BUCCANEERS 20 TERENURE COLLEGE 24 | News | Buccaneers Rugby Football Club Athlone

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published:Feb  05   2018

Despite putting in a brave and sustained effort, Buccaneers just could not hold on for a priceless Ulster Bank League Division 1A win when they were overhauled by Terenure College in an intense battle at Dubarry Park on Saturday. The spirited Pirates were exhilarating in the opening half hour but their depleted squad could not maintain their exciting attacking play against more seasoned opponents who slowly but surely reeled in a 20-3 halftime deficit to edge an absorbing contest 24-20.


With 6 Nations action kicking off on TV (why the IRFU stage club fixtures on international match days remains inexplicable to this observer), there was naturally a paltry attendance to witness a fully committed encounter. Those hardy supporters saw all sorts of weather including sun, hailstones, rainbows and a biting breeze at times during the contest. Buccs had four enforced changes from last week’s team; Peter Claffey, Ryan O’Meara and Joshua Rowland were injured at UCD while Rory O’Connor was absent due to a family bereavement. They were replaced respectively by Evan Galvin, Conan O’Donnell, Alan Gaughan and Dean McMahon. Third in the league Terenure’s notable absentees were prop Oisin Heffernan and half-back Tim Schmidt, the latter replaced by Kevin O’Neill (one of a trio of brothers in the visitors’ backline).


Buccs hit the ground running and a fine carry by Shane Layden earned a penalty that was punted to the left corner. From the lineout Galvin stormed over for a third minute try which Luke Carty converted from the left. Four minutes later the fly-half was marginally off-target with a massive penalty kick from inside his own half but he soon made it 10-0 with a fine penalty from the ten metre line when Nure put a boot into a ruck on 9 minutes. .


Terenure became ragged and Michael Melia was sin-binned for a 16th minute wild tackle on Cian Romaine. Buccs soon stretched their lead with good play in midfield including the deftest of flicks by Layden to Darragh Corbett who kicked ahead after breaking down the right flank. The home winger then won the chase to ground the ball for a 20th minute try in the corner and Luke Carty added another excellent conversion as Buccaneers made a blistering start.


Mark O’Neill opened the visitors’ account with a central 25th minute penalty to which Carty replied three minutes later. Nure now steadied and their more settled squad finished the half strongly but the homesters held their line intact, including unflinching defending a series of five metre scrums, to lead 20-3 at halftime.


College realigned with Robbie Smyth at hooker and James Thornton at outhalf for the second half. Their now wind assisted momentum continued to build and James O’Donoghue finished off a sustained spell of pressure for a 48th minute try which Thornton converted. The Pirates were now on the back foot but continued to defend admirably until O’Donnell was yellow carded for not rolling away just before the hour mark.


Buccs retorted resiliently to get back on the offensive and a penalty kicked to the right corner put them in a promising position. However, the lineout went awry and the metropolitans’ turned over possession to launch a swift counter attack that led to club captain Smyth being driven over for a try after 66 minutes. Thornton’s conversion narrowed their arrears to 20-17.


They edged ahead when another influential substitute Robert Duke got over for a 74th minute try and Thornton added the conversion. Buccaneers battled gallantly and piled on sustained pressure in the closing minutes as they too went through a big number of phases close to the Dublin side’s line. But they lost both patience and ground when eventually spreading the ball wide although it took a last ditch Jake Swaine tackle on Corbett in the left corner to deny Buccs what would have surely been a match-winning try in the dying moments.


Terenure’s stronger pack in which Schalk Jooste and Alex Thompson were prominent made growing inroads particularly through pick and goes once they recovered from the hosts’ whirlwind start. They had the more experienced players and, crucially, key options off their bench who all made an impact on the proceedings. Here outhalf Thornton made a real difference to their comeback as they maintain their drive for Top Four qualification.


It was a desperately disappointing outcome for Buccaneers who gave it their all but just could not sustain the sparkle of their early flourish and the losing bonus point was little consolation to the gallant players. Daniel Law was named Audi Athlone Man of the Match, an accolade that could also have gone to Romaine who had his best performance of the season, while Layden and Luke Carty did their utmost in the backs unit.


One minute’s silence was observed as a mark of respect for the late Dairina Walsh, daughter of last season’s Club President Eddie Walsh.


BUCCANEERS:- A.Gaughan; D.Corbett, S.Layden (captain), B.Carty, D.McMahon; L.Carty, G.Lynch; M.Staunton, J.Sutton, C.O’Donnell; R.Byrne, C.Romaine; D.Law, E.Galvin and P.Boyle. Replacements:- F.Hopkins (for Lynch, 46 mins), E.O’Reilly (for McMahon, 63 mins), R.Grenham (for Sutton, 74 mins), B.Diffley and R.Dooley.


TERENURE COLLEGE:- J.O’Donoghue; J.Swaine, S.O’Neill, M.Hiney, S.Coghlan-Murray; M.O’Neill, K.O’Neill; C.Madden, A.Clarkin, S.Jooste; M.Melia, A.Thompson; C.Deans, H.Brewer and E.Joyce. Replacements:-R.Smyth (captain, for Clarkin, h/t), J.Thornton (for M.O’Neill, h/t), R.Duke (for Deans, 58 mins), R.Carroll (for Hiney) and K.Bolger.


Referee:- Mark Patton (IRFU).




The performance of Buccaneers Womens team was the one shining light of the dismal results of the weekend. Their energetic and enterprising display against Castlebar earned them a richly merited 22-19 Connacht Womens League victory at Dubarry Park on Sunday.


The Buccs ladies got off to a flying start with Kyra Wildy making an instant impact to score a fifth minute try on her debut. Castlebar levelled with a try but Susan Earner raced in from a long way out to score Buccs second try. With no try being converted in the opening half, Buccs led 10-5 at the break. Buccs stretched their advantage early in the second half when another debutant Tanya Rohan burst through for a try which Sabina Egan converted for a 17-5 lead.


Castlebar replied with a converted try but the impressive Earner darted in for her second touchdown to earn Buccs a bonus point. The Mayo lasses rallied with a second converted try, to complete a hattrick by Ursula Sammon, and Becky Gavin added her second conversion to leave just three points between the teams. However, Buccaneers held their nerve to earn a worthy victory that should seal their place in the play-offs as Castlebar shipped their first league defeat of the campaign.


In a most enjoyable encounter, Buccs made good use of their bench. They welcomed back Mele Kiripati from retirement and had try scorers in impressive debutants Wildy and Rohan while Orla Glynn was another to make her first appearance. Egan’s tactical kicking was good and Judy Dowling’s tackling was a feature of this victory and great squad performance that will surely instil deserved confidence and self belief into this developing Buccs side.


BUCCANEERS:- K.Wildy; M.Streilbo, N.Connell, S.Earner, S.Donohue; S.Egan, D.West; S.Kelly, J.Dowling, T.Finnerty; D.Cromar, L.Stuart-Trainor (captain); A.Hayes, T.Rohan and G.Kostanyn. Replacements used:- M.Kiripati, O.Glynn, K.Ryan, K.Furey and A.Kemmy.




Buccaneers U-20’s resources were stretched to the limit for the visit of J.P.Fanagan Leinster League Premier 2 leaders Maynooth University/Barnhall to Dubarry Park on Sunday. The visitors, who comfortably won this division last season, were much too strong in the forwards exchanges as they ran out 53-7 victors.


Weather conditions were sunny but cold while a heavy sod was an added advantage for the substantially bigger MU/B pack whose work earned the opening try after just 5 minutes. But straight from the restart Conor McMahon burst through for a try which Ryan Convey converted for a brief 7-5 home lead.


Buccs battled willingly and defended commendably for long periods but the pressure told as errors began to mount. MU/B capitalised on some of these to add three tries and secure a bonus point by half-time at which stage they led 29-7. It took them a long time to add to their tally in the second half, even though injuries had now impacted on the home side’s efforts, before a late blitz yielded a further four tries to complete their 53-7 winning margin.


BUCCANEERS:- R.Convey; K.Czerniak, R.Murphy-Sweeney, C.McMahon, T.McGann; S.Hastings, E.O’Reilly; A.Obono, D.Buckley, E.Cooney; B.Collins, K.Wheatley-Byrne; S.O’Connell, A.Shine-Lynch and D.McDonagh. Replacements used:- B.Diffley, R.Enraght-Moony and R.Wilson. .




BUCCANEERS SECONDS conceded home advantage to Monivea in this Connacht Junior Plate semi-final in which they fielded a team featuring multiple changes. It all came home to roost with a resounding 63-17 defeat at the Castle Grounds. Adding to the embarrassment was that this match also doubled as a league fixture and thus the struggling Monivea side were thrilled, not only with their performance on the day, but the clearcut victory. Harry Hughes scored two of Buccs tries, one of which was converted, while Trevor Thompson notched the third.


BUCCANEERS:- R.Flanagan; K.Joncher, H.Hughes, S.Flynn (captain), T.Phillips; D.Costello, G.Fallon; N.Harney, R.Grenham, T.Thompson; K.Langdon, S.Byrne; N.Flynn, M.Larkin and R.Dooley. Replacements:- C.Cleary and P.Flynn.




BUCCANEERS U-20’s face a swift rematch with Maynooth University/Barnhall when the teams meet up again in a J.P.Fanagan Leinster League Premier 2 Division game at Parsonstown on Sunday, kick off 3 p.m. Unless they can muster a stronger crew, the young Pirates will not relish this trip for they will need to field a much more physically able pack to square up to the formidable combination side’s forwards.