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Heartbreak for Ennis U16 girls in Munster league final

It was not to be for Ennis Under 16 Girls in the Munster League Final at LIT on Saturday. After a combative and entertaining game, Killarney pulled away in the final minutes to close out a hard-earned victory on a score of 27-15.

The opening stages of the game saw both teams attack with flair and energy. On five minutes, the Ennis pack with Emily Kelly and Rhea Foudy to the fore carried the ball into the Killarney 22 drawing in the defence.

From a succession of carries by the front 5 and The backs spread the ball and Aine Long went over for 1st try.

Killarney came right back at Ennis from the kick-off. Their backline were able to get the ball wide to the wings and excellent defensive work from Blaithnaid Benson and Emma Keane closed down the initial attacks. But the Killarney pack carried well and on 10 minutes the Killarney winger was able to touch down to draw the game at 5-5.

Then it was Ennis time to attack. From the kick-off the forward pack drove to the line, but Sally Kelly was held up just short. A quick ruck after a tap penalty 10m out allowed Lyndsey Clarke to get around the Killarney defence and take the score to 5-10.

After the kick-off Ennis winger Ellis Flaherty brought the ball back into the Killarney half, but Ennis were marginally slower to the breakdown. Killarney countered and their Center split the Ennis defence to score under the post and bring the teams back even at 10-10.

Both teams kept up the pressure with strong forward carries and both backlines spreading the ball.

On 28 minutes a spilt ball from Ennis allowed the Killarney winger to sprint to the try line and regain the advantage 15-10.

Ennis attacked straight from the restart and worked the ball into the Killarney 22. The Killarney pack tried to ruck the ball out but ferocious tackling and good counter rucking from Ennis resulted in a key turnover. The backs spread the ball and Lyndsey Clarke went in for her second try drawing the game again at 15-15.

Both teams continued to play excellent rugby and used their full arsenal in attack. High Balls from Killarney tested the Ennis back three and strong carries from the packs created space out wide.

The Killarney backline were able to capitalise on a turnover at a ruck and run in their fourth try, but at 20-15 with 15 minutes left Ennis did not panic. They worked the ball into the Killarney corner and exerted maximum pressure with a succession of scrums and lineouts. but the critical score never came.

Killarney cleared their lines and a pickup in mid field allowed their winger to win the race to the line, taking the score to 27-15.

With five minutes to go, Ennis couldn’t pull the game back. Killarney finished as well-deserved champions after a thrilling game, but this Ennis team can hold their heads up high.
With the first round of the cup looming, the Ennis supporters will know this team has a point to prove.

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