Last Wednesday 8 Junior and 16 senior teams from the 4 provinces gathered in Donnybrook Dublin to take part in the x7s Irish Schools Finals. Enniskillen Royal Grammar, having topped the Ulster qualifier, joined the other senior teams from Ulster, Munster, Connacht and Leinster to compete for the Irish title.
The first pool game was against Leinsters St Kevin’s and ERGS settled very well into the game playing fast, off-loading rugby and they were rewarded with a 9-0 win.
Next up was Colaiste Ide and Josef from Munster and again the girls stuck to their game plan and came out on top 5-2.
The last poll game was against Connachts Ballinasloe. This was a definite step up for ERGS as the team had been playing together for 6 years and consisted of several Irish players. 3-0 down at half time ERGS also lost Zara Flack and Katherine Graham to injury as the unforgiving 4G pitch took its toll. However the rest of the squad kept battling and finished the game 5-2 to Ballinasloe, who later won the Cup Final. Finishing 2nd in the pool and the only Ulster senior team to progress from the pool stages they now proceeded to the plate competition.
With only 15 mins break ERGS was in the semi final of the plate facing Munsters Skibereen. This was a closely fought contest with Skibereen scoring first, leaving the score 1-1 at half time. The determination and fight by ERGS was obvious in the second half and second try was scoredby ERGS minutes before the final whistle, 2-1.
So for the second year running ERGS were through to an Irish Schools plate final but the team was, at this stage of the day, feeling the effects of some tough physical games. Their opponents, Leinsters Rockwell College, were tough a oppositon but again the focus and fight in the girls saw them finish the match 2-2. Here we were again, in an Irish final, having to play extra time and unfortunately Rockwell got the upper hand finishing the game 5-2. The girls were bitterly disappointed but the coaches had nothing but praise for them for their rugby skills, their team spirit and their tenactiy.
The ERGS coaches and players would also like to congratulate Erne Intergrated team for winning their Junior plate final.
Try scorers -India Daly 5, Katie Hetherington 4, Lucy Thompson 4, Zara Flack 3, Katherine Graham 2 and Rebecca Beacom 1.
Squad- Katie Hetherington, Zara Flack, Rebecca Beacom, Ellen Bloomfield, India Daly, Lucy Thompson, Katie Elliott, Katherine Graham, Emily Stewart, Lois Egerton, Jessica Glen and Darerca Daly-Hutton. Due to illness squad member Sarah Armstrong was unable to travel to Dublin.