KO 40 FT
Seven days after their first game in two years Carrick’s Women travelled to Dubarry Park for a meeting with Buccaneers. Buzzing with anticipation and eager to improve on what was a hearty performance against Galweigians the Carrick women gave rugby debuts to four new girls, yet another indication of the increasing interest in women’s rugby in the Carrick area.
Despite the new additions Carrick’s rank weren’t bolstered as much as they’d have liked with injury meaning the girls travelled with eleven versus twenty two Buccaneers. Nobody said it was going to be easy!
On a grand evening for rugby Carrick kicked off the first of 3 x 20min thirds playing from the clubhouse end. In contrast to their opening fixture against Glaswegians the opening minutes were dogged as Carrick defended Buccs advances. A baptism of fire for the new girls but they held their own, Caroline Lavin & Paula O’Dowd impressing in the early stages, laying a marker against a very physical Buccs pack. Indeed a lot of what Buccs did well in the opening stages started in their forward unit who were excellent at offloading in the tackle which resulted in opening scores.
While not reflected on the scoreboard Carrick did battle hard in the opening 20 minutes as they slowly got to the pace of the game. Duffy and new centre Sandra Oats made frequent bursts offering themselves up as tackling fodder for the Buccs backs as Carrick finally looked to be finding their feet. With 5mins to go Carrick were unlucky not to have a couple of scores of their own, Grace Golden was wrapped up just meters from the line while Aoife Kelly found herself in open ground on the 22 and try-line bound before a handling error ended the play.
End of the first third and Carrick were down on the scoreboard but buoyant otherwise.
After regrouping Carrick started the second third intent on building the positives from the end of the first. Buccs came out bullish in their attack and were unforgiving at the breakdown negating Carrick’s go forward ball. Committing players to the counter ruck Buccs made hay notching up a couple more scores. Carrick’s resources were severely tested as out half Duffy went off injured. After quick transfer negotiations Carrick were back to full strength and started to build momentum again. Inspirational scrum half Marie Clerkin was at the centre of all things good for Carrick with outstanding defence, excellent distribution and an unwillingness to lay down. Carrick were soon to be rewarded for their tenacity as a multi-phase attack eventually ended in a Carrick try, which Clerkin converted. A fantastic team score before the third ended.
Into the last third of the game you’d have expected Carrick to be tiring and Buccs to take control of the game. In fairness possession was at parity in the last 20mins though Buccs did use theirs a lot better. Carrick were exceptionally brave in the last 10mins as they launched a number of attacks on Buccs line only to be denied by a stout Buccs defence. Carrick finished the game with 9 as Catriona Kielty’s took one of many knocks in another superb performance.
In the end it was a deserved Buccs win but another heartening performance from Carrick, a team that continues to learn for each experience while blooding new players. The game was played with great spirit and Buccs should be commended for offering players and the hospitality afterwards.
Out from the fire and into the frying pan, up next for the girls is Castlebar on Sunday 25th September at 12 noon. A significant game for Carrick rugby as the club welcome home their women’s team for their first home game in Carrick on Shannon since the redevelopment of Castlecara Rd. This will be their third game in 10 days, a lionsesque schedule of games which sees them play league toppers Castlebar. Nevertheless, this team will be beaming after their recent showings and the prospect of women’s rugby coming home will undoubtedly be the catalyst for a huge effort come Sunday.
Team: 1. Maeve McKeon, 2. Catriona Kielty, 3. Caroline Lavin, 4. Aoife Kelly, 5. Paula O’Dowd, 8. Sinead Kenny, 9. Marie Clerkin. 10. Michelle Duffy, 11. Grace Golder, 12. Sandra Oates, 13, Amy McDonagh.
Coach: Podge McKeon
Connacht Women’s Invitation Cup Table
|September 21, 2016||7:30 pm||Connacht Women's Invitational Cup||2016/2017|
|20 McCormack Park, Cloghanboy (Cooke), Athlone, Co. Westmeath, Ireland|