NUIG 13 lost to BUCCANEERS 19

A last-gasp Buccaneers try earned the midlanders a crucial Connacht Junior 1B League victory over NUIG when a late Pirates’ raid yielded an Adrian Hughes pushover try to snatch a 19-13 victory as wind and rain lashed the college’s Dangan pitch.

The league fixture, which doubled as a Heineken Connacht Junior Cup qualifier, could have kicked J1B frontrunners Buccaneers out of the competition before it started. 

Missing several key regulars, Buccaneers made a perfect start, Barry Stewart breaking down the middle for a sixth minute try at the posts (Terry Hynes added the extras). Buccs dominated the first half but too many errors and mistakes meant their only other reward was a 34-minute Rory Byrne try. NUIG kept in touch with a penalty trailing 12-3 at the break.

College climbed into the final 40 with a seven-pointer, and looked more organised altogether. A second penalty gave them a one-point lead in worsening conditions, but Buccaneers denied them any further scores anfd sought about securing a territorial advantage.

Handling was a lottery throughout but the visitors’ industry and persistence breached the valiant hosts’ line for a vital pushover try to Adrian Hughes. Hynes kicked an excellent conversion to break the Students’ hearts and keep Buccs in contention for both League and Cup honours. James Tormey, Benny Gilligan, Henry Reilly and young Stewart did well in a tough afternoon for forwards while Hynes, Kevin Naughton and Rory Walshe proved the pick of the backline.

BUCCANEERS: K.Naughton; B.Walsh, E.Keena, R.Walshe, C.Gormley; T.Hynes, C.Molloy; M.Diffley, S.Stapleton, B.Gilligan (captain); R.Byrne, J.Tormey; B.Stewart, H.Reilly and A.Hughes. Replacements: G.Fallon (for Gormley, inj.) and L.Doran (for Diffley, inj.).

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