from Lisa Mullen, Sorcha Higgins and Rachael McEnroe.
The second part of the match continued at the same relentless pace, and tries were added by Amanda McQuade, Ruth Gilsenan. Emma Ryan, and Samantha Snell.
When the whistle signalled the start of the third and final phase, Virginia were leading 72-0, but to the delight of the supporters Letterkenny never gave up and crossed the line for a well placed try, which was converted with ease by their kicker. Unfortunately just before full time Letterkenny were denied a second try when the ball was knocked on by the player as she placed it down, The final score ending 72-7.

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

The girls have no match next weekend, but on Sunday 13th December, the under 15 Limavaddy girls are due to come to Virginia, and the under 18 girls will welcome Malone/Harlequins in the next matches of their respective Leagues.

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