Buccaneers relish the flavour of success900

Buccaneers Yellow Vs Corinthians U15’s -Connacht League Final   Sat Mar 14th            by Brian Tallon

Buccaneers faced old rivals Corinthians who they beat in last year’s Cup final, but who are the current League holders in the Connacht U15 Final. It was Corinthian’s who knocked out Buccaneers other team competing in this year’s league Bucc’s Black, so payback for their fallen teammates was due.

Buccs got the better start in Ballyhaunis when Ciaran Sugrue at outhalf kicked for the corner to bring them up to the Corinthian’s 5 metre line and when Mark Tallon stole the lineout, recycled ball brought a ruck and penalty for coming in from the side, which Scrum half Shane Coughlan slotted over to give Buccs a 3 point opening advantage after 2 minutes. The restart was also caught by Tallon at No.5 and set up another Bucccs attack. After several phases of rugby, No 8, Liam Winnett made a great drive to the left wing but was held up on the line. The ball was moved across the back line to the opposite wing and Cameron Digan at 11, receiving the ball at pace skipped past his opposite number’s tackle diving in just inside the corner flag to score the opening try. With a difficult swirling wind and kicking right from the right wing, Liam Winnet took on the kicking task and narrowly shaded the inside post to miss the extra 2 points. Buccs were 8-0 up and all was looking good, but this wasn’t to last as the Midland lads seem to switch off and Corinthians needed no invitation to raise their game and puts Buccs under serious pressure. Corinthians secured the restart and set up an attacking drive that eventually saw their flanker No7 score by picking off the base of the ruck right on Buccs line. Corinthians also missed their conversion bringing the game to 8-5.

John takes down Corintians suppported by Conor Cathal Liam  Fergus500Corinthians blood was up and they again turned over possession right after the restart setting up a big 30 yard break up the right wing by their full back, who was denied a certain try by a superb covering tackle by Bucc’s fullback John Tumelty.

The Pirates lost the ensuing line out and Corinthians moved the ball across field to the left wing and their No.8 talisman “Big Jack” made a break crashing through and handing off 2 Buccs tackles to be brought down just short of the line. In doing so his knee connected with Hooker Patrick Ryan’s head and left the young Athlone man momentarily unconscious on the pitch. Paramedic attention was swift and Ryan was clapped as he was stretchered off the pitch to the awaiting ambulance, and replaced at hooker by Cathal (Mossey) O’Grady who moved from tighthead to allow Liam Doyle move into the no 3 slot.

The restart scrum to Corinthians saw them crash the Buccs line and in spite of good defensive takling, Corinthian’s big No.8 showed how dangerous a player he is as his strength got him the inch over the line needed to claim Corinthians second try and put them into a 4 point lead when their outhalf kicked a successful conversion.

In the second half Corinthians continued right where they left off and after 10 minutes of defending in their own 22, Buccs made several changes bringing in Mathias O’Neill at 8, Fergus Galvin at No.7, and Paddy Toland replacing Bucc’s other flanker James Finlass at 6. The changes yielded instant dividend as O’Neill acted as Talisman and broke the Corinthians line for a 20 yard break bringing play inside the opposition half to set up the first real spell of phase rugby for Buccs for 20 minutes of play and it led to a much needed try by Buccs in the right hand corner by outhalf Ciaran Sugrue. The missed conversion by Coughlan left Buccs with a narrow lead 13-12.  Buccaneers U15’s now started to assert themselves on the game and with 15 minutes of the match left by working themselves to Corinthians line. When the Galway men formed a defensive ruck on the line Buccs drove as a unit through the ruck and claimed the ball with Toland claiming the touchdown for Bucc’s 3rd try right in the left corner, making the conversion almost impossible for Coughlan who saw his kick fall narrowly short of the post. Mathias make a line break through Corintians defence500Buccs kept up the dominance and in spite of Corinthians getting inside Bucc’s 22 once again, the Midland lads were much more effective in kicking out of trouble in the closing stages of the game. Buccs had a last minute penalty awarded to them for offside to close out the game, but Tumelty’s kick failed to connect, however it mattered little as the Ref blew for full time to give Bucc’s their first Connacht league title in 7 years at youth level. Fittingly, the Buccs lads interrupted their on pitch celebrations to give fallen teammate Patrick Ryan a loud cheer as he listened from his mobile phone while travelling in the Ambulance.

Standout performances on the day were given by John Tumelty, Mark Tallon, Cathal O’Grady and Ciaran Sugrue along with impact subs Mattias O’Neill and Fergus Galvin. Great credit goes to Coaches Paul Byrne, Tony Ennis and Dave Dunning and to Team manager John Doyle on a great win and successful league campaign.

Final Score Buccaneers 18- Corinthians 12

Buccaneers Yellow;     1. James Downes 2. Patrick Ryan 3. Cathal O’Grady 4. Keelan Connlley 5. Mark Tallon 6. James Finlass 7. Conor Rohan 8. Liam Winnet  9. Shane Coughlan (C) 10. Ciaran Sugrue 11. Cameron Digan 12. Darragh Mulvihill 13. Daniel Ennis 14. Ruairi Smith 15. John Tumelty & Subs- Liam Doyle, Paddy Toland (for  8), Mattias O’Neill (for 4), Oisin Rock (for 6), Fergus Galvin (for 7).




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