THE end of the season for Castlebar ladies rugby team has shaped up to be an interesting one, with a win in the last two games being rewarded by silverware.
The first of those games, the Connacht Plate final against Carrick-on-Shannon, played on April 2, was fast-paced and ended in a 10-try haul to no score for the Castlebar girls. Joyce O’Boyle was particularly ruthless by contributing four tries, while Jen Keegan added two, and there was one each from captain Anne-Marie O’Hora, Emma Doyle, Grace Kelly and Caroline Staunton.
It was then straight back to training for the girls, though, with a huge game ahead of them tomorrow (Good Friday) - the Connacht League final against NUIG.
This is a repeat of last year’s final which saw NUIG coming out on top by two points. Having met NUIG twice already in this year’s league and suffering defeats on both occasions, Castlebar will go into this final as underdogs. It poses a huge challenge but it’s one they are relishing coming into this final.
Castlebar captain Anne Marie O’Hora has had a season to remember by making the Connacht women’s squad and starting in all of their games, an achievement that has been rewarded with a Connacht Player of the Year nomination.
She’s very much looking forward to this final, and said: "In the Plate final the girls worked hard in defence and we focussed on our team play in attack, trying to iron out some phases of play. We expect a tight game this Good Friday. We were narrowly defeated last year.
"In the two weeks leading up to the game we are practicing on working under pressure and keeping concentration despite the fatigue that inevitably sets in. This game will come down to the final whistle. We are looking forward to it and we hope to end the season with a victory."
The team are trained by former Castlebar players Jason Keane and Christy Cusack, with former head coach Ger Prendergast helping out during the season also.
Said Jason Keane: "At the start of the season we targeted three trophies. We have won two but the Connacht League is the one we really want to win. We were unfortunate to lose the league final against NUIG last season in Tuam in awful conditions and we know going into this final it will take a huge effort from our squad to overcome NUIG but I’m sure we can put in a huge performance on Good Friday and if we do that the result will look after itself. I hope the girls will get a big crowd out to support them as I’m sure it will be a great game."
With two very talented teams contesting this final, an exciting game is in store for spectators at Castlebar RFC tomorrow (Friday, April 14) at 7.30 p.m.
The girls would like to sincerely thank their supporters to date and urge as many people as possible to get to Castlebar RFC this weekend.