Tuam RFC captain Amanda Kelly lifts the Connacht Women’s Cup.

Tuam claimed the Connacht Women’s Cup at The Sportsground on Sunday afternoon after a gritty win over Buccaneers in an evenly-matched encounter.

In the end, Tuam were deserved winners with captain Amanda Kelly scoring a late try to seal the win before lifting the trophy at the end of a gruelling 80 minutes.

Tuam were in control early on and after an early penalty miss, Emma Keane slotted a three-pointer to give her side a 10th-minute lead.

Buccaneers were next to enjoy a spell of pressure in the closely-fought first half and turned down the opportunity to take the points in favour of an elaborate move off a tap penalty.

And it duly paid off as Sabina Egan steamed in on the crash ball before Gohar Kostanyan stretched to touch down in the left corner. Hazel Kilduff couldn’t land the difficult conversion and Buccs led 5-3.

Winger Deirdre Moroney in action for Tuam.

Tuam were back in the ascendancy before the break however and a second Keane penalty gave them a 6-5 half-time lead.

In a low-scoring affair, every point was going to prove crucial and the all-important try was Tuam’s on 55 minutes and what a try it was.

A crossfield kick by out-half Keane was perfectly placed for flying full-back Nicola Kilgarriff to collect in the right corner and dive over for a terrific score.

The conversion was narrowly missed and the game was still in the balance at 11-5 as Buccaneers were still within a converted try.

Tuam fought tooth and nail to keep Buccs pinned back in their own half as the game entered the closing stages and it was captain Kelly who touched down from close range to seal a 16-5 win.

Tuam RFC Squad: Nicola Kilgarriff, Fidelma Nunn, Petrina Devery, Pamela Devaney, Katie Tierney, Emma Keane, Andrea Donnellan, Amanda Kelly, Shauna Cahill, Sarah Glynn; Catherina Kavanagh, Lorraine Bodkin, Edel Durkin, Marian Sheridan, Elizabeth McNicholas, Grainne Hamill, Kathryn Antweiller, Sandra Gunning, Miriam Durand.

Buccaneers RFC Squad: Judy Dowling, Hazel Kilduff, Ciara Malone, Emma O’Brien, Alex Hennessy, Katy Ryan, Tracy Finnerty, Andrea Antonissen, Lizzie Flynn, Shannon Hennessy, Aileen Hayes, Niamh Gough, Sabina Egan, Lorna Stuart Trainor, Antoinette Kemmy, Dearbhaile West, Sarah Kelly, Dona Cromar, Susan Earner, Gohar Kostanyan.

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