Castlebar Women’s Rugby are aiming to end 2014 on a high as they contest the Connacht League final this Sunday, December 7, at 1pm in Ballyhaunis against Buccaneers.
The four team league saw the sides face each other twice over six rounds, after the six rounds the only defeat that either side had was at the other’s hands, with the home side coming out on top in each of their two meetings so far. Buccaneers ran out 31-5 winners when the teams met in Athlone in round two at the start of October, and when the teams came face to face again in Cloondeash the Castlebar girls had 12 points to spare in a 15-3 win last month.
During their six games so far in the league, Castlebar have touched down for 24 tries and picked up eight bonus points and have not conceded a single try since their solitary defeat at the hands of Buccaneers, and in their final four games they three times kept their opponents scoreless, and in the other game only conceded three points, which came against Sunday’s opponents in their second meeting.
Castlebar captain Caroline Staunton said: “It’s going to be a tough encounter on Sunday, they’re a really good side. We were disappointed when we lost to them back in October, it’s a game we kind of took our eye off the ball for a while, and you can’t do that against a good team or they’ll run right through you.”
Since that game Castlebar have put in a lot of work to get themselves going in the right way, she went on to say. “We’ve trained hard and put in the work on the field with Ger, Christy, and Jason. It’s been a real team effort, we’ve a good group of girls who aren’t afraid to put in the work on the pitch, and we’re just really looking forward to Sunday now and hopefully winning back-to-back titles.”
It has been a meteoric rise for the women’s game in Castlebar, the team was only set up in September 2012, and last year in their debut season they picked up the Connacht title thanks to a win over Canterbury Warriors, and they are looking to emulate the success of their men’s team who won back-to-back Cawley cups in 2009 and 2010.
The team thank their sponsors The Castle Inn, Murray’s Ambulance Service, Cuffe Car Sales, Divas & Studs Hair Studio, Elverys Sports, and Rocky’s Bar.
Castlebar squad: Cathy Blake, Caroline Brennan, Claire Cuffe, Marcella Derrig, Emma Doyle, Martha Egan, Aileen Feely, Becky Gavin, Tara Grufferty, Kayleigh Hopkins, Kiara Irwin, Grace Kelly, Sandra Kenny, Noelle Kilduff, Yvonne McNabb, Fiona Nic Ruairí, Joyce O’Boyle, Darwyn O’Halloran, Anne Marie O’ Hora (vice captain ), Ursula Sammon, Caroline Staunton (captain ), and Jacinta Walsh.
Coaches and management: Ger Prendergast, Christy Cusack, and Jason Keane.