The great 2023 Connacht U-14 Girls Cup campaign came to an end at the semi-final stage in sun drenched Dubarry Park on Sunday against a more experienced Ballinasloe side who remain unbeaten for the entire season. The scoreline 34-12 does not indicate how close the tie was until the last 10 minutes when injuries to key players allowed the speedy Ballinasloe backs to find space to get over and secure victory.
This young side Buccaneers, thirteen of the eighteen squad members are eligible to play at this level again next year, had Ballinasloe under great pressure and were unlucky not to have scored more than the two excellent second half tries by centre Sally Fleming. Aoibheann Flynn and Rose Fleming were both held up on the Ballinasloe line and the latter penalised for a controversial double movement – Small margins.

The Buccaneers forwards led by Amelie Dullea contested fiercely throughout the match, new player Mary Ward made great breaks and tackles as did Cora Hannigan and Gemma Eivers. Captain Orla Turner gave everything as did all the squad but it was not to be their day.
The bigger and more experienced Ballinasloe panel came to their rescue and had the speed to score three breakaway tries towards the end of game to the delirium and relief of the large travelling support.

This band of Buccaneers players have made their mark on Connacht Rugby and their progress this season marks them as a group to watch for future glory. Just like the welcome Spring weather the future is bright for female rugby at Buccaneers.

BUCCANEERS squad:- 1. Amelie Dullea, 2. Mary Margaret Ward, 3. Fionnuala Dolan. 4. Maeve Sheahan, 5. Olivia Collins, 6. Gemma Eivers, 7. Cora Hannigan, 8. Aoibheann Flynn, 9. Mya Russell, 10. Orla Turner (captain), 11. Sally Fleming, 12. Kate Mallon, 13. Chloe O’Connor, 14. Sophie Ritze, 15. Mollie Quinn, 16 . Rose Fleming and 17. Eabha Brady.

Referee:- Michelle Jessop-McLaughlin (Connacht).