CONNEMARA 34 BUCCANEERS 10
BUCCANEERS SECONDS put up a brave display when going down 34-10 to Connemara in the semi-final of the Connacht Junior 1A League at the Monastery Field, Clifden, on Sunday. Buccs were forced to field a weakened squad due to some key absentees including Rory Grenham, Graham Lynch, Cathal O’Grady and Brian McDonnell and also because of players involved with the Senior Cup team the previous afternoon. Indeed a quartet of these doubled up out West where the soft underfoot conditions were more suited to the homesters.
This contest of the similarly attired sides was decided in the first half after which serial Junior league winners Connemara led 24-3 at the coastal venue. The Blacks, who got the fright of their lives when surviving a splendid Buccs challenge when the teams met in the league stage, scored three tries in that half. Two of them were set up by hard grafting from their bigger pack with slick handling down the right flank yielding their third try. They added a further pair of touchdowns in the third quarter but a spirited Buccs team continued to work hard, although with little reward until the final quarter, with the more seasoned hosts incurring three yellow cards when slowing down the Shannonsiders’ progress. But the Pirates persistence yielded a fine Jack Scouler try, converted by Andrew Evans who also kicked Buccaneers first half penalty for whom Colin Daly was their leader in a testing duel.
Whilst disappointed with the outcome on the day, this developing Buccaneers squad can reflect on a league campaign with pride as they made notable strides over the season. They had to play the two strongest clubs (Connemara and Creggs – who will meet in the final) away and could yet be dark horses for a serious Cup campaign continuing with the visit of Dunmore on March 6th.
BUCCANEERS:- E.O’Carroll; C.Rooney-Digan, R.Murphy-Sweeney, A.Evans, H.Hughes; G.Fallon, Colin Daly (captain); T.Thompson, Cian Daly, S.O’Connell; S.Krupa, M.Tallon; J.Scouler, R.Flanagan and L.Doyle. Replacements used:- N.Harney, S.Flynn, F.Galvin, H.Balsiger and J.Nagle.