Buccaneers 32 Carrick-On-Shannon 0 | News | Buccaneers Rugby Football Club Athlone

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Buccaneers 32 Carrick-On-Shannon 0

published:Apr  17   2012

In their very first season of competitive rugby, Buccaneers Womens team finished their campaign on a real high note when they demolished Carrick-On-Shannon 32-0 in the final of the Connacht Womens Invitation Cup at the Sportsground, Galway, on Sunday. The Buccettes have improved immeasurably game by game and this Cup final performance was a magnificent all-round team effort from start to finish as Buccaneers become the first name to be engraved on this new trophy.

Buccs made just one change from their surprise but merited semi-final victory over Sligo with Aofie Ni Corry starting on the wing. The Athlone ladies had first benefit of the crisp crossfield breeze and slope on the wide open expanses of the Sportsground pitch. They dominated possession from an early stage, picking and driving to great effect, although perhaps more use should have been harnessed from the wind early on. Carrick got a taste of what to come when Niamh Ni Dhroma made a terrific break from halfway after just four minutes. They held their line intact on this occasion and also when Rose Hogan came close soon afterwards. Niamh Gough made a couple of sallies down the left flank and, perhaps with more experience and self belief, she could have made the opening breakthrough.

Catherine Moore, Chrissie Mannion, Natasha Egan and Hogan were all involved in the build-up to the opening score which somehow took until the 23rd minute when Ni Dhroma landed a penalty. Two minutes later, Ni Dhroma left the Carrick defence trailing in her wake as she scorched in from halfway for a magnificent solo try at the posts which she also converted to put Buccs 10-0 ahead.  Just after the half hour mark, Anne Marie Sleator and Mele Kiripati made telling ground from which Ni Dhroma again carved open the Leitrim ladies cover for another super try at the posts which she also converted. It was all one way traffic at this stage despite the gritty efforts of the Carrick girls and, after Tracv Finnerty made a wonderful rob on the 22, Ni Dhroma was scooting in to complete her hat-trick of tries wide on the right. Just before halftime, Elaine Conlon and Mannion linked well but the final pass to the overlapping Gough was overhit. However, Buccaneers were very much in control 22-0 ahead at the interval.

There had been little between these teams in their two previous meetings this season so Buccs restarted determined not to give Carrick a foothold to launch a comeback. They applied fierce pressure when Carrick had the ball and, within two minutes, had secured the clinching first try of the second half. When possession was turned over, the ball was moved smartly acrossfield where Hogan joined the line and the fullback waltzed her way through for a try that was a killer blow to Carrick’s fading hopes. Ni Dhroma was truly a class apart and she again demonstrated her élan and determination when notching her fourth try after 58 minutes.

Gallant Carrick battled to the bitter end with Aoife Kelly, Emma Murphy, Maeve Rowley and Ornaith Grimes ever willing to have a cut but Buccs shackled the potency of the powerful Niamh Spellman on this occasion. They finally got a foothold in Buccaneers territory in the last quarter and tried everything in their armoury but just could not breach a most resolute Pirates defence despite the sin-binning of Moore for the final ten minutes. Carrick will enjoy better days but, on this occasion, Buccaneers reigned supreme and in classy centre Ni Dhroma they had the clear ‘Player of the match’. Fullback Hogan was another shining star in the backline while rookie Mannion acquitted herself well in the key outhalf berth. Front row trio Finnerty, Kiripati and Sleator met the Carrick challenge head on, Moore was a dynamic lock and the O’Shea sisters were prominent in the loose.

 Connacht Branch President John Carr presented the inaugural Cup to Buccaneers captain Yvonne O’Shea. Overall it was a tremendous team effort that was testimony to the sterling endeavours by the girls and their coaches and management, not just for this final but throughout the season. They have improved in leaps and bounds, learning and enjoying the game and, on this evidence, they will savour further successes.

BUCCANEERS:-  Rose Hogan; Aoife Ni Corry, Sandra Griffin, Niamh Ni Dhroma, Niamh Gough; Chris Mannion, Sharon Hynds; Tracy Finnerty, Mele Kiripati, Anne Marie Sleator; Catherine Moore, Natasha Egan; Sinead O’Shea, Yvonne O’Shea (captain) and Elaine Conlon. Replacements:- Sarah Tobin (for Ni Corry, 48 mins),  Lorna Stuart-Trainor (for Sleator, 53 mins), Annette Kemmy (for Egan, 65 mins), Mairead Devaney (for Gough, 65 mins) and Noelle Owen.
CARRICK-ON-SHANNON:-  M.Rowley; C.O’Donnell, E.Murphy, M.Clerkin, M.Flattery; O.Eames, C.Carty; C.McLoughlin, A.Shanley, N.Spellman; L.O’Donnell, T.Larkin; A.Kelly, C.McDermott and K.Richardson (captain). Replacements:- M.Cassidy, F.Stuart and M.McKeon.
REFEREE:-  Daniel Collins (Connacht).