BUCCANEERS U-20’s maintained their 100% win rate in Leinster when defeating Boyne 44-24 in this J.P.Fanagan Premier Division 3 encounter played at Dubarry Park on Sunday. But while Buccs were fully meritorious of this victory that returns them to the top of this division with a game less played than Naas, the win was not as clearcut as the scoreline might suggest. Boyne, fielding a bigger and more physical side, made life very difficult for the hosts and were deserving of their halftime 19-15 lead against a Pirates crew that were not cohesive or as committed. But Buccs turned on the style after the change of ends to turn the tide.

On a chilly grey afternoon, Boyne applied early pressure that yielded a 9th minute Shane Murphy try converted by Euan Canniffe. Buccs retorted with Cian McCann outsprinting the cover to a diagonal kick ahead for an unconverted 13th minute try. The home side then lost influential scrumhalf Adam Flanagan through injury at the end of the opening quarter. Boyne stretched their advantage with a swift 24th minute counter-attack finished by Caolan Nulty with Canniffe adding another fine conversion. Dylan King replied with a home penalty but Euan Woodlock then skipped by a couple of home defenders to notch an unconverted 32nd minute try. Buccs had not made the most of a couple of close-in lineouts but a change of thrower led to a change of fortunes just before halftime with Nato Kiripati’s throws being on the money and when the ball was moved infield Tom Shine made a sally forward before the move was finished off by Mark Glynn. King’s conversion from wide on the right narrowed Buccaneers arrears to 19-15 at half-time.

Buccs were much more purposeful despite facing the breeze following the change of ends, helped by the introductions of Ruaidhri Fallon and Lasha Laoshvilli. A wonderful 43rd minute maul off a Kiripati lineout throw was grounded by Cameron Brill with this unconverted try edging the Pirates ahead by a point. From the restart, McCann thundered forward and then left the visiting defence flailing with a splendid break that earned him the try of the match and also a bonus point for the victors. Buccs were now showing much more energy and urgency with Orrin Burgess another to make an impact. A Fallon dummy wrong-footed the Boyne defence and he ran in for a 53rd minute try which he also converted to put Buccs 32-19 ahead.

Fionn McDonnell fastened on to a grubber kick to touchdown just after the hour mark and Fallon added the conversion. Boyne were still battling hard and gained reward when Liam MacEneaney snatched a 65th try that earned his side a bonus point. Buccs completed the scoring when McCann completed his hattrick ten minutes from time. Laoshvilli incurred a late yellow card for a careless tackle. Buccs were well off the mark in the opening half but turned the style on following the interval with McCann being the man in this win.

BUCCANEERS:- B.Daly; M.Glynn, D.Colgan, T.Shine (captain), L.Duane; D.King, A.Flanagan; J.Connolly, C.Brill, K.Egan; F.McDonnell, C.McCann; K.Kiripati, G.Daly and L.Balsiger. Replacements:- E.Friel (for Flanagan, inj. 20 mins), R.Fallon (for King, h/t), L.Laoshvilli (for Egan, h/t), O.Burgess (for Kiripati, 53 mins), J.Finn (for Colgan, 58 mins), K.Egan (for Duane,58 mins), C.Malone (for Daly, 72 mins) and E.Gallagher.

BOYNE:- C.Nulty; E.Woodcock, G.Twum, D.Maxwell, B.Aberdeen; E.Canniffe, L.MacEneaney; Z.Yermeche, D.Little, I.Murray; L.Rochford, J.Tiernan; L.Kinsella, C.Lynch and S.Murphy. Replacements used:- C.Johnson and E.Avram.

Referee:- John Martin (Connacht).