Ballinasloe RFC won an U18 and U16 Girls Cup double while there was success for Creggs RFC in the U14 decider in today's Connacht Girls Cup finals at The Sportsground.
For the first time three girls finals were played back-to-back-to-back after the expansion of the Youth Cups to three tiers, and those were braved the elements were treated to three very entertaining games.
The action began with the first ever Under 14 Girls Cup final where Creggs powered their way to an impressive victory over Connemara in awful conditions. Captain Sarah Purcell was among the stars of the show as she scored a hat-trick while Eabha Dowd, Roisin Maher and Siofra Hession also got on the scoresheet. In the end it was a deserved win for the Roscommon club, while Connemara will be looking to build on their run to the final in the years ahead.
The U16 final was contested by Ballinasloe and a combined Portumna/Loughrea outfit. Ballinasloe came up just short in last season's U15 decider, but they were able to go one better this time round despite a huge defensive effort from their opponents. Portumna/Loughrea kept their opponents scoreless for much of the first half before Alisa Noone was able to power over. Clodagh Powell then showed some excellent speed to double Ballinasloe's lead, and two further tries in the second half from Avril Deely gave them a 22-0 victory.
Finally the U18 decider saw two sides meet in the culmination of a friendly rivalry stretching a number of years. Ballinasloe took on Westport just a week after they also met in the U18 League final replay which was won by the Co. Galway side, and this game again lived up to the billing in an exciting game of free flowing rugby. Ballinalsoe led 12-0 thanks to tries from Aoibheann Reilly and Alisha Manning, but the Mayo side fought back and levelled it at 12-12 thanks to Grace Browne Moran and Mary McLoughlin tries. However Ballinasloe were able to find another gear as Irish international Beibhinn Parsons ran in four brilliant scores while Alisa Manning also got her second. Westport to their credit never gave up even when the difference became two much as they powered over for two more tries, but it was Ballinasloe's day as they won out 50-24.
All in all a great day's rugby was had despite some challenging conditions, as the future female stars of Connacht got a chance to show what they can do at the Sportsground!