BUCCS pipped by WEGIANS in J1 League | News | Buccaneers Rugby Football Club Athlone

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BUCCS pipped by WEGIANS in J1 League

published:Sep  24   2018



BUCCANEERS and Galwegians served up fairly entertaining fare when the teams met in the Connacht Junior 1A League at Crowley Park, Galway, where the homesters prevailed 27-26 on Saturday. Buccs made four changes in personnel, all in their pack, for this encounter.


Wegians had the assistance of the cool breeze and slope in the first half and they opened the scoring through a 7th minute Peadar Beirn penalty. The elements ensured they had the greater territority and forged their opening try when Dan Faulkner got in for a 27th touchdown with Beirn adding the conversion. Buccs best opportunity came via a terrific break by Frankie Hopkins who lacked swift support. The Pirates scrumhalf was then yellow-carded moments before half-time for illegally slowing possession. Galwegians added further punishment when substitute Gary Carroll could not be stopped and Beirn’s conversion, the final act of the first half, gave the hosts a 17-0 advantage at the interval.


14-man Buccs then added to their difficulties four minutes after the change of ends when conceding a rash penalty on their own 22. The Tribesmen again punished them as they spread the ball right to left where the over-lapping James Kennedy got through some sluggish defending for an unconverted try.


The midlanders now had a mountain to climb but, eliminating errors in the main and continuing to toil ceaselessly, they quickly got back into the contest. Teenage hooker Cian Daly was decidedly unlucky to be edged into touch at the corner flag but Buccs forced the hosts back over their line following the resultant lineout. From the ensuing scrum, the ball was moved to Darragh Corbett who scythed in for a 49th minute try just right of the uprights. Astoundingly, the fullback drilled the conversion wide, which was to cost Buccs dearly.


Six minutes later a committed chase by Ross Murphy-Sweeney and Corbett following a kick ahead forced Eamonn Dowling to carry the ball over his own goal line to earn a scrum for Buccs. The Pirates pack shunted forward before Torin Rensford broke away to power over for a try left of the posts with Corbett adding the conversion. Just three minutes later, Dean McMahon made ground down the left flank and when the ball was transferred to Hopkins the Pirates scrumhalf bobbed and weaved his way in for a try between the uprights. Corbett’s conversion narrowed the arrears to 22-19.


As this helter skelter contest entered the final quarter, Rensford put in a shuddering tackle to turn over possession on the home ten-metre line. Owen Treacy flashed the ball to the left and, moments later, Gerard Fallon was dotting down for a bonus point try for Buccs wide on the left. Corbett landed a superb touchline conversion to put the Athlone side 26-22 ahead with 17 minutes remaining. It was nip and tuck until the finish. Fallon was sin-binned five minutes from time, his attempted intercept deemed a deliberate knock-on. Galwegians made their numerical superiority pay off a second time as they went through the phases and Shane Ryan scored the decisive try in the final move. Despite Beirn being unable to add the conversion, the westerners won for the second week in a row by the narrowest of margins and now top the league table.


Buccs gave themselves too much to do when slipping 22-0 in arrears, although they eliminated the majority of their errors as the game progressed. Indiscipline hurt them too as did insufficient use of the breeze in the second half. Nevertheless, they will have learned and taken heart from the brace of bonus points earned that sees them in second place on the leaderboard.


BUCCANEERS:- D.Corbett; G.Fallon, E.O’Reilly, R.Enraght-Moony, R.Murphy-Sweeney; D.McMahon, F.Hopkins; S.Flynn, C.Daly, H.O’Neill; H.Ronaldson (captain), T.Rensford; T.Phillips, D.Mannion and O.Treacy. Replacements:- N.Farrelly (for Flynn, 28 mins), R.Byrne (for Mannion, h/t), S.Flynn (for Daly, 67 mins),D.Mannion (for Rensford, inj. 64 mins), G.Dunican (for Farrelly, 76 mins), J.Lopez and A.Murtagh.