TERENURE COLLEGE 27 BUCCANEERS 21 | News | Buccaneers Rugby Football Club Athlone

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published:Nov  06   2017

TERENURE COLLEGE maintained their impressive start to the Ulster Bank League Division 1A when overcoming Buccaneers 27-21 at sunny but cold Lakelands Park on Saturday. But the Dubliners had to battle much harder than they may have anticipated to overcome gritty Buccs sustained challenge that earned the visitors their first league point of the campaign. Meanwhile Terenure remain in second place, hot on the heels of fellow metropolitans Lansdowne.


Buccs made two changes for this encounter with Conan O’Donnell replacing the injured Conor Kenny in the front row and Callum Boland making a welcome long-awaited return from injury on the right wing. The hosts also made some changes with regular outhalf Mark O’Neill an unused substitute, James Thornton manning the fly-half role instead, and Cathal Deans coming in for injured flanker Kyle McCoy.


The midlanders had first benefit of the breeze and took an early lead. Decent play brought them close to the home line where Peter Claffey was held out but the ball was moved to Luke Carty who forced his way over in the right corner for an unconverted 7th minute try. Buccs gave as good as they got throughout the half although Nure found a gap in midfield and Alex Thompson finished off this counter attack for a 23rd minute try which was also unconverted, leaving the teams level 5-5.


Ten minutes later following a lineout on the right near halfway, Buccs displayed dexterous hands in moving the ball swiftly crossfield where Rory O’Connor left the home cover for dead to race in for an excellent try, his fourth of the campaign. Fly-half Carty added a fine conversion. Then the Pirates had to display their defensive resilience just before half-time before responding with enterprising work that yielded a penalty. With the final kick of the half, Carty split the posts to put Buccaneers 15-5 ahead at the interval.


Now aided by the elements Terenure forced the pace following the change of ends but found the Athlone side in stubborn mood until Kevin O’Neill’s 50th minute dummy was bought too easily and the scrumhalf sniped in for a try which Thornton converted. Buccs best effort in the third quarter was a break by fullback Gaughan before Nure’s patient and persistent work eventually stretched the midlanders defence and Jake Swain stretched over in the right corner for an unconverted 59th minute try which edged the city side 17-15 ahead.


Buccs refused to wilt and Carty struck a magnificent diagonal penalty to touch five metres from the home line but, untypically, their lineout malfunctioned in this promising position as the game entered the final quarter still finely balanced. However, the Pirates suffered double disaster in quick succession when, following the intervention of a touch-judge, substitute Eoghan Maher was red-carded for an alleged stamp with 16 minutes remaining. Terenure made prompt benefit of their numerical advantage when their favoured rolling maul ploy earned a pushover try by Adam Clarkin. Thornton added a terrific conversion from the right touchline to put Nure 24-15 to the good after 65 minutes.


Carty on 71 minutes and Thornton on 74 then traded penalties as Buccaneers (who gave second half debuts to James Mitchell and Darragh Corbett) battled with resilience and commitment all the way to the very end. Carty was short with a long range 77th minute penalty against the wind but the nerveless young stand-off proved up to the challenge when, just as he had done in the first half, drilling over a tricky placekick with the final action of the match to salvage Buccs first point of a difficult season.


O’Neill and Sam Coghan-Murray were constant threats in the home backline while Thompson and Frans Schalk-Jooste were most prominent in the Terenure pack. Despite defeat again being the lot of the Athlone outfit, there was nevertheless much to take encouragement from in this spirited and sustained display, particularly the efforts of Carty, O’Connor, Alan Gaughan (more like his form of last season), Evan Galvin and especially excellent lock Claffey.


TERENURE COLLEGE:- J.O’Donoghue; J.Swaine, M.Hiney, T.O’Donoghue, S.Coghan-Murray; J.Thornton, K.O’Nell; C.Madden, R.Smyth (captain), F.S. Jooste; M.Melia, A.Thompson; C.Deans, P.Thornton and E.Joyce. Replacements:- A.Clarkin (for Smyth, 55 mins), G.Turabelidze (for Madden, 55 mins), R.Duke (for Melia, 64 mins), C.Weakliam and M.O’Neill.


BUCCANEERS:- A.Gaughan; C.Boland, S.Layden (captain), A.Hayman, R.O’Connor; L.Carty, F.Hopkins; M.Staunton, J.Sutton, C.O’Donnell; P.Claffey, R.Byrne; R.Farrell, E.Galvin and S.Meagher. Replacements:- J.Mitchell (for Hopkins, h/t), E.Maher (for Sutton, 46 mins), D.Corbett (for Boland, 60 mins), J.Sutton (for Farrell, 65 mins), N.Farrelly and R.Dooley.


Referee:- Robert O’Sullivan.   




BUCCANEERS U-20’s were most disappointing in their J.P.Fanagan Leinster League Premier 2 match played at Dubarry Park on Sunday when the visitors romped to a 62-15 victory. The clear blue sunshine was as bright as it got for Buccs in this outing as Belvo proved much slicker, quicker and smarter than the Pirates who, admittedly, had quite a number of changes to their starting line-up. The Dubliners scored a very early try and, although Michael Hanley soon replied with a penalty that proved to be Buccs only score of the opening half. The Athlone side were really weak in this period with missed tackles, poor passes and touch not being found from penalty kicks. Basic errors all round. Meanwhile Old Belvedere had a bonus point in the bag by the break, leading 33-3.


Buccaneers looked lackadaisical in that first half but performed much better after the change of ends. Niall Murray showed his class when scoring two fine tries while Sam Hastings, Colin Daly, Jack Delahunt and sub Ryan Convey were others who did their best. However, Old Belvedere were a class above this Pirates crew on the day with prop Roman Salamoa looking their standout performer as the city club compiled an impressive tally of ten tries.


BUCCANEERS:-  S.Hastings; R.Teape, C.McMahon, C.Burns, R.Murphy-Sweeney; M.Hanley, C.Daly; J.Kelly, D.Buckley, E.Cooney; B.Collins, J.Delahunt; S.O’Connell, K.Wheatley-Byrne and R.Enraght-Moony. Replacements used:- R.Convey, N.Murray, A.Obono, L.Donnelly and R.Keighery-Farley.




BUCCANEERS WOMENS team were our brightest performers of the weekend when winning their Connacht Womens League clash 38-7 away to Galwegians at Crowley Park on Saturday. Although also stretched for resources, the team put in their best collective performance this season accumulating 6 tries in this win.


The Buccs girls earned the spoils with a splendid first half effort in which they scored 4 tries to lead 26-7 at half-time. Niamh Connell got the first touchdown for the team and Alex Hennessy, Susan Earner and Sabina Egan scored one try each. Hennessy added a trio of conversions while Wegians responded with a second quarter converted try. On the resumption Sharon Donohoe marked her debut with a try and Egan notched her second try which was converted by Hennessy to complete the 38-7 scoreline. Overall, it was a terrific effort by all the players with special mention going to Dearbhaile West in her unfamiliar role at scrumhalf where she did extremely well. Meanwhile best wishes go Niamh Gough for a speedy recovery from injury.


Buccaneers:-  T.Finnerty, S.Kelly, K.Ryan, L.Stuart-Trainor, A.Kemmy, A.Hennessy, D.West, S.Egan, N.Connell, A.Hayes, S.Donohoe, M.Obliers and S.Earner.




BUCCANEERS SECONDS went down to a 69-22 Connacht Junior 1A League defeat to defending champions Ballina at Heffernan Park on Sunday. Darragh Corbett was Buccs outstanding performer in this high-scoring affair after which the Mayo side are now clear leaders in this division. However, Buccs claimed a bonus point for 4 tries scored and move up to the top four in the league table.