Bonus away point win keeps Buccs in third place

Nov 1, 2021 17:03 By Dave Hooper
Bonus away point win keeps Buccs in third place Bonus away point win keeps Buccs in third place
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Old Crescent 20 Buccaneers 34

Buccaneers maintained their grip on third position in the Energia All-Ireland League Division 2A with 34-20 bonus point victory away to Old Crescent on Saturday.

The midlanders bus was among traffic held up on the motorway due to a fatal motor accident. However they did not let the 90 minutes delay affect them. Hitting the ground running to build up a 20-3 lead by the first water break.

The Pirates made three changes, one enforced, from their win over Nenagh Ormonde. Rotation saw Sean O’Connell start at tighthead prop and Eoin O’Reilly at scrumhalf replacing Martin Staunton and Adam Flanagan respectively. Injury ruled out Rory O’Connor with Saul O’Carroll being a late call up on the left wing.


Buccs pushed the home pack off their own their scrum to earn a third minute penalty which Michael Hanley slotted over from the right. Within three minutes, the visitors were culpable in a similar situation and Ronan McKenna duly levelled the scores.

Just as swiftly Old Crescent conceded another penalty, again at a scrum. Dissent brought the placekick into their half and Hanley comfortably added the points for a 6-3 lead after 9 minutes.

Buccaneers won yet another penalty five minutes later, skipper Evan Galvin directed to go to touch on the right. From the lineout; the Athlone standard bearers made a number of forays towards the home line. Hanley’s cross-field kick changed the direction of play where O’Carroll gathered the ball unchallenged to touchdown for a 14th minute try. Hanley added an excellent touchline conversion.


The Pirates were soon raiding down the left wing again with Ruadhri Fallon leading the charge, he chipped ahead before being tackled late. Home winger Jack O’Mahony received a yellow carded and Shane Layden maintained his chase to grab a 22nd minute try with Hanley’s conversion putting Buccs 20-3 to the good and seemingly well in control.

The midlanders did not deal with the restart and the hosts were soon applying pressure which saw O’Connell sin-binned. Dan Hurley finished off this good spell by the hosts for a 26th minute try which McKenna converted.

Buccaneers were swiftly down to 13 players for a period when Ruairi Byrne was yellow carded as they attempted to stem the home tide. John Toland capitalised on Buccs discomfort to score an unconverted try that narrowed the lead to 20-15 after 35 minutes.


Buccaneers struck back just before half-time. Thomas McGann intercepted and broke down the right wing before chipping over the last defender and winning the race to touch down for his side’s third try.

Hanley maintained his impressive place-kicking as he landed an excellent touchline conversion to give Buccs a 27-15 advantage at the interval.

Scores were harder come by in the second half with Shane Jennings unlucky when his kick ahead, was hit a shade too strongly after 50 minutes.


But his side’s yellow card woes soon resurrected when O’Reilly was despatched to the sin bin two minutes later. Again Buccs dug deep to display their defensive resilience before they secured their try bonus point on the hour mark. Youngsters O’Carroll, Jennings and Fallon all combined to make ground up the left flank where the wily Layden was shadowing to finish the move in style. Hanley maintained his 100% place-kicking success with a smashing conversion to push Buccs 34-15 ahead.

With the floodlights now on, Buccaneers continued to press forward and earned two close-in lineouts but both throws went awry. Old Crescent had the final say when, after Jennings became the fourth Pirate to walk the yellow card ramp in the final minute, the Limerick side earned a final move unconverted pushover try to complete the 34-20 score-line.

Old Crescent: J.Higgins; J.O’Mahony, C.Monaghan, D.Casserly, D.Hurley; R.McKenna, G.Fitzgerald, J.Considine, N.Hardiman, T.Gormley; P.Monaghan, C.Reale, J.Toland, K.Madden, K.Doyle (captain). Replacements: M.O’Hanrahan for O’Mahony, G.Coyne for Madden, C.O’Reilly for Gormley, J.Hurley for Casserly, K.Madden for Toland, M.Rickard for Hardiman.


Buccaneers: R.Fallon, T.McGann, S.Layden, S.Mannion, S.O’Carroll, M.Hanley, E.O’Reilly, J.Kelly, D.Adamson, S.O’Connell; R.Byrne, D.Qualter; C.Booth, E.Galvin (captain), T.Maree.  Replacements: C.McCann for Maree, (inj) 16 mins, M.Staunton for McCann (temp 23/33 mins), S.Jennings for McGann 45, R.Grenham for Adamson 66, A.Flanagan for O’Reilly 66, M.Staunton for O’Connell 66), T.McGann for O’Carroll 70.

Referee: Shane Kierans (IRFU)

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