Girl’s U-18 Interpros: Day Two

* Thanks to Alan Good for the words and Rachel McSharry for the pics

Ulster claimed the girls’ U-18 title by the narrowest of margins after another dramatic series of games at Garryduff earlier today.

The northern province looked dead and buried after being hammered by Connacht on Saturday, but they defeated Leinster by the required two-goal margin yesterday to take the spoils from the westerners on goal difference.

Vanessa Surgeoner slammed home the opener for Ulster, but Leinster’s Sinead Loughran spurned a glorious chance to equalise when she shot wide after being put through one-on-one with Sammy Jo Greer.

Kirsty Lammey grabbed Ulster’s second after half-time, nudging them into top spot on goal difference, and they held out to leave the Connacht girls heartbroken.

While it was tough on the westerners, who were seeking to annex their first ever title at this level, they only had themselves to blame after going down 3-1 to Leinster in the morning game.

Connacht’s Dora Gorman had cancelled out Deridre Duke’s opener, but strikes from Niamh Atcheler and Loughran gave the Dublin girls a win that blew the competition wide open.

Ulster then put four past the South East – with Lammey, Surgeoner, Anna Mae Morton and Jenny Kyle all on target – but Connacht cruised to a 3-0 win over Munster via a Lynsery Trainor double and a goal from skipper Jessica McMickan that put them back in front on nine points.

All, then, hinged on the outcome of Leinster’s clash with Ulster. The permutations were simple – a win over any sort for Leinster would give them victory, while Ulster needed a two-goal winning margin to take the title, and they duly obliged.

In the final game of the day, Munster avoided taking the wooden spoon on home turf by defeating South-East 3-1. Lauragh O’Neill’s early drag put the hosts ahead, before deflections from Mary Kate Burke and Aoife Roisin Burke amde it safe. South East skipper Aine Curran grabbed a late consolation.

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