An Ulster Select women’s side entertained American touring side, the Midwest Thunderbirds, on Saturday afternoon at Malone Rugby Club.

The Thunderbirds have been touring as part of their 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup trip and have already had wins at the Donnybrook Tens Tournament and against Railway Union.

The Ulster select side was a mix of youth and experience and the game gave the Ulster Women’s new coaching team a chance to asses their charges in a competitive environment.

Unfortunately for the tourists, the Ulster Select side proved too strong racing to an early lead. Veteran Amy Graham got the ball rolling with a typically robust try out wide to be quickly followed by Sorcha Mac Laihmin,who blasted over close to the posts. Vicky Irwin converted the second to give Ulster a 12 – 0 lead.

Hard working Emma Jordan jinked and rolled her way over the line for Ulster’s third and Pieta McAlister chased down what looked like a lost cause, but was really a clever kick 😆 , beating the defence to the ball in the in goal area.

Powerful youngster Brittany Hogan scored the final try of the half as she barged over in midfield and with Irwin making two further conversions the teams turned round with Ulster Select leading 31 – 0.

The visitors shook off some of the tiredness of their long trip in a much more competitive second half but a determined Ulster defence kept them from crossing. Neve Jones, one of many replacements in the second half, underlined her first senior appearance with a try before before the chippy Beth Cregan grabbed a late brace.

Jemma Jackson, another second half replacement, slotted over two conversions to give Ulster Select a 50 – 0 win.

Ulster Select XV: Alanagh Chipperfield, Neve Jones, Shauna Martin, Beth Cregan, Sorcha Mac Laihmin, Hannah Beattie, Storm Cobain, Lesley Megarity, Naomi McCullagh, Aishling O’Connell, Gemma McCutcheon, Lauren Magennis, Kathryn Dane, Vicky Irwin, Amy Graham (Davis), Leah McGoldrick, Jemma Jackson, Nicole Jones, Jasmine Ward, Brittany Hogan, Peita McAlister, Emma Jordan, Claire Johnston.

We have absolutely stacks of photos for this match. You can view Bob Given Photography’s photos here: ULSTER SELECT V MIDWEST T-BIRDS (BOB GIVEN). Thanks to Bob for sending them in and and you can view our own efforts below. I think we managed to catch nearly al lthe scorers except for Petia who took everyone by surprise with that burst of pace.  🙂