Enniskillen Royal Grammar went two teams to the Mid-Ulster Sports Arena to play Round One of the Girls’ Ulster Schools X7s contact rugby league. 
This was also the qualifier for the All Ireland Schools X7s competition for the Senior squads. Enniskillen Royal Grammar School (ERGS) entered a Senior and Junior team with both securing second place finishes with the Senior team qualifying for the All-Ireland Competition
Hence, on November 8, ERGS Senior squad travelled to Donnybrook, Dublin to compete against the top four schools from each Province in the All Ireland Schools X7s rugby competition.
The first pool game was against Gorey Community School (Gorey), Leinster, who were last year’s champions. As Gorey only lost one player from last year’s team we knew it would be a very competitive game. From the whistle ERGS faced a very physical and well drilled team that scored a few quick tries from ERGS errors and meant they were always playing catch up. Once settled the Enniskillen girls crossed the line twice but only one try was grounded. The scorer was Jade Ballantine.
Next up was Rockwell College (Thurles), Munster. One of the bigger teams in the competition their physicality was immense. The squad must be commended for sticking to the game plan and punching above their weight literally to secure a 4-3 win. On this occasion skill conquered physicality with tries from Jessica Elliott, Sophie Coater, India Daley and Zara Flack.
The final pool game was against Connacht’s Mercy School (Tuam). This was a good opportunity for the girls to play free-flowing rugby and allowed the coaches to utilise the full squad and the 10-0 win was enough to give ERGS the second place they needed to progress. Katie Hetherington, Jessica Elliott x 2, Sophie Coalter x 3, India Daley, Zara Flack, Jade Ballantyne and Annabel Stewart all scored.
ERGS then faced St. Kevin’s Dunlavin (Wicklow), Leinster in the Plate semi-final. It showed the camaraderie within the Province that the other Ulster qualifying teams of Royal School, Dungannon; Loreto School, Letterkenny and Monaghan Collegiate, Monaghan stayed to support the only Ulster team left in the competition. This support was greatly appreciated by both the Players and Coaches. ERGS continued their free-flowing attack culminating in a 7-0 win. Zara Flack x 2, Joanna Crawford, Katie Hetherington, Jessica Elliott, Sophie Coalter and Jade Ballantine with the tries.
ERGS faced Sacred Heart, (Tullamore), Leinster on whom they were hoping to wreak revenge after being pipped at the post after extra-time in the 2015 Irish Schools Cup final. Unfortunately Tullamore’s Irish U18 international, Megan Burns, had a different plan, single-handedly scoring several of their tries. ERGS’ defensive structure successfully nullified Tullamore’s attack keeping the score line at 3-3 with 30 seconds to go, but the opposition managed to get the rub of the green when two short advantage plays went against ERGS resulting in a 5-3 win. Jessica Elliott, Sophie Coalter and Jade Ballantine bagged the tries in the final.
Although disappointed, the team could take a lot of positives from the day. The squad’s development over the last three months showed in both their attacking and defensive performances, which delighted the coaches. Opening their 2017 All-Ireland Schools Cup against the eventual cup winner’s, Gorey, was not ideal. On another day the coaches would be confident of a much more competitive game. Squad: Sophie Coalter (c), Joanna Crawford (vc), Jade Ballantine, Jessica Elliott, Ketie Hetherington, Zara Flack, Ellen Bloomfield, Rebecca Beacom, India Daley, Jessica Glenn, Annabelle Stewart, Lois Egerton, Darerca Daly-Hutton, Sarah Armstrong.