History was made on Sunday last when the Colts U15 girls played their first home game in Claremorris against Ballinasloe on the Convent pitch.
Conditions were good, with glorious spring sunshine and a fine dry pitch. From the kick off we knew it was going to be a tough encounter against a strong and vastly more experienced team. Ballinasloe were quick to make their mark, scoring early tries as they managed to dodge tackles from a valiant Colts defence and take advantage of overlaps.
As the first half progressed the Colts gained more and more possession, with forwards Aine Mangan and Louise Reaney cleaning up lose ball from Ballinasloe lineouts, Aisling Hahessy and Lara Quirke turning over the ball in rucks, with good support from forwards Zoe Jennings and Emma McGing.
Despite their best efforts however the Colts struggled to break through the Ballinasloe defence, although Abbiegayle Ronayne made it over the try line, only to find the try disallowed due to an earlier forward pass.
Very early in the second half the Colts earned a well worked try, with Kaitlyn Mullaney carrying the ball over the line.
The backs continued to hold a good defensive line, closing down the opposition from the scrums, and passing the ball down the line in attack.Every girl on the pitch played their part as a team, supporting each other and showing guts and determination, with centre Ellen McHugh, and forward Molly Agger cleaning up loose ball and Orlaith Duffy at full back chasing down and wining the ball when Ballinasloe had to kick their way out of trouble.
Ballinasloe were quick to capitalise on the occasional chink in the Colts armour, powering through the defence to score a few more tries.
There was some great attacking play from number 8 Hannah Duffy and second row Nicole Mullee and the dynamic duo of Muireann and Micheala Gormley on the wings and Vicky Jennings at centre put in some strong tackles. Despite having no subs, the girls give it their all right up to the final whistle.
The final score was a bruising 44-5 – in the end the experience of the away team won through. However, the Colts girls played some valiant rugby and have continued to build a strong foundation since their first ever game last September.
Thank you to the parents who provided refreshments and organised tea for players and supporters at the end of the game.
Colts: Molly Agger, Aine Mangan, Aisling Hahessy, Nicole Mullee, Lara Quirke, Zoe Jennings, Lousie Reaney, Hannah Duffy, Kaitlyn Mullaney, Abbiegayle Ronayne, Ellen McHugh, Vicky Jennings, Muireann Gormley, Michaela Gormely, Emma McGing, Orlaith Duffy.