Mullingar V Navan Girls U14

Navan Girls were on their travels again last Saturday to their local midland rivals. Mullingar RFC kindly hosted a blitz with teams from Barnhall and Tullamore. The girls rocked up to Mullingar in great spirits and were keen to play on the fantastic 4G pitch, which suits their hard-running style of rugby.

The team overcame their first obstacle of the day when the logistics manager turned up to Mullingar without the balls, water bottles, cones and first aid gear. Thankfully our Siapan moment was averted by the quick actions of John, Nour and parents cobbling enough gear to save the day.

Navan’s first opponents were Barnhall. The Navan girls started slowly and were a bit shell shocked conceding 2 quick tries. The only two tries conceded all day. The girls quickly regrouped and steadied the ship under the returning captain Leah Morris. The girls realised that they needed to protect the ball in the ruck, capably done as always by Lauren Fitzpatrick and Steffi Finnigan. With the ball now protected the girls could control the play and implement their game plan.

Cara Martin managed to guide the girls around the pitch and Sasha dotted down for her first of 5 tries of the day. Not to be out done Rosie Searle chipped in with her trade mark tries, running from her own try line and powering over the line. Anna Hillard got in on the act with her mazy running style and inevitable tries. The team were delighted to have returning Meath County Star Lilly Dwyer back on the pitch for her first game and contributed with some strong rucking and 3 tries for the day.  Ali Cullivan and Ava Galvin relished the battle at the breakdown and were capably helped by Emily O’Brien who was not out of place with her first competitive game.

Our second game was against a development squad from Tullamore. Navan gave the opponents a few players so that they could have a competitive game. It’s great to see that the concepts of sportsmanship and respect are alive and well with the girls as they fought hard with the Tullamore girls. The game was somewhat stop/start with plenty of scrums and lineouts to practice. Leah Morris called the line with her usual confidence and set Ava Galvin away for the first of her two tries. Meabh Mills and Niamh McSherry were on either wings and ran hard all day with great yards made. They were great role models for our newer players, Alicia Kavanagh and Lauren Nash.

The girls faced their hosts in the last game, Mullingar were determined to finish the blitz with a strong performance. The girls started brightly but strong rucking and counter rucking by Mullingar had them under pressure. The girls showed some strong running lines and support play which lead to tries by Sasha Guirey, Lilly Dwyer and Steffi Finnigan.

Meabh Mills came in at number nine and excelled at getting the girls some quick ball and kept the girls on the front foot. The girls put 7-8 phases of play together and gradually moved up the pitch meter by meter and this wore the opposition down to allow Anna Hillard to stride towards the try line, only to be held short by a great last ditch challenge. But Cara Martin was able to sneak the ball over the try line in a cheeky Conor Murray style dive from the base of the ruck.

The girls got great praise from all the opposition coaches on the day. Of note, they were impressed with the structure the girls have to their play. Their strong work rate and competitiveness at the breakdown.

Keep up the good work! #navantothecore

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