Buccaneers 24 Young Munster 32
Buccaners search for the first points goes on after Young Munster left Dubarry Park with a 32-24 victory.
A final quarter fadeout cost the midlanders dearly in this ‘must win’ basement battle as the visitors claimed three tries to overhaul an eleven points’ deficit.
Buccs took the lead thanks to a third minute penalty form Carty with Young Muster leveling it via a Conor Hayes three pointer four minutes later.
Weak home tackling contributed to the visitors making ground in the build-up to their opening try by Ben Kilkenny on 13 minutes.
Young home centre Reid lost possession through an unpunished high tackle on his own 22 and the
Limerick side’s captain Kilkenny finished off their counter attack along the right flank to put Young Munster 13-3 to the good.
A powerful charge by Peter Claffey down the left five minutes later was finished in determined fashion by Hopkins for a try which Carty converted.
Then a rousing Martin Staunton surge followed as Buccs took the game to the visitors but the withdrawal of influential backrower Dan Law was a real setback.
The Athlone side trailed 13-10 at the break.
Rory O’Connor perfectly read Young Munster’s intentions to swoop on a pass and race away for an intercept try between the posts, three minutes after the restart.
Carty duly converted but was then short with a 49th minute 10 metre penalty.
Buccs now had the bit between their teeth and Paul Boyle, Reid and Ronan Farrell were all involved in a tremendous 50th minute move that should have earned O’Connor his second try but referee Joy Neville, from some distance back, instead awarded a five metre scrum to the hosts.
Hopkins bravely dived through a tangle of bodies for a try to land the hosts a try.
Carty’s excellent conversion from the left put Buccaneers 24-13 ahead and home supporters began to believe that their team could finally taste division 1A victory.
Alas their final quarter travails persisted as Peter Meyer was allowed far too much latitude in getting close to the home line where Young Munster earned a penalty.
From the selected scrum Young Munster earned a second penalty which Jack Lyons quick tap and go caught Buccs napping as he darted in for a 58th minute try which Hayes converted
The Limerick side were rejuvenated by this score and they followed it up with good handling and awareness to edge ahead when Daniel Hurley finished off cross-field passing with an unconverted 64th minute try that guaranteed Young Munster a bonus point.
Try as they might, Buccaneers just could not breach Young Munster’s committed defending in the closing stages and Gavin Coombes try six minutes from the finish, converted by Hayes, ensured that the Pirates finished empty-handed for their third game in 1A.
BUCCANEERS:- W.O’Brien; T.McGann, S.Layden (captain), C.Reid, R.O’Connor; L.Carty, F.Hopkins; M.Staunton, J.Sutton, C.Kenny; P.Claffey, C.Romaine; D.Law, S.Meagher and P.Boyle. Replacements:- R.Farrell (for Law, inj. 38 mins), C.O’Donnell (for Staunton, h/t), E.Maher (for Sutton, 66 mins), R.Byrne (for Reid, 72 mins) and E.O’Reilly.
YOUNG MUNSTER:- C.Hayes; D.Hurley, C.Nash, B.Swindlehurst, C.O’Hanlon; S.Airey, R.Guerin; P.Meyer, G.Slattery, C.Skehan; M.Kelly, A.Kennedy; B.Kilkenny (captain), D.Dee and T.Ryan. Replacements:- E.O’Gorman (for Nash, inj. 22 mins), G.Coombes (for Ryan, 44 mins), J.Lyons (for Guerin, 51 mins), M.O’Mara (for Slattery, 72 mins), R.Guerin (for O’Hanlon, 75 mins) and E.Ryan.
Referee: Joy Neville (IRFU).