Ottawa Irish Junior Women Win Nailbiter in EORU Play-off Final

Story by Anne Coyle. Photos courtesy of John Salem.

   
With the Barrhaven Scottish competing in the U-18 Provincial Championship in Toronto, the Ottawa Irish and Kingston Panthers faced off in the EORU Play-off Final on Augsut 27th, 2011.

The Ottawa Irish played the Kingston Panthers in the final Junior U18 match-up of the season – and the Panthers were coiled to spring on the favoured girls in green for the Cup.

The Panthers pounced on the lead, scoring within the opening ten minutes as their three quarters took control, broke through several tackles, and streaked over 70 meters for the first try of the match. A conversion sealed their lead for the better part of the first half.

It didn’t look good for the Irish, who were smaller than the Panthers across the field. But they made up for what they lacked in size with speed and relentless attacks around the fringes. Well into the first half, their tenacity and solid skills eventually paid off, delivering a fourth phase ball that the Irish scrumhalf side stepped her way to the goal line to secure their first try. 

The try went unconverted, allowing the Panthers to hold onto their lead, but not for long. The Irish answered with another try, this time from their nimble number eight.  With the score at 10-7 at half, the game was either team’s for the taking.

A critical mistake on the Panthers’ 22 early in the second half let the Irish add three quick points. But the six-point deficit just seemed to make the Panthers hungrier for more. The battle raged fiercely throughout the second half, with the Panthers forwards continuing to punish the Irish, and the Irish backs several times making desperate tackles to stop the Panthers’ powerful back line.

It was probably the Irish fly half kicking powerhouse who most frustrated the Panthers’ surges, taking back every hard earned meter from the Panthers with accurate kicks to touch. The girls in green continued to wear down the opposition patiently, with coordinated attacks from the centers and unrelenting sniping around the fringes from the forwards. It was once again the dynamic Irish scrumhalf who scored the final try in the closing minute of the game.

Final score: Ottawa Irish 18, Kingston Panthers 7