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Malone celebrating £10k boost for ladies' side

By Jonathan Bradley

Malone's growing commitment to the women's game has been rewarded with a substantial grant to help develop the club's facilities.

The Cregagh Red Sox have been awarded £10,000 through the Alpha Programme after its winter funding package was revealed with over £200,000 handed out to six projects.

Alpha Resource Management - a waste management and green energy company within the Lagan Group - launched the initiative in 2008 and distributes funding through the Landfill Tax Credits Scheme to a range of community and biodiversity projects within a 15-mile radius of the landfill site at Mullaghglass on the outskirts of Lisburn.

The Belfast side recently opened a new clubhouse bar at their Gibson Park home and will now use the funding to turn storerooms into women's changing rooms.

The proposed works will also complement a wider plan to improve the social facilities within the clubhouse and increase community use of the outdoor gym and function hall.

Speaking at the announcement, the SDLP's Claire Hanna, an MLA for south Belfast, praised the planned redevelopment.

"I was very happy to help celebrate the latest Alpha Programme funding package awarded to the Malone Rugby Club," she said.

"The club have used the funding to transform their facilities and rejuvenate south Belfast's rugby scene.

"The programme continues to support staff, players and ultimately fans of Malone Rugby Club and I hope to see its success continue in the future."

While the Ulster women's team lost to their Munster counterparts in Limerick last weekend, Malone's hooker Neve Jones, captain of the Ulster Girls who won the U18 Inter-provincial Series last year, made her first senior start following a debut appearance off the bench against Leinster a week prior.

Clubmate Peita McAlister also started the game at inside centre, while Zarah Ryan, Alison Boal, Ella Durkin and Jasmine Boyd are all on the panel this season too.

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