Ulster do the girls interpro double

Ulster did the girls interprovincial double as both their Under-18 and 16s produced unbeaten records to win their respective titles.

At Under-18 level, they won four out of four in an immaculate campaign but it owed a lot to a dramatic late win on Friday afternoon when they just about prevailed against the South East.

They led that won in the 36th minute via a Charlotte Beggs penalty stroke but Ally Williams levelled the game 12 minutes later from a corner. And it stayed locked at 1-1 until the last seconds when Hannah Buchanan got the vital strike for 2-1.

Ulster’s girls interpro sides celebrate their success. Picture: gpfoto.ie

Against Leinster, a single goal was enough to win 1-0 as Niamh McIvor’s corner strike on the half hour made the difference.

And they put themselves in the frame for glory by the end of Saturday’s play when Connacht were seen off on a 5-0 scoreline with the goals shared between McIvor, Beggs, Zoe Kilpatrick, Megan Cochrane and Lucy Mackay.

That meant just a draw would be enough to see them over the line from their Sunday game against hosts Munster. Once again, they put in a five-star performance, Cochrane and McIvor laying the base in the first half, building a 2-0 lead that ultimately ended in a 5-1 success.

Leinster finished second with three wins out of four, beginning with a 4-0 victory over Munster on Friday and then added two wins on Sunday – 2-1 against South East, 3-0 against Connacht. Munster were third and South East fourth.

In the Under-16s, Jodie Simmons set the ball rolling for Ulster in their 2-0 win over the South East and she was on the mark again in game two against Leinster for the only goal in the 18th minute.

Connacht gave them a real scare as Aoibhin McDonnell’s 19th minute corner effort put the western province one up against Ulster at half-time.

Yet again, Simmons made the difference as she equalised six minutes after the break and Darcy McGall put the northern side in front soon after. Simmons struck for 3-1 before McDonnell close the gap with nine minutes left.

Gabriella Scott and Sophie Kidd, however, ensured Ulster won 5-2. It meant a draw would suffice against Munster and they got that result when Simmons – scoring in every game – cancelled out Katie Moore’s 26th minute opener.

For good measure, Ulster completed the title on an extra high with a 5-3 shoot-out win for an extra bonus point.

Leinster were second in this competition, too, beginning with a 4-0 win over Munster on Friday. A 1-0 success against the South East on Sunday morning nudged them ahead of Connacht by a point going into the final match of the tournament. An early exchange of goals from Dara Rankin and Caoimhe Cleary left it at 1-1 with a vital shoot-out required to separate the sides.

Leinster prevailed 3-0 to earn second place while Connacht’s single point brought them up to six and third place overall.

Girls interprovincials results

Under-16

Friday: Munster 0 Connacht 0 (Connacht win on shootout); Ulster 2 (J Simmons 2) South East 0; Munster 0 Leinster 4 (S McFarland, M Power, S Woods, E Kelly)

Saturday: Connacht 2  (A McDonnell, C Cleary) South East 1 (A Handcock); Ulster 1 (J Simmons) Leinster 0; South East 1 Munster 0 (A Chamney); Connacht 2 (A McDonnell 2) Ulster 5 (J Simmons 2, G Scott, D McGall, S Kidd)

Sunday: Leinster 1 (S McFarland) South East 0; Munster 1 (K Moore) Ulster 1 (J Simmons), Ulster win shoot-out 5-3; Leinster 1 (D Rankin) Connacht 1 (C Cleary), Leinster win shoot-out 3-0

Standings: 1. Ulster 11pts 2. Leinster 8pts 3. Connacht 6pts 4. South East 3pts 5. Munster 2pts

Under-18

Friday: Munster 3 (L O’Shea 2, E O’Sullivan) Connacht 2 (A Heatherington, JA Langan); Munster 0 Leinster 4 (M McCready 2, A Griffin, O Bools); South East 1 (A Williams) Ulster 2 (C Beggs, H Buchanan)

Saturday: Connacht 0 South East 2 (A Gilsenan, J Leahy); Ulster 1 (N McIvor) Leinster 0; South East 0 Munster 1 (L O’Shea); Connacht 0 Ulster 5 (N McIvor, C Beggs, L Craig, M Cochrane, L Mackay)

Sunday: Leinster 2 (N Torrans, Z Watterson) South East 1 (D Lodewyks); Munster 1 (E Kavanagh) Ulster 5 (N McIvor, E Stewart, M Cochrane, L Craig, C Beggs); Leinster 3 (N Torrans, M McCready, O Bools) Connacht 0

Standings: 1. Ulster 12pts 2. Leinster 9pts 3. Munster 6pts  4. South East 3pts 5. Connacht 0pts

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