Buccaneers RFC Claim the Connacht U20 League Title

10 October 2023

Buccaneers RFC Claim the Connacht U20 League Title

Connacht U20s League Final, FT Buccaneers RFC 20 - 6 Corinthians RFC

Buccaneers RFC U20s overcame a strong Corinthians RFC side to take home the Connacht U20 League trophy this past Sunday, 8th October in Dubarry Park.

Head Coach Dave McAllister and the rest of the Buccaneers coaching ticket had installed a high sense of confidence in their U20s camp leading up to the final which was based on self belief and a burning hunger from each player to become the best version of themselves on and off the pitch. The main question asked by McAllister of the players leading up to the Connacht Final was, "do we want it?" Every player left no doubt in the minds of all watching in Dubarry Park and online that Buccaneers U20s want to be the best they can be.
It was Corinthians RFC who opened the scoring in the match. A well-taken penalty from Jack Conway put points on the board for Corinthians and the out-half doubled his side’s advantage with another penalty. However, it would be the last score for the visitors as Buccaneers drove on. A tap and go penalty that led to a try by Finian Murray converted by James Clarke overtook the Corinthians lead and Buccaneers followed up with a penalty from Clarke to make the halftime score 10-6 to Buccaneers.
Trailing by four at the restart, Corinthians went all out to retake the lead and were unfortunate not to have scored following some brilliant steals and turnovers. However, Caleb Smerdon for Buccaneers collected possession and found a gap that didn’t seem to exist, and the centre outran the Corinthians cover to fly over the try line. This quelled the Corinthians momentum who had looked likely to score in the Second Half. Clarke was unerring with the boot and his conversion that shaved the post, and a further penalty would conclude the scoring and seal the win for Buccaneers.
For all of the players involved (some of whom have been playing for 12 seasons with Buccaneers RFC), this was the first Connacht League Winners Medals they have ever won. The Inaugural Bank of Ireland Connacht U20s League Cup was Presented by Connacht Rugby's Junior Vice-President, Robert Lahiff.
Corinthians: D Joyce, H Calleja, J Tunney-Ware, C Grant, E O’Rourke, J Conway, T Farthing. J Duffy, C Leonard, A Burke (Capt), G Kilkelly, E Mulligan, D Fitzpatrick, P Flannery (Vice Capt), R Gaughan.
Replacements: B Butler, E Oifoh, J Hughes, E Connolly, B McGuckian, K Brennan, R McDonnell, H Sheridan.
Buccaneers: C Lyons, P O’Leochain, C Smerdon, Y Afrahami, D McCormack, J Clarke, N Loughnane. A Oates, O Dolan, F Murray, F McDonnell (Capt), R Goldin, L Giles, P Egan, R Byrne.
Replacements: A Burke, T Finau, C Byrne, J Dunican, J Crampton, E McDonnell, K Maher, O O’Flaherty.
Ref: Connacht Johnny Quinn

Highlights from the match: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoCNpBhJ3Tc