Virginia RFC U14s 2nds make it two wins from two
Virginia RFC U14s 2nd XV took to the field Saturday for their first game of the season after the previous weeks walkover to take on Dungannon RFC. Another perfect morning for rugby at The Deerpark, and the hosts got off to a flying start.
From the first whistle it was obvious Virginia where going to spin the ball wide, and the backs capitalised with Jake White-Duffy and Conor Nulty both crossing for early trys, one of them converted by Adam Sherriff. To achieve this though they had to have a solid forward platform, and this was provided by an excellent front row performance by Cathal O’Reilly, Thomas Sheridan and James Smith. Where the scrum was evenly matched, Virginia where dominant at the breakdown with Luke Morris, Eli Caffrey and Callum Finane all securing good ball and frustrating the visitors. This allowed both Mark Gibney and Adrian Lynch to add trys, again one converted by Adam. As the half drew to a close Dungannon tried to gain some territory, but whenever they did they were quickly closed down by excellent defence from David Gibney, John Dolan and Ciaran Levy-Valensi. The pressure told again just before the whistle as Jake added his 2nd try, and Conor a conversion to go into the break 31-0 up.
A few changes were made at half time but Virginia had no intention of letting up on the scoreboard. Two furthers trys from Adrian on his return from injury completed his hatrick, before Evan Manning capped a fine display with a try of his own. Jamie Osbourne taking over the kicking duties to convert this last one. Luke Doyle and Cormac Monaghan both fitted into the backline well, solid in defence, and keeping up the running rugby from the hosts. With ten minutes left the bench was emptied and Dungannon had their best period, twice going close to getting on the scoreboard, but brilliant work at the breakdown from Robert Lochaden and a couple of great tackles from Jason Henderson kept them at bay. This seemed to deflate the visitors, and a great run from Niall Carolan, with great support from Cai Walker saw Cai go over for a try and Jamie convert. Shortly afterwards Niall needed no support as he crossed for a try of his own, and Jamie made it 3 from 3 off the tee. The final play of the game saw Cai add his second try before Niall drop kicked the conversion to make the final score 69-0.
A deserved week off for the lads next week, as the first XV travel to Dromore RFC looking for their second win of the season.
Under 8’s Away to North Meath
Under 8s played their first match of the season away to North Meath in Kells on Sunday morning in the bright warm sunshine. We had 14 kids with us ready to kick the season off in style.
In the first quarter it seemed that they had all forgotten how to tackle and run as North Meath ran in two tries without having a finger laid on them and Virginia running out of pitch in the first three or four attacks. From then on though it was all Virginia. With some of last years team stepping up to the mark, particularly Matt who capped off a fine day with four tries two in the first half and two in the second. Also making a name for themselves on their first outing in Black was Cillian Walsh who bagged a brace for himself.
The second quarter was the same when we replaced a number of people and again they forgot about tackling, rucking and where the pitch ended, yet again let north meath in for a couple of tries.
Players from last years team shored up the defence with Aidan tackling as if his life depended on it and Ronan, Tadhg & Lucas following suit. More tries followed from Dylan, Ciara Brady & Brian & Virginia finished both the first and second quarters outscoring the opposition.
Quarters three and four was all Virginia with Isaac, Odhran & Alex making tackles that could have been heard in Deer Park and Brian & Ciara practically impossible to take down. Tries followed great work at the ruck by Tom, Dylan, Odhran and Aidan with Aaron, Aidan, Tom, Brian & Isaac all getting over the whitewash.
It was far more comprehensive in that Virginia were better in every part of the paddock with a little ring rustiness contributing to defensive lapses at the outset of the first two quarters but a dominant second half saw Virginia outscore North Meath 14-6
Ulster U18 Girls Demonstrate Great Skill in Portadown
The Ulster U18 girls showed great determination and skill against Leinster and made them work hard for their win at Portadown on Saturday afternoon last.
Despite the final result of 14-21 in Leinster’s favour, Ulster never relented and scored two tries in the second half, one from Claire Boles (Enniskillen) and the second was scored by our own Sara Whitely from Virginia RFC.
Well done to all the Virginia girls on the Ulster squad, Sara Whitley, Megan Brodie, Leah Gregory, Caolinn McCormack, who unfortunatley was unable to play in last weekend’s match due to injury, and to Megan Higgins who made her debut on the Ulster team on Saturday. Great to see Virginia being represented in such strength and and reaffirming that girls’ rugby in Ulster is definitely on the up.