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Jessica McMaster is out to shoot girls to title glory

Ulster are looking to build on their bronze medal success at the UK School Games when they defend their Under 18 inter-provincial title in Dublin this weekend.

Competing in the tournament in Manchester is something none of the other provinces were able to replicate in their preparation for the annual showpiece.

Ulster coach Steven Arbuthnot will travel to Grange Road with the majority of the squad which was in England, with just three changes in personnel.

However, the Lisnagarvey defender realises that a tough task lies ahead, particularly as Leinster, who were runners-up last season, have home advantage.

"Playing at Garvey last season was a big help and we were able to train regularly on the pitch in the build-up to the tournament," said Arbuthnot.

"Obviously we don't have that luxury on this occasion whereas Leinster will have had plenty of practice on the pitch.

"But taking part in the UK School Games gave us competitive matches which should stand us in good stead."

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The Ulster squad will be captained by Lurgan's Kathryn Edgar and they have a potential matchwinner in Ulster Elks striker Jessica McMaster.

"Jessica does her talking with the goals she scores and has a knack of being in the right position at the right time," added the Ulster coach.

Ireland's most-capped player Shirley McCay, will be in charge of the Ulster U16 squad, having steered the boys team to gold medals at the UK School Games.

McCay's charges will be aiming to go at least one better than last year when they finished third in the series at Lisnagarvey.

Due to the inter-pros, there are no Ulster Premier League games this weekend but there's a full Senior One programme.

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