Carrick Ladies journey in the Connacht Ladies League came to a heroic but heartbreaking end in Longford as they exited the competition narrowly to Buccaneers. After prevailing 7-0 in the League fixture in Leitrim Village earlier this season the Carrick ladies knew they had their work cut out to reach the final.
Carrick RFC 3
This was a fierce contest, played at a tempo, ferocity and physicality that kept both sets of supporters on tenterhooks till the end.
Still smarting from their earlier league defeat the story of the first half was of relentless Buccaneers pressure but also of outstanding Carrick defence. The try line was breached on 25 minutes for Buccaneers to take a 5-0 lead but the Carrick girls held firm.
Indeed they finished the half the stronger, being unfortunate not to score a try but a Niamh Spellman penalty before half time was deserved award for their efforts to leave it 5-3.
The second half continued in the same vain as the first with continuous Buccaneers pressure being repelled by tough Carrick tackling. Both Claire McDermott and Martina Flattery continuously threatened to break the Buccaneers siege but after incurring three unfortunate yellow cards in the second half Carrick were unable to prevent Buccaneers advance to the final.
Though disappointed at their exit, the efforts of the coaches and players this year in improving the Carrick ladies fortunes have been nothing short of magnificent. This season has been a quantum leap and now we can look forward to the upcoming cup competition and next season with confidence and enthusiasm.