After a sluggish start, a young Buccaneers Development Squad progressed to the next round of the Heineken Connacht Junior Cup at the expense of Ballinrobe 39-0 at Dubarry Park, Athlone, on Sunday.
On a drizzly but mild afternoon, the visitors had first benefit of the light breeze but, although they enjoyed some decent territory, they did not translate early dominance on to the scoreboard. Ballinrobe missed a straight-forward penalty during that period while Ben Carty went closer for Buccs with a lengthy placekick shortly afterwards. The teenager then opened the scoring with 27th minute penalty as Buccaneers began to exert dominance. They finished the half in style with David Egan finishing off a fine move for a well-taken 33rd minute try. In the final move of the half, Carty showed that it’s not only big brother Jack who can score and convert tries. His excellently taken try and conversion at the posts gave the young Pirates a 15-0 lead at half-time.
Thereafter, the outcome was never in doubt despite a gritty showing from Ballinrobe who are having a torrid season. Carty and Egan touched down again in the second period with Jack Feeney and substitute Rory Byrne also crossing the visitors’ whitewash. Carty converted two of these tries for a comprehensive victory, but it will be a much tougher test in the next round at home to Our Lady’s Boys Club on Sunday. Carty and Tim Clifford impressed most in the backline while Michael Mannion, Egan and Enda O’Brien did a lot of good work in the forwards battle.
BUCCANEERS:- T.Clifford; G.Walsh, D.Byrne, R.Walshe, J.Feeney; B.Carty, R.Taylor; J.Roets, E.O’Brien, D.Higgins; M.Mannion, R.Farrell; D.Burns, D.Egan and D.Lennon (captain). Replacements:- B.Teape (for Roets, h/t), A.Connaughton (for Burns, 51 mins), R.Byrne (for Farrell, 51 mins), R.Reid (63 mins) and G.Costello (63 mins).
BALLINROBE:- M.Fleming; M.Walsh, M.Nalty, J.Cooper, M.Grufferty; S.Conroy, O.Gill; M.Mikolosgwsky, D.Burke, D.Brennan; P.McHugh (captain), P.Moyelette; M.Joyce, C.Varley and J.Winters. Replacements:- C.McHugh, B.O’Toole, S.Kelly, A.Connolly and J.Flannery.