A youthful Buccaneers squad pushed Creggs all the way before the visitors edged a well-contested Cawley Cup Pool 1 encounter 13-10 under the Dubarry Park floodlights on Thursday night. It was a great local Derby game played by two well-disciplined teams. A very enjoyable game with nothing between the sides on the night as top of the group table Creggs and Cawley Cup holders continued their winning form.
Trailing 5-0 at half time, John Doyle’s home side came close to winning it at the death but Creggs luck held out to stay unbeaten in the Cawley Cup for the third season in a row.

Trevor Thompson and Harry Stewart scored second half tries for Buccaneers to create a grandstand finish. While loosehead prop Cedric Forkam tackled and carried well around the field along with fellow front rows Rory Grenham, James Kelly and Sean Flynn, the Buccs scrum was solid all night aided by a powerful second row of Mark Tallon and Jack Scouler. Buccs Captain Colin Daly kept his backline moving, producing excellent passing options from 9 in the first half while Gerard Fallon came off the wing to play scrumhalf as Buccaneers won the second half on the scoreboard with only 14 men . The Buccs back row of Cathal O’Grady, Mathias O’Neill and No.8 Ross Flanagan were very impressive in open play while Andrew Evans had another fine game at flyhalf.

For Pat Cunningham’s Creggs, former Irish youths prop Danny Arnold got two tries and fellow prop Aidan Leech carried well, while in the back row Tom Farrell came close to scoring with some fine support runs at No.8. Creggs captain Brian Diffley gave a vintage performance of hard running and tackling and Ciaran Corcoran created turnovers at vital stages of the contest . At 9 the evergreen Mark Brandon was at his best directing play in this fast-paced game. The visitors stylish outhalf Shane Purcell assuredly slotted the eventual winning penalty. Luke Meehan did very well in defence for Creggs for whom a lot of line breaks were created by and came off Mark Purcell at full Back. Despite their hard-fought win, Creggs still look favourites to lift the Cawley Cup.

A top four Junior League finish looks very possible for this squad if they keep improving under coaches Benny Gilligan and Paul Byrne. Buccaneers J1s are very likely to feature at the business end of Connacht Junior rugby next Spring.

BUCCANEERS:- H.Balsiger; G.Fallon, S.O’Carroll, R.Teape, M.McHale; A.Evans, Colin Daly (captain); C.Forkam, R.Grenham, J.Kelly; M.Tallon, J.Scouler; C.O’Grady, M.O’Neill and R.Flanagan. Replacements:- Cian Daly, S.Flynn, T.Thompson, K.Connolly, B.Porter, C.Rooney-Digan and H.Stewart.

CREGGS:- M.Purcell; M.Holland, L.Meehan, T.Callaghan, C.Duignam; S.Purcell, M.Brandon; T.Farrell, D.Arnold, A.Leech; B.Donohoe, R.Cassidy; C.J.Corcoran, P.Lohan and B.Diffley (captain). Replacements:- E.Cahill, L.Maher, E.McDonnell and C.Rohan.