Buccaneers Women’s team travelled to Castlebar for a high-noon kick-off against the reigning Connacht champions last weekend eager for revenge following an early September 41-0 defeat to the Mayo side.
This they duly achieved, running out 22-10 winners in this Connacht Women’s League encounter. Buccs ladies started at a ferocious pace, and after 10 minutes of consistent pressure spread the ball wide where Hazel Kilduff found a gap. Excellent support play by Susan Earner was rewarded when Kilduff’s off-load sent her scurrying under the posts for an early try.
Castlebar steadied their ship and carried the game to Buccs but found no weak shoulders in an aggressive defensive line. Buccs turned the ball over following exemplary work at the breakdown by the pack. The ball was quickly moved to the wing where Earner showed a great turn of pace to score her second try, which again went unconverted.
Castlebar responded with a try soon after the restart, but the resultant kick was missed, leaving the scores at 10-5 approaching half time. Buccs continued to dominate possession but some poor handling led to a Castlebar scrum in midfield. The home side quickly moved the ball to the centre where Buccs were punished when their first missed tackle led to an converted try for the Mayo team. This left the half-time score 12-10 in favour of Castlebar.
Buccaneers came out all guns blazing in the second half, and their possession was rewarded when Kilduff applied the finishing touch to a well-taken team try; the conversion leaving the score at 17-12 in favour of Buccs.
The game then ebbed and flowed but it was Buccs who added to their tally after a fine break by Aileen Hayes was well supported by captain Niamh Gough, who moved the ball smartly to Sarah Kelly. The prop was not to be stopped, taking three Castlebar players and almost the referee over the line for Buccs’ fourth try. Another missed conversion left the scores at 22-10 and this is how the match finished.
This was a hugely impressive Buccaneers performance from start to finish and the team showed they are capable of beating the best Connacht has to offer.