Galwegians 14-25 Buccaneers, Crowley Park

Jordan Conroy crossed for his ninth and tenth tries of the campaign as Buccaneers strengthened their grip on top spot in Division 1B with a 25-14 derby victory at Galwegians.

Despite showing huge commitment throughout and benefiting from a barnstorming two-try start, ‘Wegians were held scoreless in the second half and eventually fell to their second successive league defeat of 2017.

In damp underfoot conditions, Alan Gaughan’s penalty saw Buccs nip in front but a thrilling breakaway try in the 12th minute got the Galwegians attack firing. Full-back Morgan Codyre put the finishing touches to a move inspired by an Aidan Moynihan chip which was fielded by captain Brian Murphy.

Brian McClearn’s men ended the first quarter with a 14-3 lead after out-half Moynihan brilliantly stepped inside the Buccs cover to score and add his second successful conversion of the evening.

The Pirates rebounded in impressive fashion, Shane Layden carrying more of a threat in midfield before a muscular 20-metre maul from the Buccs pack set up hooker John Sutton for a 27th-minute converted try.

Flying winger and Ireland Sevens international Conroy then got in on the scoring act, gathering Gaughan’s pinpoint cross-field kick to dot down five minutes before the break. The conversion was missed but the league leaders were ahead by the minimum – 15-14.

Crucially, ‘Wegians had nothing to show for a strong spell early in the second period, their forwards being held up before a knock-on saw them cough up hard-earned territory. Moynihan was also wide with a penalty attempt.

Despite losing Layden to the sin-bin, Buccs got their own back with a breakaway try of their own, Gaughan crossing the whitewash out wide, and patient build-up play was rewarded in the 79th minute when Conroy completed his brace in the corner, securing the bonus point for Brett Wilkinson’s outfit and erasing ‘Wegians’ one in the process.

Scorers: Galwegians: Tries: Morgan Codyre, Aidan Moynihan; Cons: Aidan Moynihan 2
Buccaneers: Tries: John Sutton, Jordan Conroy 2, Alan Gaughan; Con: Alan Gaughan; Pen: Alan Gaughan
HT: Galwegians 14 Buccaneers 15

Galwegians: Morgan Codyre; Matthew Byrne, Alan McMahon, Brian Murphy (capt), Ed O’Keeffe; Aidan Moynihan, Barry Lee; Dominic Robertson-McCoy, John Moloney, Jason East, Anthony Ryan, Marc Kelly, Paul Hackett, Josh Pim, Eoghan Masterson.
Replacements: Patrick Curran, Jack Dinneen, Eoin Tarmey, Conor Lowndes, Dave Clarke.
Buccaneers: Callum Boland; Eoghan O’Reilly, Shane O’Leary, Shane Layden, Jordan Conroy; Alan Gaughan, Frankie Hopkins; Martin Staunton, John Sutton, Saba Meunargia, Ruairi Byrne, Simon Meagher, Stephen McVeigh, Rory Moloney, Kolo Kiripati (capt).
Replacements: Eoin Maher, Rory Grenham, Evan Galvin, Alex Hayman, Rory O’Connor.

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