Bann Under-12 girls play at the Kingspan Stadium

On Saturday 30th April the girls section of Banbridge RFC celebrated their successes of this season with a trip to the Kingspan Stadium to watch Ireland versus Scotland in the Women’s 6 Nations.

As part of the Women in Rugby Action Plan, the club have been working alongside Ulster Rugby to increase participation within the game in local schools.

The event was made even more special, with the U12 girls being invited to play at half-time.

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Over 120 girls aged between 8 and 18 gathered at the club for a pre-match picnic, organised by U12 coach Gillian McDowell.

Bann U-12 Girls who played during the interval of the 6 Nations game at the Kingspan Stadium

Following their play-off success, the Men’s First XV and supporters formed a guard of honour as the players left the changing rooms and jumped on the buses to Belfast.

The Bann girls were confident running out onto the pitch.

The game started quickly with our captain Isabella Copeland kicking off and Bann creating a strong attack. Ballymoney had a tight defence line, which our girls tried hard to break down.

After a few hard tackles, the ball went loose and Ballymoney managed to pick it up quickly and score a try.

The Bann girls were back strong as ever, with great plays being made between Sian McDowell and Lucy Bell.

Erin Dempsey, Charlotte Wright, Nancy McCusker and Maeve Alway made outstanding tackles and the girls’ rucking skills were first class. Great passes came from Aimee Beattie, Poppy Smyth and Sophie Moffett with Jodie Magowan and Maisie Johnston-Wicks making strong runs. Unfortunately, the Bann girls did not win, however their team work, determination and dedication has to be acknowledged. The U12s played an outstanding game and everyone is very proud.

Special thanks to Caroline Meenan, Charlie Farrell, Jemma Farrell, James Cromie, Neill Kilpatrick and all the U12 girls coaches.

Banbridge RFC would also like to thank Banbridge High School for their continued support this season, with a special mention to teacher Michelle Green, for her hard work, commitment and dedication to the Women in Rugby Action Plan.