Barnhall v Navan 28/10/17
U14 Girls Leinster League
Barnhall 20- Navan 80
The girls eventually got to play their first competitive Leinster fixture. Two previous games were conceded by Clontarf and North Meath. They started in style easily outgunning a bigger opposition. The first half was dominated by Navan. Barnhall to their credit never gave up, and managed to get points on the board in the second half.
Anna Hilliard opened the scoring, cutting open their defence in the early minutes of the game. She went on to score six tries in all. Sasha Guirey was next to score with a similar, powerful driving run, slicing open Barnhall’s defence. Cara Martin, starting at scrum half, played with no regard for her own safety, brought down anyone who came within range. One of the highlights of the game was when she charged down a penalty. She scored a lovely try as well. Lauren Fitzpatrick was captain on the day. Her mission, completed successfully, was to take out their key ball carriers. I don’t think they will forget her.
Ally Cullivan was solid as can be in defence and contested well in the set pieces. Leah Morris and Steffi Finnegan combined well as out half and first centre defending well and setting up some great attacks. Emily O’Brien on her second outing, did very well and is improving all the time. Roisin Watters and Lauren Nash, both having started at the “give it a try” during the summer, each got their names on the scoresheet. Our other “give it a try” girl, Abby Moyles didn’t score but made a lot of yards on the wing. She is one to watch in future games as she is a natural athlete. Rosie Searle and Ava Galvin pushed the score higher with a try apiece.
Anna, Lauren F, Cara and Sasha were all definite contenders for Woman of the match. However, all three coaches felt that Sarah Leonard deserved the accolade. She scored two tries and set up several more. In defence, she quietly went about her business, always where she was meant to be, never missing a tackle. In attack she created space and always found someone to offload to as she was tackled. All in all, a very intelligent player who reads the game well.
The final score of eighty points to twenty in Navan’s favour reflects the girl’s performance well. The referee on the day felt they were a very well drilled bunch and could find nothing to fault them with. Hopefully we will meet stronger opposition in future games to test the team, but this was a good opportunity for the newer girls to get some experience and the old hands to hone their skills.