Match Report: Girls National Youth Cup Finals

Match Report: Girls National Youth Cup Finals

U16 Cup: Stirling County v East Lothian Girls

East Lothian Girls and Stirling County kicked off the day’s rugby in beautiful conditions at BT Murrayfield.

After an enthralling, tight opening 10 minutes, Stirling opened the scoring after a series of decisive carries, Ella Gibbons making the final charge and giving her side the lead.

And Stirling had a second in the 18th minute. Electric thinking from Charlotte Heath as Stirling were awarded a penalty five metres out saw her tap and go, reaching the line before East Lothian could react.

But the momentum began to shift, and East Lothian got themselves on the scoreboard just before half time. The ball was worked over to the left corner and fly half and captain Emily Love showed silky footwork to get the ball down.

Half time: Stirling County 10 East Lothian 5

East Lothian continued their strong fightback as the second half commenced, and Love soon had her second score. This time it was raw pace that saw her shoot down the right wing before coming back under the posts, dotting down and levelling the scores.

In the 35th minute, East Lothian took the lead. Another good break from Love gave her side front foot ball, and Faye Sutherland split two defenders with an excellent line to run clear. Love nailed the conversion in front of the posts to give East Lothian a seven-point lead.

Stirling’s grit and determination was there for all to see, and they soon cut the cap to two points. After winning the ball back in the Stirling 22, it was Ella Crozier who’s strength meant she got halfway through a tackle, and she brilliantly reached for the line, getting the ball down at full stretch.

And Stirling regained the lead in the 49th minute. It was Niamh Robertson-Jack who cut back inside the defender, charging through the tackle to score.

That lead was added to in the 53rd minute, as Ella Gibbons’ speed and power was on show again as she flew through a gap in the defence and ran over from 15 metres out.

Stirling County secured the victory with less than two minutes to go. Niamh Robertson-Jack bagged her second score of the game, breaking the line more than 30 metres out and splashing over the line under the posts. Ellie Forsyth landed the conversion to round off the scoring.

Full time: Stirling County 32 East Lothian Girls 17

Player of the match: Emily Love, East Lothian Girls

East Lothian

15. Demi Reid 14. Rebecca Knox 13. Saara Archer 12. Faye Sutherland 11. Eve Cowe 10. Emily Love CAPTAIN 9. Adele Parkinson 1. Skye Taylor 2. Sophie Ryan 3. Scarlett Crossan-Brown 4. Ellie Moffat 5. Rowan Kittle 8. Becca Keith

Replacements: 6. Ellie Myles 7. Tandala Macrae 18. Jordyn Hill-Jowett 19. Phebe Duncan 20. Morgyn Conn 21. Emma-Jane Thomson 22. Cleo Storrier

Stirling County

15. Mazzy Walker 14. Ella Crozier 13. Niamh Robertson-Jack 12. Joy Fletcher 11.Ella Spiers 10. Emily Forsyth CAPTAIN 9. Charlotte Heath 1.Aria Hannigan 2. Zoe Pike 3. Mia Lidbetter 4. Daisy Morrison 5. Gemma Thomson 8. Ella Gibbons

Replacements: 6. Rebecca MacKenzie 17. Flo Mahoney 18. Poppy Poole 7. Emily Sansom 20. Olivia Izon 21. Scarlett Haddow 22. Kady Grieve

U16 Shield: Tayside v Caithness

At 11am on under the glorious sunshine at DAM Health Stadium, Tayside v Caithness kicked off as the sides faced off for the U16 Girls Shield title.

Tayside came close to scoring in the opening minutes of the game, however a penalty awarded to Caithness just meters from the try line closed that initial opportunity.

The following 10 minutes of the match saw both sides work really hard to make ground as possession switched hands numerous times.

But it wasn’t before long that the first points of the day would be recorded. With Tayside in possession, winger Caitlan Sandilands made a speedy sprint along the right wing, before offloading the ball to her team-mate Rowan MacGugan. Quick thinking from the full-back to offload the ball to Grace Fraser allowed the stand-off to dot the ball down across the line (5-0)

Some moments later Tayside added a second score! Utilising their strong forward pack, Tayside were able to charge their way along the left-hand wing for Jocelyn Norrie, who had come onto the field to replace team-mate Eva Finnie just moments before, to cross the whitewash. Scrum-half Niamh O'Reilly added the extras (12-0).

A third score was added at 21 minutes by Tayside through full-back MacGugan, who stormed her way through the Caithness defence for what would eventually be try number one of four (17-0).

However, Caithness were still more than up for the fight! Utilising offload passes in contact, the girls in green did a fantastic job keeping the ball alive whilst making ground. As they entered their opposition’s 22, with the crowd spurring them on, a determined Caithness edged their way closer to the try line.

With just one minute left on the clock full-back, Laena Munro managed to bag Caithness’ first try of the game, with Captain Tamzin Rosie adding the extras. (17-7)

Half time score: Tayside 17 Caithness 7

The opening ten minutes once again saw both teams enjoy strong phases of attack, but it was Tayside who would restart the scoring. Dodging the defence with her fancy foot work, MacGugan crossed the line to take the score to 22-7.

And it wasn’t before long that the full-back was contributing more points to the board as MacGuagn not only bagged herself a hat-trick, but converted her own try. (29-7)

Caithness were eager to respond, and did so with just seven minutes left on the clock. After referee Gordon Galashan awarded Caithness a penalty on Tayside’s 10-meter line, a quick tap-and-go with Rosie found a gap in the Tayside defence to dive across the line, taking the score to 29-12.

But Tayside were not done, despite Caithness' best efforts to defend their try line Morag Strang extended Tayside’s lead with their sixth try of the game (34-12), and MacGuagn closed the game by converting her fourth personal try of the match.

Full time score: Tayside 41 Caithness 12

Player of the Match: Grace Fraser, Tayside


15. Leana Munro 14. Sophie Gunn 13. Alyssa Gunn 12. Eilidh Hay 11. Sophie Miller 10. Bethany Peden 9. Tamzin Rosie CAPTAIN 1. Abbie Dunnett 2. Camilla Elder 3. Sarah-Jane Dunnet 4. Sarah Manson 5. Isla Burgoyne 8. Lyndsey Dunnet

Replacements: 16. Rebecca Nicolson 17. Cara Miller 18. Paige Scott 19. Rachel MacNeish 20. Jasmin Brown 21. Amy Coull 22. Katie Macintosh


15. Rowan MacGugan 14. Caitlan Sandilands 13. Phoebe Lawson 12. Ellie-Jo Simpson CAPTAIN 11. Ellie Marsh 10. Grace Fraser 9. Niamh O’Reilly 1. Lily Beaton 2. Violet Craig 3. Elizabeth Craig 3. Eva Finnie 5. Ruby Blackhall 8. Ilja Puccianti

Replacements: 16. Tracey Webster 17. Jocelyn Norrie 18. Erin Barker 19. Kara Cameron Gall 20. Rona Barber-Stuart 21. Hannah Binnie 22. Morag Strang

U18 Cup: Edinburgh Harlequins v Stirling County

Stirling took less than a minute to open the scoring, as Nicole Flynn found space on the left and was rapid in her pursuit of the line, putting it down under the posts.

And Stirling grabbed a second two minutes later, as Nathalie Roy burst through the last tackle and made it to the line in the right corner.

But Edinburgh Harlequins found a foothold in the game, and they scored in the left corner in the 15th minute when Sky Phimister found her way to the line with great footwork.

Stirling continued to push though and were rewarded in the 20th minute when Tessia Smyth brilliantly finished off their third try of the game.

A fourth try soon followed, with number eight Maia MacDonald producing a beautiful sidestep on her way to scoring in the left corner.

Stirling looked threatening every time they attacked, and in the 28th minute Chloe Brown showed great strength to reach the line despite the attempts of three Harlequins defenders to stop her.

The Stirling back three soon all had a try to their name as captain Hannah Walker finished off a lovely backs move in the right hand corner on the brink of half time.

Half time: Edinburgh Harlequins 5 Stirling County 38

Stirling came out for the second half in just as good form as the first, and Ceitidh Ainsworth splashed over the line under the posts within one minute of returning to the pitch.

Maia MacDonald scored an excellent second try in the 40th minute as she came flying off the back of a scrum and was too strong to be stopped from 10 metres out.

Stirling were relentless in their pursuit of the win and Jessica Orr-Ewing found a fantastic score in the left corner in the 48th minute, using her footwork to take advantage of a small gap.

Harlequins were certainly not down and out, as they worked hard to push back and after a sustained period in the Stirling 22, prop Karly Conn fought off the County defenders to score in the 55th minute.

But Stirling hit straight back and Walker scored a fantastic second try, showing lightning pace down the right hand side before stepping inside and finishing under the sticks.

And with the last play of the game Nicole Flynn grabbed her second try, again showing her pace and footwork to slalom through.

It was a valiant performance form the Quins, full of grit and determination but Stirling proved to be the stronger side today, as they leave BT Murrayfield with the U18 Cup title.

Full time: Edinburgh Harlequins 12 Stirling County 69

Player of the match: Maia MacDonald, Stirling County

Edinburgh Harlequins

15. Sky Phimister 14. Niamh Crosbie-White 13. Rebecca Watson 12. Morgan Welsh 11. Loga Armstrong 10. Isla Jamieson 9. Rebekah Douglas 1. Karly Conn 2. Rosie Kancir 3. Heather Crabbe 4. Rose Young 5. Ellie Bonner 6. Merryn Gunderson 7. Alex Stewart CAPTAIN 8. Millie Capaldi

Replacements: 16. Leighann Lawrie 17. Zara Nicholson 18. Ruby Dellal 19. Anna Halliday 20. Caitlin Cooper 21. Alanna Beetham 22. Kendrick Chow

Stirling County

15. Hannah Walker CAPTAIN 14. Nathalie Roy 13. Lucy MacRae 12. Freya MacColl 11. Nicole Flynn 10. Ceitidh Ainsworth 9. Brogan Henderson 1. Chloe Brown 2. Aicha Sutcliffe 3. Natasha McEwan 4. Elsa Quigley 5. Charlotte Russell 6. Tessia Smyth 7. Kiera MacDonald 8. Maia MacDonald

Replacements: 16. Jaia Blair 17. Lucy Roy 18. Eilidh Fleming 19. Rebecca Davies 20. Jessica Orr-Ewing 21. Charlotte Gilmour

Girls U18 Shield: Dundee Rugby v Caithness 

The Girls U18 Shield Youth Final, saw Dundee take a quick lead when in the 5th minute a scrum on the Caithness five metre line allowed Dundee scrum-half Lily Campbell, to dart her way across the line (5-0).

And just moments later Dundee were adding to their total when Aila Ronald made an outstanding intercept of the ball, before making her way across the Caithness whitewash (10-0).

Several phases of exciting play followed, with Caithness making Dundee work really hard as they searched for a third try.

Despite lots of admirable defensive effort, just ahead of half time Dundee found third try. Good footwork and drive from Sam Taganekuru saw her place the ball down under the posts, to make it an easy conversion for kicker, Libby Smith to add the extras.

With the half time on the clock, Dundee’s Izzy Greer made a lightning fast dash from their 22 to score between the sticks. Smith once again enjoyed a successful conversion.

Half Time: Dundee 24 Caithness 0

Despite a dominating first half performance from Dundee, Caithness were far from down and out as they eagerly looked to make their comeback. And they did! In minute 38 of the match Shannon Pasotti found a gap between Dundee’s defence and got the ball over the line.

And it was time for another. Some 10 minutes later Pasotti was back across the whitewash for another Caithness try, which we also went on to convert, narrowing the gap between the two sides (24-12).

Just two minutes later, the crowd were back on their feet at DAM Health Stadium when Pasotti bagged herself a hat-trick, which she again converted with ease (24-19).

Dundee were now really under pressure for the win as just five points now separated the sides, and they were eager to extend their lead. Strong team work from the Angus side saw them back in their opposition 22, and soon Aila Ronald was making her way towards the try line to score her second try of the match. Smith's conversion pulled Dundee ahead to 31-19.

As full time drew closer, both sides continued to search for more points. But it was Dundee's Izzy Greer who would claim a final five points and close the game.

Full time: Dundee 36 Caithness 19

Player of the Match: Aila Ronald, Dundee Rugby


15. Libby Smith 14. Charlotte Burrows 13 Eva Milne 12. Aila Ronald 11. Caitlin Hay 10. Lily Campbell 9. Jenna Milne CAPTAIN 1. Olivia Dunn 2. Eloise Salt 3. Kelci Noble 4.Emma Dodd 5. Megan Hyland 6. Cayley Jamieson 7. Izzy Greer 8. Sam Taganekuru

Replacements: 16. Ailsa Murray 17. Roxy Hill 18. Olivia Steel 19. Caoimhe O’Neill


15. Susanna MacDonald 14.Sophie Burns13. Shannon Pasotti 12. Amy Lloyd 11. Emma Leitch 10. Morven Thomson 9. Hannah Dunnett 1. Elise Comey 2. Katie Henderson 3. Isla Mackenzie 4. Olivia Marxzak 5. Zoe Henyel 6. Catherine Green 7. Samantha Williamson 8. Rhianna Mackay (C)

Replacements: 16. Abbie Dunnet 17. Lyndsey Dunnet 18. Kamryn Norrie

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