REPORTS Virginia U15 Girls v Mullingar & Virginia U14 Boys v Carrickfergus

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Virginia Under 15 Girls Win Friendly in Mullingar

On Saturday afternoon, the under 15 girls travelled to Mullingar for what promised to be a very competitive match, and those who came along to support the girls were not disappointed.  The two teams were very evenly matched from the start with neither wanting to give away possession.

About fifteen minutes into the first half, Mullingar crossed the try line for the first try of the game, which despite the kicker’s best efforts was unconverted.  The score at the half time whistle remained 5-0 to the hosts.

Virginia knew they had to up their game, and were awarded for their efforts ten minutes into the second half when Rebecca Snell touched down for a try, but the conversion failed to hit target.  Mullingar responded soon after with their second try, and once again it remained unconverted.    The Virginia forwards continued to battle hard, and the backs displayed some excellent ball carrying throughout.  Five minutes before the end, Virginia’s Lisa Mullen scored her team’s second try, which she converted with ease.  This conversion proved to be the difference between the two teams as the full time whistle blew with the score 12-10 in Virginia’s favour.  Both teams showed great spirit and determination from start to finish, which made for a most entertaining match.  Thank you to our hosts for their hospitality and Virginia looks forward to welcoming Mullingar back in the near future for the return game.

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

Virginia RFC U14s Close in on League Play Offs

U14s welcomed Carrickfergus RFC to The Deerpark on Saturday for what was to prove to be a titanic struggle at the top of Ulster Section 1. Virginia had suffered their first defeat of the season the previous week against the visitors, and despite a hard fought 27-7 win over Armagh on the Wednesday evening, they knew they were facing into a match they had to win.

Perfect conditions greeted both teams for the KO, and the intensity from both was obvious from the start. The set pieces were evenly matched with Jake Sullivan and Killian Collins solid again in the front row, and Michael McKeon-Boyle dominant at the line out. In a reverse of the previous week however Virginia had the edge at the breakdown with some ferocious rucking from Jamie Osbourne, Adrian Lynch and Robert Lochaden. With Carrick under pressure they employed the kicking game effectively, but David Gibney was there at Fullback to put the pressure straight back on the visitors. When Carrick tried to run the ball Virginia Scrum Half Jason Henderson had his opposite number under constant pressure, and the backs line speed in defence, organised by Fly Half Adam Charters, was several notches up on the previous Saturday. In attack they got the ball wide to good effect, and Wing Paddy Gordon, made several strong runs testing the Carrick defence. Constant pressure eventually told. Aaron Mannion was through but a high tackle prevented the score. Shortly after however Aaron chased down a delightful grubber from Niall Carolan to touchdown in the corner. This was to be the only score of the half, Virginia going into the break 5-0 up.

The second half was again an evenly matched affair, with play to and fro in both halves. Carrick were ever dangerous with ball in hand, and only a solid defensive display kept them at bay, with Ryan Kennedy in particular putting in an excellent try saving tackle. The game was decided by a superb team try, with John Smyth brilliantly turning over Carrick at the breakdown, before the ball went wide through the backs. Great support from the forwards was finished by a powerful run by Cai Walker to score under the posts, Aarons conversion putting the hosts 12-0 up. Jack Vaughan was introduced on the wing, and he too tested the visitors before the end, but with no further scoring Virginia held on to secure a notable victory. Mention too for those on the bench, James Smith, Callum Finane, John Dolan, Adam Sherriff, Conor Nulty, and Evan Manning who didn’t get a run, but are very much part of the squad.

The 1st XV are at home again this Saturday when they welcome Rainey Old Boys RFC. The 2nd XV are on the road to Stormont Castle for a top of the table Qualifying League game v Civil Service RFC.

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