Buccaneers U-18 Girls team recorded a thrilling 32-28 Connacht Cup victory over Ballinrobe at the latter’s Racecourse pitch.

Buccs started the game off strong and good carries from the forwards put early pressure on the home team. A few errors allowed Ballinrobe to clear their lines and put Buccs under pressure at times. Buccaneers opened their account with a brilliant line break from Emma Sammon. Ballinrobe came back with some great phase play and got a converted try to take the lead. Buccaneers put some of their own brilliant phases of play together to run in 3 more tries by Aoibheann Tynan (2) and Erin Giles before half time, leaving the half time score 20-7 in favour of the Pirates.

With the wind in the second half the home team came firing out of the blocks. Buccaneers defence worked hard but the home team scored 2 unanswered tries making the game a one point match. The Athlone girls made a crucial turnover in their own 22 and worked the ball up to the home 10 metre line. A brilliant piece of play saw offloads from forwards and backs to put winger Svea Jonas into space to regain the lead once again. A string of penalties then saw Ballinrobe march down the pitch to the visitors’ 22 where the defence was finally breached, edging the hosts into the lead.

With 4 minutes on the clock Buccaneers flanker Princess Collins made a vital turnover and the forwards made some big carries, creating space for the backline. The ball was whisked out to the backs where some soft hands and perfect offloads put Tynan into space and she ran in under the posts to complete her hattrick and regain the lead once more. Giles converted the try to make it a 4 points lead with 3 minutes to go.

Buccaneers put in some heavy tackles and forced a turnover in the last minute of the match. The forwards kept hold of the ball until Tynan could kick the ball into the stands to end the game. Final score was 32-28 to Buccaneers.

BUCCANEERS:- B.Kiernan, A.Joyce-Whyte, S.O’Toole, K.Brennan-Donovan, S.Jonas, P.Collins, L.Fox, M.Copelin, A.Tynan, E.Giles, Y.Cheam, E.Sammon, P.Martin and L.Murray.

Referee:- David Burke (Connacht).

U-15s Boys lost 28-25 at home to Ballinrobe in the Cup.
U-18.5 Youths defeated Tuam/Dunmore 45-5 in the Cup.
U-14 Girls advanced to the next round of the Cup by defeating Corinthians 36-24.