BY KIERAN McCARTHY
SKIBBEREEN RFC played a leading role in Munster’s magnificent IRFU U18 Women’s Interprovincial Championship success.
Eight players from the women’s section of Skibbereen RFC have been involved in the Munster U18 Girls’ panel in this interpro campaign so it’s no surprise that the West Cork contingent was central to this triumph.
Emma Connolly (Skibbereen) scored 16 points in Munster’s convincing 36-7 victory against Ulster in the final, while Eimear Minihane from Schull was named player of the tournament after impressing in every game. Both Emma and Eimear started the final against Ulster while three more Skibbereen club-mates – Chloe Ann O’Driscoll (Schull), Alex O’Sullivan (Crookhaven) and Abbie Salter-Townshend (Skibbereen) – all played important roles in this win.
Vivienne O’Donovan (Skibbereen), Katelyn Hurley (Drimoleague) and Niamh Thornton (Skibbereen) have also been involved with this Munster squad every step of the way as they bounced back from losing their three group games to defeat favourites Leinster in the semi-final before overpowering Ulster.
Munster led 12-7 at half-time in the final, with Emma Connolly converting her own try, while Chisom Ugwueru also got over the line. Connolly was accurate off the boot in the second half as she kicked three conversions and a penalty, as Munster powered to a terrific win.
‘The entire club is so proud of all eight players and this is a huge boost to everyone involved with Skibbereen rugby,’ club president Mark Salter-Townshend says.
‘All the players came through the trial process, earned their place on the Munster squad and they all played their part in a great win for Munster. They played some incredible rugby in the final against Ulster and they deserved to win.
‘It’s great to bring that winning feeling back to the club and that gives everyone a lift, like it did when the boys won the All-Ireland U18.5 title last season.’