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Clan Girls Book Munster Final Spot

2nd April 2008 By Munster Rugby

The Clanwilliam Under 18 Girls’ team kept their best performance of the season for the Munster semi-final showdown with Fermoy. A hat-trick by star centre Freda Casey provided the home support with plenty to cheer about.

The Clanwilliam Under 18 Girls’ team kept their best performance of the season for the Munster semi-final showdown with Fermoy. A hat-trick by star centre Freda Casey provided the home support with plenty to cheer about.

Stormy and wet conditions tried to dictate a conservative game but Clanwilliam and Fermoy had other plans when they put on a free-flowing and exciting semi-final in the knock-out stages of the Munster Under 18 Girls’ League. At stake was a final spot against the winners of the other semi-final between Mallow and Thurles.

Clare Merrigan put Clanwilliam ahead within minutes of the kick-off, when she took a leaf from Peter Stringer’s book and stole a try on the blind side of a scrum inside the Fermoy 22. The conversion kick was missed. The home side lead was short-lived as Fermoy struck back with an easy try under the Clan posts. The conversion was slotted and the home side were two points behind.

Liz Burke, in another top class perfomance, replied for Clan with an excellent individual try. The conversion slipped wide of the upright, leaving a margin of three points in Clan’s favour. Certainly the best try of the season soon followed with a brilliant score from Captain Rosie Lynch. Rosie started her break from deep within the Clan half. Clever interplay with Freda Casey and Liz Burke meant that either of the three of them could have scored. Sandra Keane made sure of the conversion kick.

Fermoy soon replied with an excellent try to reduce the Clan lead to three points again. At this point in the game Freda Casey seemed to decide that enough was enough. Her direct running exposed some weakenesses in the Fermoy defences and she soon scored her first of three tries. Her second try followed within minutes as pressure defence by Clan following a Fermoy scrum saw Freda intercept a pass and score under the Fermoy posts. Again, Sandra Keane added the conversion points and Clan began to draw away from Fermoy.

Freda Casey opened the second half with a brilliant individual try, showing fierce determination as she crashed through waves of Fermoy defenders. The sure boot of Sandra Keane saw the Clan lead extend to a margin of twenty four points. Rachel Kenneally soon added to that lead with an excellent try, which was again converted by Keane.

Tired legs and a degree of relaxation by Clan saw Fermoy sneak a consolation try at the end of the game. The missed conversion was the last kick of the game and the final whistle caused scenes of jubilation from the home supporters. The Clan girls showed great self-confidence and true team spirit throughout this vital fixture and deserve their place in the Munster League Final, which will take place during the last weekend of April. Efforts in training will intensify to make sure the Clan girls give this great opportunity their best shot.

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