Round 7 of the Irish Wheelchair Rugby league took place in Belfast on October 16th at the Physical Education Centre. With the league nearing the end there were much needed points at stake. The first game of the day saw Leinster up against Connaught, both teams were well up for the game with Leinster trying to work their way up from the foot of the table and Connaught needing the points to stay hot on the heels of Ulster at the top.
The game got off to a fast start with both teams scoring break away goals in turn to keep it level at the end of the 1st quarter. Connaught had the better start to the next quarter and went 2 goals clear after some nice team work. Leinster gave it all they had to offer but Connaught were too strong on the day and won the game well in the end. The 2nd game saw Munster against the mighty Ulster, but with both teams missing some key players anything could happen. The game got off to a shaky start and a low scoring 1st quarter saw Ulster lead by just 1 goal. Munster started the 2nd quarter with the ball and scored to bring it back to level terms. With a few lucky breaks for Ulster they started to pull away by 3. In the 2nd half Munster put on a great show of skill and team work but Ulster proved too strong in the end and won the game by 6 to move them clear at the top of the table once again. After lunch it was the turn of Leinster and Munster, both teams level at the wrong end of the table and desperately needing points to stay in touch with the front runners. Munster started the game strong and had Leinster under pressure right from the first whistle. The pressure was kept up and Leinster had no answer to it so Munster won the game comfortably. The 4th and final game of the day was the top of the table clash of Ulster and Connaught and was set to be the game of the day with both teams playing great rugby. This game did not disappoint at all, it was a hard hitting, lose encounter every step of the way with nothing between the teams. At the start of the 4th quarter the game was still tied and it looked like it might be heading for a draw, both teams playing there hearts out to try get 1 ahead but it still remained a draw game. In the dying minute an unforced error by Connaught saw Ulster claim the ball and go 1 ahead and straight away turn the ball over again to score and go 2 ahead. Connaught scored straight away to bring it back to a 1 goal deficit. In the dying seconds Ulster 1 goal up lost the ball and Connaught get 1 more chance to draw the game and stop Ulster running away with the points to go clear at the table top. Connaught used every trick they had in this one last attack but the seconds ticked away and the buzzer went before they could cross the goal line. Ulster hung on just long enough to claim the victory and go well clear at the table top. The final fixture of the Phillips trophy will be a play off so anything could happen in Laois on December 11th.
Irish Wheelchair Rugby is responsible for promotion and development of Wheelchair Rugby in Ireland