Not much Love as Buccs Girls Compete in Connacht Blitz on Valentine’s Day

Love may have been in the air on Saturday as it was Valentines day, but there wasn’t much of it around Claremorris as they hosted the Minis Girls Connacht Rugby blitz with teams from all around Connacht competing fiercely, including our own U12 girls from Buccaneers.

The Midland girls played 4 matches against Claremorris A&B, Portumna and Ballinasloe.

BuccsMini Girls500In their opening game the Bucc’s girls got off to a flying start with Ivanna Kiripati breaking on the wing early to score the opening try of the game almost unchallenged. As if a complete carbon copy of this, Claremorris caught the restart and scored by running a line through the Buccs girls also almost unchallenged. It appeared that both sides hadn’t quite woken up yet or that the fog surrounding the pitches was clouding the players minds. A few words from the sideline coaches saw the rest of the match involve much better contested battle for the ball and trys were much harder to earn. Both teams were well matched and the game finished 3 trys all with Bucc’s Niamh Tallon and Katie Touhey scoring their 2 other trys.

In the second game, Buccs faced up to Portumna, who proved to be the strongest team on the day both in terms of Rugby and also numbers, with nearly enough to field 3 teams. Buccs fought hard but their lacklustre tackling cost them dearly early on as Portumna ran in 3 tries in the first half without reply. A rousing team talk and some pointers from coaches Mele Kiripati and Yvonne O’Shea at half time, saw the Midlanders respond to the challenge and the tackles came fast and furious in the second half with Portumna only scoring twice more. Millie Gavin showed her pace as she took on the ball and ran around the defenders, only to de driven into touch on 3 occasions. Some big hits were put in by Maire Siswanna, Katie Tuohey, Katie May Murray and Ivana Kiripati. Kayleigh Reynolds a new addition to the team got to grips with the game and helped drive against the Portumna defence to open up a hole for Niamh Tallon to charge through, and breaking 2 tackles got over for Buccs only score of the game. The match finished up 5-1 to Portumna.

In the third game Buccs met their near neighbours, Ballinasloe and they got off the blocks quicker scoring 2 tries, before Buccs got the ball to Ivanna Kiripati who scored from well within her own half showing strength, pace and agility as she skipped past defenders. The knocks were hard and took their toll as Katie Tuohey had to retire for the day with a knock to the knee. New player Amma O’Neil really came into her own in this game, picking of the base of the ruck several times to cause problems for the Claremorris defence. It was Ivanna Kiripati who scored again for Buccs to level the game by half time, but Buccs could only manage 1 more try by Kayleigh Reynolds to Ballinasloes 2 to narrowly lose the game by 1 try- final score Buccs 3 Ballinasloe 4.

In the last match of the day a tired Buccs took to the field against Claremorris B team and again the 2 teams were very evenly matched. Scorers for Buccs were Maire Siswanna, Millie Gavin, Niamh Tallon & Ivanna Kiripati. The game ended in 4 Trys to both sides and completed a day when the cobwebs were well and truly brushed off the initially rusty Buccaneers U12’s. Great things are now expected in the future as the girls start training midweek at 7 to 8pm as well as the regular 11-12 slot on Saturdays. The introduction of the new girls has proved really valuable to the team and they are urgently seeking more new players to swell their ranks, especially as they have lost their star try scorer Chemerie Aloize, who along with her 2 brothers, also Buccs players, moved to the UK to live and will be sorely missed.

All the new additions were completely new to Rugby and all agreed that it’s some of the best fun they’ve ever had. Come along and join in the fun if you’re a girl and aged under 12 years. Dubarry Park, Saturday morning 11-12 and Wednesday 7-8pm, or conact Mele Kiripati, Girls Coordinator 086 3462449.

Buccaneers Team: Katie Touhey, Ivanna Kiripati, Niamh Tallon, Millie Gavin, Katie May Murray, Marie Siswanna, Kayleigh Reynolds and Amma O’Neill.

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