Buccaneers defeat local rivals Ballinasloe

Black Team 10, Ballinasloe 0.

by Thomas O’ Neill

On a cold and crisp January morning, Buccaneers Black team travelled to Ballinasloe to ensure a place in the Connacht League semi-final.  With a fresh westerly wind, this encounter was destined to be a hard slog for both teams where local pride and friendly rivalry would dominate.

Buccs Mathias O Neill500An early lead was gained by Fergus Galvin after the ball came out a ruck on the Ballinasloe 22m line where he fooled the opposition with a perfectly executed dummy pass and scored.  Unfortunately Tadgh Moody under difficult conditions just missing the conversion with the ball narrowly going outside the posts. Score Bucccs Black 5-Ballinasloe 0.

The Young Pirates kept up the pressure in the first quarter with several incursions into the Ballinasloe 22m line and one too many scoring opportunities narrowly missed.  Tristin Buckley, Tadhg Moody, Rory Dempsey, Niel Clinton, Paddy Toland made great advances with Mathias O’ Neill help up over the line at the posts.  This was subsequently followed by a period of sustained attacks by Ballinasloe who made it into the Buccs 22 where exceptional tackling by Oisin Rock, Karl Doran and Joe Reidy kept them at bay and two exhausted teams welcomed the half time whistle. (Buccs 5:0)

The second half began with the kick off by Buccaneers where the game ebbed and flowed with neither team dominating and handling errors on both sides and penalties awarded for careless play.  However, though out the second half, the Black team never appeared threatened with predictive play from Ballinasloe where the forwards repeatedly ran with the ball.  However, hard work and determination eventually paid off with 10 minutes to go when just inside the Ballinasloe half, No 8 Mathias O’ Neill picked and ran from the back of the scrum, linked up with Paddy Toland who passed out wide to substitute Adam Murtagh scoring comfortable in the corner.  Unfortunately Adam was unable to convert his own try with a strong cross wind and difficult angle bringing the score to Buccs 10, Ballinasloe 0.

The remainder of the second half was uneventful with neither team dominating but with committed play by both sides and Ballinasloe wishing to put scores on the board in front of a supportive home crowd.  However gallant their effort was, it came to no avail and the game ended after a penalty was awarded against Ballinasloe for not releasing in their own 22 and Mathias O’ Neill subsequently kicked the ball into touch to the delight of team and mentors John Doyle, Paul Byrne and David Dunning

Buccaneers Black team having played 6 league games so far against stiff opposition like Ballina, Corinthians, Galwegians and Sligo are due to play Westport next week but already qualify to go through the Connacht league semi-final against Corinthians, last year’s finalists!  The very best of luck to them and their team mates Buccaneers Yellow Team who also to go through to the Connacht league semi-finals and will play Ballina.

Team – Karl Doran, Darren Browne, Joe Reidy, John Costello, Robert Lowe, Oisin Rock, Fergus Galvin, Mathias O’ Neill, Roan Byrne, Tadhg Moody, Tristin Buckley, Paddy Toland, Rory Dempsey, Hugh Mitchell, Niel Clinton, Subs – Ruari Smith replaced Roan Byrne, Liam Doyle replaced Robert Lowe, Adam Murtagh replaced Hugh Mitchell and Cian Daly for Joe Reidy


Buccaneers Yellow Vs Corinthians  U15’s -Connacht League Round 6                  

by Brian Tallon

Round 6 of the Connacht U15 League 1st Division- Quarter Final

The elements battered the 30 young rugby players on the pitch and Corinthians battered Buccaneers Yellow team to get revenge for being beaten in the Connacht League Final last year and just last month by Buccaneers Black team, as they secured a crucial Quarter Final win against the Buccs at home.

Buccs Liam Winnet500Physically the Corinthian lads, particularly the forwards won the contest over Buccaneers, but that’s not always the measure of a team and Buccs put a valiant defence in spite of always being on the wrong side of a match where the Galway lads controlled from the kick off.  It was Corinthians who moved the ball along their back line to their winger who cut through a gap in Bucc’s defence to get the opening score and lead 5-0 after they missed their conversion. Buccs answered well when turning over after the restart they worked into Corinthians half and Liam Winett at 8 showed his form again by crashing through a weak tackle to open up a gap and cover the 20 yards to the tryline to touch down under the posts, giving Shane Coughlan an easy task to complete the conversion and give Buccs a 2 point advantage.

With the considerable wind advantage in the first half, Buccs needed to notch up as much scores as possible, but this wasn’t to be and after sustained pressure from Corinthians it was they who scored again when a momentary lapse of concentration saw Buccs leave a hole in their defence and the Galway wing forward charged through to score under the posts. The successful conversion gave Corinthians a 12-7 lead going to half-time.

In a very low scoring second half a dubious penalty for not rolling away after a 22 dropout was gathered by Corinthians centre and tackled by his opposite number, Corinthians were up to 15-7 and critically Buccs needed 2 scores to hope to win. They were up to the Corinthians line twice in the half and arguably should have scored on each occasion, but the wind and good clearance kicks from Corinthians kept them out. Fergus Galvin and Paddy Toland came into the fray early in the 2nd half for Conor Rohan and James Finlass, the 2 wing forwards to try turn things around. 10 minutes from the end a lovely chip over the top into the wind chased by John Tumelty nearly ended in disaster for Buccs as both Tumelty and outhalf Ciaran Sugrue clashed heads as they went in low to contest the ball from the Corinthians winger, but thankfully a bloody nose for Tumelty was the worst of the injuries. Corinthians looked likely to score in the closing minutes of the game as a big kick over the top caught the wind from well in Corinthians half and a chase ensued between Neil Clinton and 3 of the Corinthian players as the ball rolled dangerously close to the Buccs try zone, but Clinton heroically managed to gather the ball and hold off the Corinthian challenge until support arrived, albeit illegally holding on. To the Midland lads’ relief the lineout from the penalty was turned over and they clawed out of trouble. Jason Conway came on for an injured Keelan Connelly at 5, but fresh legs didn’t make enough of an impact to change the result of the game and the match closed out 15-7 to Corinthians. Buccs Yellow will likely now meet Ballina away in the Semi-Final and hope to reverse the loss from a week ago when they went down 28-17 to Ballina.

Final Score Buccaneers Yellow 7- Corinthians 15

Buccaneers Yellow;     1 Cian Daly, 2. Darren Browne (C), 3. Liam Doyle 4. Mark Tallon 5. Keelan Connlley,  6. James Finlass 7. Conor Rohan, 8. Liam Winnet  9. Shane Coughlan 10. Ciaran Sugrue, 11. Cameron Digan,  12. Darragh Mulvihill,  13. Daniel Ennis, 14. Neil Clinton 15. John Tumelty & Subs- Paddy Toland (for  6), Fergus Galvin (for 7), Jason Conway (for 5).


U18 Girls team named to face Ulster