BUCCANEERS THIRDS 29 GORT 3
The revived Buccaneers Thirds recorded a second high-scoring victory when they accounted for Gort Firsts by 29-3 in their Connacht J2 League Pool C game at Dubarry Park on Friday night.
Assisted by the light diagonal breeze, Buccs put Gort into reverse mode from the start. Their pick and goes earned a series of early penalties from which they built momentum and Harry Hughes opened their account scything through for an 8th minute try which Yishai Avrahami converted. Their early dominance should have resulted in keeping the scoreboard ticking over but Gort, on their first spell in the home 22, converted a 24th minute penalty.
Buccs finally made their superiority count in the final move of the half. Eoin O’Reilly and Hughes linked smartly following a scrum and Leon O’Connor finished in style for an unconverted try wide on the right that gave the hosts a 12-3 lead at half-time.
An injury to Hughes early in the second half robbed Buccs of a potent attacking threat in stop/start exchanges following the change of ends. But they utilised their bench to good effect (and in the process brought down the age profile considerably!). This resulted in a strong final quarter set in motion by a super solo Avrahami try in which he side-stepped a number of would-be tacklers for a splendid 57th minute try which he also converted.
Gort incurred a pair of yellow cards in quick succession as they struggled to contain the Pirates while home substitute Sean Flynn soon joined them in the sin bin. Keelan Connolly showed good strength and determination to surge over for Buccs bonus point try after 63 minutes. Avrahami was unlucky to have a touchdown ruled out before Declan Byrne completed the scoring with Buccaneers fifth try to round off an impressive 29-3 victory.
Avrahami looks an exciting prospect and, along with O’Reilly, controlled the proceedings while fullback Hughes stood out at this level. Sean Byrne and Luke Callinan formed a fine partnership at lock and Tony Ward was lively in the back row.
BUCCANEERS THIRDS:- H.Hughes; L.O’Connor, M.O’Daly, D.Byrne, H.Huston; Y.Avrahami, E.O’Reilly; N.Harney (captain), T.Thompson, K.Grehan; S.Byrne, L.Callinan; E.Slevin, A.Ward and R.Grenham. Replacements:- S.Flynn, G.Kenny, K.Turley, P.Flynn, L.Baker, M.Moore, K.Connolly and A.M.Abono.
Referee:- Stephen Gregory (Connacht).