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Super Enniskillen earn yet more Cup success

By Ronnie Ingram

Enniskillen College 10 Grosvenor 7: An excellent Enniskillen Collegiate side clinched the Girls' Schools' Cup for the fifth time in six seasons with a 10 tries to seven victory over Grosvenor Grammar at Upper Malone yesterday.

The scoreline may have flattered Enniskillen slightly but five first half tries wrecked Grosvenor's chances of avenging last year's defeat.

Grosvenor took an early lead with a breakaway try from their Irish under 19 sevens player Erin Caughey but the Co Fermanagh girls responded quickly.

"That early setback didn't put us off our stride," said Enniskillen coach Ally Finlay.

"We settled quickly and levelled when Alice Hurst off-loaded to Rebecca Pennell.

"Our confidence improved after that and our second try came after a training ground maul allowed Maeve Somerville to crash over."

At that stage Grosvenor appeared startled by the sudden change in their fortunes.

"We were not allowed to play our normal off-load game and the bigger Enniskillen team were on a roll and we just had to hang on," stated Grosvenor coach Karen Kirk.

Enniskillen piled on the pressure to take a 5-1 interval advantage.

Good work by Alison Glass and Abi Parkinson drew the defence for Emma Shaw to score the third before Pennell showed her speed and determination to go in for a solo effort.

Just before half-time Clare Boles sliced through the Grosvenor defence and linked with Kathryn Dane who added the fifth.

Grosvenor, though, fought back and had the edge in the second half.

Karen O'Hare directed play from scrum-half and Nicole Muirhead, Sophia Campbell and Bethany McDowell put in a lot of work, allowing Grosvenor to run in six tries to Enniskillen's five.

Their second came when Chloe McMaster crossed.

Caughey scored her second and then set up Annie McKirgan.

Emma Larmour scored a solo effort before Muirhead, who scored two tries in last season's final, strode away from the Collegiate defence to run in the final two.

Emma Shaw (2), Kathryn Dane (2) and Ellie Rix scored Enniskillen's second half tries.

"I was proud of all my players. It was a real team performance," said Enniskillen coach Finlay.

Female Rugby Officer Zoe Templeton added: "This has been the biggest Schools' Cup so far and involved 54 teams. We are pleased with the way girls' rugby is improving every year."

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