SEAPOINT 5 BUCCANEERS 29
BUCCANEERS U-20’s got back to winning ways when they defeated Seapoint 29-5 in their J.P.Fanagan Leinster Premier League 2 encounter played at Kilboggett Park, Killiney, on Sunday. This five tries bonus point victory moves Buccs within one point of third placed Dublin University on the league table. In a near gale blowing across the pitch, a mainly U-19’s Pirates squad fronted up against a more physical home unit.
Donagh McCormack from San Francisco Athlone showed all his athletic abilities as he caught a kick in the swirling wind and sprinted down the wing to evade all tackles to open the scoring.
Buccs front row of Oisin Dolan, Charlie Byrne and Jim Connolly were immense in the scrum and loose, with Connolly especially so at maul time to prevent Seapoint getting momentum in their most trusted point of attack mostly off lineouts. The back row of Gavin Daly, John Dunican and Robbie Byrne gave another high energy performance while in the second row Fionn McDonnell was at the coal face all day and is now considered one of the best U20’s lineout jumpers in the country. His partner on the day versatile forward Dylan Bolger who can now wear any Jersey in the pack and still give a top-class performance of low hard powerful driving or soft hands when the option of the pass is on.
Both teams served up a very entertaining game of rugby, with Adam O’Carroll dazzling the spectators with his strong running and dancing feet, the Shannonbridge man got the first of his two tries just before half time. His conversion saw Buccaneers 14-0 ahead at the interval.
Buccs swashbuckling style was personified by captain fantastic Tom Shine who kept his team driving forward, leading by example in attack and defence with strong smart running. But the momentum was halted as the Seapoint men dug deep and drove hard to get a 45th minute try. Unlike the second half in the previous two games, Buccs actually played better with the wind in their face. James Blair, Nathan Loughnane and man of the match David Colgan played their best games of the season so far. Head coach Martin Staunton introduced Aaron Burke and Cameron Brill from the bench at half-time.
Buccaneers lifted the siege with true grit and determination from their pack and the game changing try when Yishai Avarhami gathered the ball on the half way line showing great skill to rob the defending winger. He then called upon on all his deep self-belief to start his sprint to the line with the entire Seapoint team chasing him down. The 18-year-old showed great maturity and all the fearlessness and warrior spirit and character of an international rugby star to fend off anyone who caught him. Buccs were brim full of confidence in their team’s potential and ability from this moment on. They went on to secure a try bonus point with a James Blair moment of brilliance to score his own try. Adam O’Carroll finished off the opposition with his team’s fifth try of the afternoon.
If they can reproduce the swagger shown in the second half they can finish the remainder of the season undefeated and possibly emulate their Harry Gale Cup win of 2022 in the Purcell Cup.
BUCCANEERS:- A.O’Carroll; Y.Avrahami, T.Shine (captain), J.Blair, D.McCormack; J.Blair, N.Loughnane; C.Byrne, O.Dolan, J.Connolly; F.McDonnell, D.Bolger; G.Daly, J.Dunican and R.Byrne. Replacements:- A.Burke, C.Brill.