Buccaneers power past UCC in the Mardyke

Feb 20, 2023 16:12 By Dave Hooper
Buccaneers power past UCC in the Mardyke
Shane Jennings outflanks the UCC defence on his way to scoring Buccaneers third try.
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UCC 10 Buccaneers 19

Buccaneers maintained their winning ways with a 19-10 Energia All-Ireland League Division 1B victory over UCC at the Mardyke on Saturday.

The victory came at a steep cost with injuries to a trio of key players. While the failure to add a bonus point saw the midlanders slip a point behind new league leaders City of Armagh.

The contest flowed from start to finish between two youthful and exuberant sides; both now tutored by former Connacht head coaches.


UCC had the brighter of starts, although it was Buccs who found the opening scores.

Following a good clear-out by Saul O’Carroll, who linked with Shane Jennings and sent Shane Layden scampering away to finish off a slick counter-attack for a seventh minute try. Michael Hanley added the conversion.

UCC responded, probing the width of the pitch. Louis Bruce was first to threaten but Buccs got over the home captain to win a relieving penalty. Following a College penalty to touch near the Pirates right corner, the midlanders shunted the Students maul into touch.


UCC down to 14

At the end of the opening quarter, Sheahan was sin-binned for a dump tackle on Josh O’Connor. The Buccaneers winger then looked like adding to his try tally but Ciaran Booth’s pass was ruled forward.

UCC could have been down to 13 players after 23 minutes when Buckley was guilty of a near replica dump tackle, but referee Glancy did not produce a second yellow card.


Buccs strove to capitalise on their extra man. Will Reilly gathered a teasing kick ahead, as Oisin McCormack surged forward the flanker pulled-up with a hamstring injury. Ryan O’Meara was his 25th minute replacement and one minute later the Athlone side notched their second try.

As Buccs piled on pressure, Cian McCann won lineout possession close to the UCC right corner. The Pirates pack drove forward to the home line, where Stephen Mannion arced around from behind his forwards to crash over for an unconverted 26th minute try and a 12-0 advantage.

UCC opened their account with a 34th minute Daniel Squires penalty after the Shannonsiders were penalised for a latching offence. UCC finished the half on the offensive with a Reilly knock-on giving them promising territory. The Buccaneers defence held firm to lead 12-3 at halftime.



Four minutes into the second-half, Jennings burst forward to outflank the home cover, careering through for a wonderful try. Hanley added the two points.

Buccs were now in the driving seat, with the wind at their backs looked good to add to their tally.


Buccaneers defence was virtually impenetrable until the 49th minute when Bruce found a gap to send Adrien Brien in for a try converted by Squires.

McCann incurred a yellow card with a wild tackle, having tried to prevent the touchdown. With a wrist injury forcing Layden off, Buccs were now temporarily down a player and missing two of their more influential performers through injury.

Tom Shine came in at centre, Oisin Dolan had earlier replaced Kelly and Sean O’Connell was introduced for O’Meara.

The midlanders now struggled against a resurgent UCC, who found profit in chipping over the Pirates rear-guard. Buccs continued to work hard with commitment and discipline. Jennings putting a try-saving tackle late in the contest that denied UCC a losing bonus point.

Overall, Buccaneers will be pleased to win at a ground that has not always been kind to their efforts.

UCC: L.Bruce (c) (J.Murphy 69), S.Condon, K.Coghlan, D.Squires, D.French, D.Whooley, I.Rodriguez (O.Young 63), R.Duggan, S.Buckley, D.McCarthy (C.Hanlon 63), A.Brien, M.Bissenar, S.O’Sullivan, J.Sheahan, P.McBarron (J.O’Sullivan 26 (P.McBarron 29 inj)).

Replacements not used: L.McAuliffe.

Buccaneers: S.Jennings, J.O’Connor, S.Layden (T.Shine 50), S.Mannion, S.O’Carroll, M.Hanley, W.Reilly, J.Kelly (O.Dolan 45), S.Lombard, M.Staunton (c) (R.O’Meara 67), R.Byrne, D.Qualter, O.McCormack (R.O’Meara 26 (S.O’Connell 63)), C.McCann (F.McDonnell 67), C.Booth.

Replacements not used: R.Murphy-Sweeney.

Referee: George Clancy (IRFU).

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