Runaway league leaders Terenure College proved too strong for Buccaneers as they forged a 31-12 J.P.Fanagan League Premier 2 victory at Dubarry Park on Sunday. Due to injuries Buccs were forced to field a depleted side for this game which commenced in near ideal sunny conditions but they were very much in the contest for an hour or thereabouts before the much bigger visitors added a couple of final quarter tries to kill off a gallant effort by the young Pirates.

Oisin Dolan had made a promising raid for Buccs before Nure opened the scoring with a converted try in their first sally into home territory after 5 minutes. The Athlone side possibly paid too much respect early on to the visitors who added a 22nd minute penalty. Adam O’Carroll retorted with a super 50/22 but got injured in the processs, with Charlie Naughton coming in and the home backline being realigned.

Terenure’s second converted try followed a maul on the left after 34 minutes but Buccaneers responded with their best spell of the half. They applied concerted pressure through patient and accurate play and were rewarded when James Connolly was driven over for an unconverted try on the left which left the homesters trailing 12-5 at half-time.

Dolan, who had played in the second half at Old Belvedere the previous afternoon, was replaced by Cameron Brill early in the second period as the midlanders continued to build on their finish to the opening half. Robbie Byrne stormed forward through a number of tackles, making a serious amount of yardage before his progress was halted illegally within touching distance of the opposition line. Referee Shane Touhy immediately awarded a penalty try and despatched the Dubliners outhalf Ben Lockhart to the sin bin for a somewhat concise ten minutes. This 50th minute score narrowed the arrears to 17-12 and Nure now knew they were not going to have it all their own way.

The breeze had strengthened at this stage and favoured College and they grabbed their third converted try at the hour mark, stemming from a rather suspect lineout throw. They quickly notched their bonus try finished at the uprights by t
heir impressive hooker. Spirited Buccs kept battling with pride and commitment to the end without gaining further reward on the scoreboard.

Dylan Bolger and Robbie Byrne were outstanding in the home pack where Gavin Daly and Dolan were also prominent. Substitute Naughton impressed following his introduction to the backline where Ben Daly made a lively contribution in this Buccs final home fixture in the league.

BUCCANEERS:- A.O’Carroll; D.Feehan, Y.Avrahami, J.Crampton, B.Daly; D.Colgan, E.Friel; J.Connolly, O.Dolan, C.Byrne; L.Balsiger, D.Bolger; J.Dunican, G.Daly and R.Byrne. Replacements:- C.Naughton (for O’Carroll, inj. 28 mins), C.Brill (for Dolan, 48 mins), A.Burke (for Connolly, 52 mins), J.Connolly (for C.Byrne, 62 mins), P. Malassou (for Daly, inj. 68 mins), N.Guliashvili (for Dunican, 68 mins) and L.Tavkhelidze.

TERENURE COLLEGE:- J.Grimes; N.Healy, M.Vaughan, Y.Fernandez Vilar, H.O’Donoghue; B.Lockhart, C.Keaney; J.Lockhart, M.Russell, A.Cashman; O.Shannon, J.Doyle; N.Kutner, S.Ruane and D.Brooks. Rolling Replacements:- J.McDonough, M.Lydon, S.Burgess, E.Collins, O.Nutty, N.Majury and D.Keaney.

Referee:- Shane Touhy (Connacht).