Their men's side enjoyed success over Ballina.
BALLINA 14 BUCCANEERS 24
BUCCANEERS put in a much improved showing to claim their first victory of the new Energia Community Series when overcoming Ballina 24-14 at
Heffernan Park on Saturday. Buccs were full value for this win which should have been more clearcut had they not allowed the Greens get back into the contest either side of halftime.
Both clubs fielded youthful sides with the midlanders making four changes, two each in the backs and forwards, from the opening day defeat to pool leaders Sligo. In the pack Martin Staunton, unavailable last week, returned at loosehead with Sean O’Connell getting the nod at tighthead. Saul O’Carroll started in a realigned backline where his centre partner saw a surprise inclusion of backs coach Henry Bryce. A number of positional changes also occurred, most notably Brian O’Donnell lining out at No.8 and Luke Carty manning the pivotal flyhalf berth.
A heavy shower just prior to kick off made for greasy conditions (and caught out quite a number of spectators too!) and probably excuses Darragh Corbett’s knock on after 7 minutes when a Buccs try looked imminent. However, the Pirates took the lead just a minute later when a good scrum yielded a penalty which Carty slotted over. The Shannonsiders suffered a setback when McDonnell who, although slight of frame, had been very prominent, was forced off through injury.
Buccs continued to force the pace and were eventually rewarded with a try just before the first water break when Mark Balaski, playing on the left wing on this occasion, finished off fine interplay to scoot in for a well crafted try. Carty’s conversion put the visitors 10-0 ahead.
A Bryce rumble after 25 minutes stretched the home defence as the sun now shone and a super Carty penalty to the right corner gave Buccs a promising position two minutes later. Evan Galvin was held up short following the lineout and then an unpunished high tackle on younger brother Fergal kept the home line intact.
Buccs were to rue a lack of precision in that attack as Ballina finally got into the home 22 just five minutes before the interval. Following a long penalty to touch on the right flank, Billy McVann threw to the front of the lineout where Luke Sweeney
popped the ball back to the hooker who caught the Pirates dozing on the blindside for a 35 th minute try. This energised the Mayo side and, following a teasing diagonal kick, Michael Hanley was forced to put the ball in touch close to his goal-line on the opposite flank. From that lineout Ballina’s Darragh Whyte surged over for a final move try. Excellent conversions of both tries by Craig McCormick left Buccaneers trailing 14-10 at half-time, despite having been well on top for long spells.
Another drenching of rain greeted the change of ends and the visitors, who introduced Adam Flanagan and Harry O’Reilly, then got dragged into a dogfight during the third quarter during which McCormick missed his easiest placekick with a 45 th minute penalty. But, just as they had done in the opening half, Buccaneers galvanised themselves before the water break and following a number of penalties to the right touch, Darren Browne grounded the ball for a 60 th minute try off a terrific maul. Carty duly landed an excellent conversion to edge Buccs 17-14 ahead.
A brief flare-up set the tone for a frantic final quarter with both teams striving to secure a vital score as the play now ebbed and flowed from end to end. Buccs recovered their composure and their impressive pressing forced Ballina into a hurried pass which substitute Eoin O’Reilly did particularly well to scoop off the turf and hare in for a 78 th minute try between the uprights.
This made Carty’s conversion a formality and all Buccs now had to do was to get a safe grip on the ball from the restart. However, Evan Galvin untypically dropped the ball forward although under little pressure and Ballina threw everything they could at the Pirates in a desperate attempt to salvage a losing bonus point. However, Buccaneers defending was fierce yet disciplined with Bryce to the fore to retrieve the situation and prevail on a 24-14 margin.
Buccs were full value for this victory with a much more organised and committed display although, to quote Roy Keane, they were “sloppy” too often. Nevertheless, it was a much improved overall performance from a primarily young squad who will surely get better with more games and training sessions under their collective belts.
Staunton was as solid as ever with the lively Browne prominent and Ruairi Byrne very effective in the forwards battle. The backline looked better structured with themore physical Carty at outhalf and solid duo Bryce and O’Carroll in the centre while sub Adam Flanagan brought a bit of mischief to the contest. Skipper Sweeney,Whyte and McCormick were prominent for the hosts.
BALLINA:- D.Whyte; B.Nealon, A.Corduff, R.Molloy, J.Luskin; C.McCormick, C.Quinn; S.Clarke, B.McVann, A.Duffy; T.Hannigan, M.Feeley; L.Sweeney (captain), J.Doherty and P.Howley. Replacements:- M.Cribben (for Nealon, inj.20 mins), B.Boland (for Duffy, 27 mins), M.Finnerty (for Hannigan, 60 mins),M.McDermott (for McVann, 78 mins) and N.Keane.
BUCCANEERS:- M.Hanley; D.Corbett, S.O’Carroll, H.Bryce, M.Balaski; L.Carty, G.Fallon; M.Staunton, D.Browne, S.O’Connell; R.Byrne, S.Kroupa; F.Galvin, E.Galvin (captain) and B.McDonnell. Replacements:- R.Flanagan (for McDonnell, inj. 11 mins), H.O’Reilly (for O’Connell, h/t), A.Flanagan (for Fallon,45 mins), R.Grenham (for Browne, 66 mins), E.O’Reilly (for Bryce, 66 mins) and H.Bryce (for Balaski, 75 mins).
Referee:- Shane Gaughan (Connacht).
BUCCANEERS 13 DUNMORE 17
A late try edged Dunmore to a 17-13 victory over Buccaneers Seconds in the second round of the Cawley Cup Pool 2 played at Dubarry Park on Sunday.
Although this was a greatly improved effort by a very youthful home squad,they will be most disappointed to have allowed the visitors depart with their win. The Pirates played the more attractive rugby in difficult weather conditions but the more seasoned Galway outfit made the most of Buccs not clearing their lines sufficiently in the closing stages when leading by the minimum. In wet and wild weather, Buccs made the perfect start. Lasha Laoshvilli swiftly tapped a penalty in midfield and the ball was moved smartly to Jensen Nagle on the left flank. The winger had some work to do but left the Dunmore cover in his slipstream to dot down between the uprights for a super try after a mere 4 minutes.
Sean Flynn tapped over the conversion and, in a high energy start, he added an 18th minute penalty following a sniping break by Michael Byrne that gave the Pirates a 10-0 lead.
But Buccaneers infringed from the restart and Dunmore got into the danger zone with the ensuing penalty to touch. There they forced their way over for a converted try totally against the run of play. In the closing stages of the half, the westerners applied fierce pressure that saw home flanker Robert Teape yellow carded.
Nevertheless, gritty defending by Buccs saw them hold their 10-7 advantage at half-time. Despite Teape’s prolonged sin-binning, Buccs enjoyed the better of the early second half exchanges but could not fashion a second try. Just before the second half water break, Dunmore took the lead with an unconverted try following a sustained spell of pressure. Buccaneers retort was instant with Teape, Sean Doyle and Cedric Forkin combining to earn a penalty which Flynn drilled over to regain the lead by the minimum at 13-12.
In the closing stages, the much smaller and lesser experienced Pirates crew dropped their tempo and consequently kept inviting Dunmore into their danger zone.
They were punished for not clearing their lines efficiently when the visitors broke away for a try at the posts three minutes from time. The alert Ross Moony-Enraght denied the visitors adding the conversion but, despite their best endeavours, Buccs could not conjure up a late winning try. Teape, Laoshvilli and Liam Doyle gave it their all in the forwards battle while pocket sized duo Flynn and Nagle caught the eye in the backline where Byrne and Eoin O’Reilly were prominent. Despite defeat, this is a young squad of immense potential with at least ten being products of last season’s U-20 panel.
BUCCANEERS:- M.Byrne; J.Nagle, H.Hughes, R.Enraght-Moony, C.Rooney- Digan; S.Flynn, E.O’Reilly (captain); C.Forkin, D.Buckley, L.Laoshvilli; J.Scouler, T.Corcoran; C.O’Grady, R.Teape and L.Doyle. Replacements:- M.Ti Boshi (for Forkin, 20 mins), S.Flynn, Snr. (for Laoshvilli, 20 mins), L.Laoshvilli (for Ti Boshi, inj. 36 mins), K.Connolly (for O’Grady, h/t), T.Thompson (for Flynn, Snr. h/t), A.Flanagan (for O’Reilly, h/t), C.O’Grady (for Doyle, 60 mins),E.O’Reilly (for Flynn, 60 mins), S.Flynn (for Flanagan, inj. 73 mins) and S.Flynn,Snr. (for Scouler, inj. 76 mins).
GOLF CLASSIC on October 21st
BUCCANEERS RFC’s Annual Golf Classic takes place at a later than usual date at the recently renamed four star Glasson Lakehouse Hotel on Wednesday, October 21st . Early bookings get the best time slots so contact our Administrator Geraldine at
0861732711 to book.
‘YOUR CLUB YOUR COUNTRY’ DRAW
This year’s ‘YOUR CLUB, YOUR COUNTRY’ Grand Draw, organised by the IRFU, is being hosted online. There is a super array of ten prizes, including a fabulous trip for two to the Pacific Islands next June to coincide with Ireland’s tour there. This is sponsored by Vodafone while Energia is sponsoring a smashing €5,000 holiday. Aer Lingus and Canterbury are among the other prize sponsors, full details of which can be found on www.irfu.ie
Tickets cost a mere €10 each and you can ensure that Buccaneers get their full share when buying online by clicking on the club link (club logos are in alphabetical order so this is very straight-forward). The proceeds of all tickets sold by the club go to the club so this Grand Draw is a key fund-raiser in these most challenging of times for the club.
All support will be greatly and gratefully appreciated.
U-16’s maintain their winning ways
Buccaneers played their return fixture v Ballinasloe on Saturday in Athlone. Buccs are still missing a number of players but got stuck into the game from the start. Playing with no fear these lads are getting fitter while improved handling and offloading allied to positive defence gave the home team a final tally of nine tries and four conversions to a try. Matas Jurginas, Brian Mulvihill and Sean Rohan got two tries each with Sean Doyle, Donncha Connolly and Jorge Pieto one each. Fionn Lyons converted 4 of the tries.
Buccs again managed to give all players a game. Best wishes to Leon Cassidy on his recovery from injury.
BUCCANEERS:- P Brazil, D Lally, S Rohan, R Kelly, M Fallon, M Kenny, M Jurginas, O Byrne, J Pieto, F Julian, S Lyons, P Egan, A Saka, D Connolly, T McCay, F Lyons, E Killeen, S McCarthy, L Cassidy, B Mulvihill, T Daly, O Tierney, S Drummond and Jules.