Leinster U18 Girls overcame Connacht U18 Girls in a riveting game in Energia Park on Sunday afternoon.  

The home side eventually ran out 15-7 winners after a a tremendous tussle in this Interprovincial Series game. The standard of play had to be witnessed to be fully appreciated as these young women demonstrated skill and fearlessness in equal measure.

Connacht started the game strongly, with tight-head prop Roisin Maher scattering tacklers and wing Emily Foley making a burst up the left in the early stages.

Number eight Karla Tierney was strong in the lineout and flanker Ailish Quinn took the ball up with force as Leinster started slowly.

Connacht were quick to look for and find space on the outside in the early stages, with Mila Sotoparra eating up the metres on the right before the ball came left for Foley to round the cover for a stunning try, converted by Eabha Nic Dhonnacha  in the tenth minute.

A big hit and carry by Hannah Wilson pushed Leinster forward as they looked to bounce back.

However, Beibhinn Gleeson almost added to the Connacht tally soon after, cutting through the middle, with full-back Hannah Clarke then inches away from finding Sotparra with a final pass.

Leinster got their first try in the 26th minute, after Koren Dunne’s activity at the breakdown allowed for Abby Moyles to jink inside and find Emma Brogan with a clever pass for a superb score.

The sides went into the break with Connacht holding a narrow 5-7 lead.

Leinster gained the lead for the first time in the 52nd minute, after some excellent play in midfield gave the field position for Dunne to crash over the line for their second try o f the game.

Connacht battled back, going close via Sotoparra, however Brogan put the game beyond the visitors with here second try coming in the 57th minute to close out the scoring.

Atlantic Technological University (ATU) is a partner with Connacht’s age grade squads.

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