OUGHTERARD 20 BUCCANEERS 23
BUCCANEERS THIRDS continue to set the pace atop the Connacht J2 League but they took their collective feet off the pedals a shade too early and almost paid the price at Oughterard before prevailing 23-20 on Sunday.
Despite a lack of recent matches, Buccs did not show too many signs of rustiness for the opening hour after which they led 23-6. They opened the scoring following a quickly tapped penalty after only 6 minutes when Gerry Glynn popped the ball to Mossy Turley who crashed over for a try. Nicky Purcell added the second, breaking from the back of a scrum and giving two dummies for a snappy try. There was good handling in the lead up to Keith O’Neill’s try and the fullback kicked one conversion to put Buccs 17-3 ahead at halftime.
As Buccs continued to dominate a physical contest, Darren Costello added a pair of penalties but then Oughterard capitalised when Buccs eased off the throttle in the final quarter. Two late home tries almost yielded an upset result but Buccs held on to maintain top spot in the league table with just one game remaining. Liam Doran, skipper Glynn and Nigel Flynn were pick of the pack while Peter Smith, Sean Flynn and Purcell were best of the backline.
BUCCANEERS:- K.O’Neill; J.Bonnar, P.Smith, S.Flynn, M.Tormey; D.Costello, N.Purcell; P.Rikadze, K.Grehan, L.Doran; V.McGrath, D.Dunning; G.Glynn (captain), N.Flynn and T.Turley. Replacements:- C.Shanley, S.Byrne and Leo Aadic.