Castlebar 29 Buccaneers 21
A very youthful Buccaneers junior’s side were unlucky not to secure a losing bonus point to Castlebar 29-21 in their Cawley Cup Pool 1 game played at Cloondeash on Sunday.
Heavy pre-match rain meant conditions there added to the challenge for the lighter Buccs side.
Buccaneers disrupted by late cry offs, started poorly and found themselves 17-0 down after 20 minutes.
Some poor first up tackles and execution allowed Castlebar early momentum. Buccs cause was not helped by a very harsh yellow card to influential openside flanker Koronato Kiripati.
During this time Buccaneers conceded two converted tries and a penalty. To their credit they didn't allow their heads to drop and on the back of a dominant scrum, began to find their rhythm.
It was off this very solid platform, inside Castlebar’s 22 that Buccaneers scored a training ground move. Jack Scouler picking from base and feeding young Kiripati to score under the posts, extras added by Andrew Evans. Buccaneers very much dominated the closing period of the first-half.
Buccaneers started the second-half promisingly and but for some inconsistent refereeing decisions didn't get their reward.
Instead they conceded a try from a mazy run by the replacement out-half. Buccs duly responded, off the back of a crunching Cedric Fokam tackle and rip by Scouler they regained momentum.
Aided by Gerard Fallon's move to out-half and the introduction of new centre Orrin Burgess. Burgess bringing real aggression and purpose, made a number of dominant tackles and big carries.
Fallon kicked a garryowen deep into the Castlebar 22 allowing Burgess put in a big hit, turn over and dive over for a try, converted by Evans.
Buccs scored again soon after, a clever penalty cross-field kick was gathered by Adam Flanagan, and scored by the posts and converted by Evans.
Buccs were buoyed by closing the gap to a single point. Evans was just wide with a long range penalty. Then some sloppy play and unforced penalties gave Castlebar 5m lineout where the mauled over for the decisive score.
The whole Buccaneers pack fronted up in particular the young players Fionn McDermott, Kiripati, and Scouler.
Fallon was composed at out-half, Cameron Rooney-Digan on the wing was always hungry for work as was Harry Balsiger who played fullback, centre and wing, showcasing his versatility. The evergreen Niall Harney brought a cool head to the closing proceedings.
Undoubtedly this young Buccaneers squad with a bit more guile and composure can be very competitive in the junior league, starting next Sunday at home to Sligo.
Buccaneers: H.Balsiger; G.Fallon, D.Mulvihill, R.Teape, C.Rooney-Digan; A.Evans, Colin Daly (captain); C.Fokam, R.Grenham, J.Kelly; K.Connolly, F.McDonnell; C.O’Grady, K.Kiripati and J.Scouler. Replacements: A.Flanagan (for Teape), O.Burgess (for Mulvihill) and N.Harney (for Fokam).
Dubarry Park will be busy on Sunday with the U-20’s, juniors and Women’s teams all in action. First up the ladies face Corinthians in the Invitational Cup with a 1pm start. They have a busy week having to play Galwegians at Glenina on Wednesday evening with a 7pm kick-off.
The juniors commence their Connacht Junior 1A League campaign when they host Sligo with this fixture getting underway at 2:30pm.
Finally half-an-hour later, Buccs U-20’s duel with Corinthians in a rescheduled J.P.Fanagan Leinster league qualifier. The hosts must win this intriguing tie to have any prospect of qualifying for Division 1B of this Leinster competition.
This week’s winner in Buccaneers RFC “50/50 Draw” is Adrian Hanley.
Congrats to Shane Jennings who represented Ireland sevens at the recent tournament in Vancouver and scored two tries. Well done to another rising starlet Ruadhri Fallon who was in the Connacht Eagles squad beating Ulster development last weekend.
Buccaneers U-17’s ‘black’ team played old foes Corinthians on Saturday in Galway. It’s been a while since this Buccs squad overcame their rivals. But this squad and the ‘yellow’ squad have worked and trained very hard for the last three years and fully deserved their victory over the perennial Connacht champions.
From the outset it was evident that the Buccs boys were in no mood to be second best. A captain’s try from Niall Tallon following line-out pressure paved the way for a Donnacha Connolly try following a nice Leon Cassidy pass. Two penalties and a conversion from Danny Reid gave Buccs an 18- 8 win.
A dominant pack upstaged their opponents in most facets of the game as the backs defended superbly to counter any opposition threat.
Buccaneers:- S.Doyle, S.Rohan, P.Brazil, Abu, G.Murphy, P.Egan, J.Clarke, N.Tallon (captain), F.Lyons, E.Joyce, R.Gahan, L.Cassidy, B.Mulvihill, J.Gelet, D.Connolly, C.Sheehan, J.Pieto, M.Connors, S.McCarthy and D.Reid.
On Saturday morning Buccs U-14’s ‘black’ team played Ballina on the main pitch on a perfect day for rugby. Buccs raced into a four try lead before the water break, and scored another three in the next quarter before Ballina got on the scoreboard.
That was the end of the Buccs scoring. However Ballina snatched victory from the jaws of defeat when an interception gave the visitors an unlikely 33-31 win.
Best for Buccs were M.Kelly, R.Colleran and Ryan Nagle in the forwards and A .Cotton, E. Killeen and O.Egan in the backs.
Buccaneers: C.West, J. Kelly, D.Cleary, E.Claffey, R.Colleran, R.Nagle, J.Ryan, M.Kelly, O.Egan, N.Stewart, E.Killeen, S.Nugent, J.Bourke, A.Connors, A. Cotton, H.McGowan, E.O’Sullivan, D.Kilclyne, K.Nolan, R.Mugenza, D.Dullea, S.Clarke and Juan Gonzalo.