Callum Forde was man of the match as Buccaneers J1’s scored a vital 31-14 Connacht Junior A1 League victory over Castlebar at Dubarry Park on Sunday when conditions were relatively good for this joust. Nimble winger Forde notched a hattrick of tries in what could yet prove a priceless bonus-point win for the Pirates.

Buccs hit the ground running with a brace of tries in the opening quarter. Harry Hughes got the opener before Forde opened his account. Forde nabbed a second touchdown before the interval when the Athlone side lead 24-0, Gerard Fallon having converted all three tries and landed a penalty.

Castlebar came more into the contest in the second half during which they scored a pair of converted tries. But Forde’s third try, converted by Fallon, sealed the issue as Buccaneers gained a much-needed win in their bid to avoid relegation. Their five tries may catch the attention but Buccs defensive duties did not go unnoticed, laying the foundation for this victory. Forde was the star of the show with Aidan Wynne and Colin Daly also catching the eye in the backs division. Torin Rensford, Andrew Kelly and Robert Enraght-Moony were pick of a hard-working pack. Fallon was on song with his place-kicking.   

BUCCANEERS:- H.Hughes; Colin Daly, Eoin O’Reilly, M.Hanley, C.Forde; A.Wynne, G.Fallon; R.Grenham, D.Buckley, S.O’Connell; R.Flanagan, T.Rensford; R.Enraght-Moony (captain), R.Teape and A.Kelly. Replacements used:- A.Hanley, S.Flynn, T.Thompson and A.Tibishi. 

Referee:- Jason Craughwell (Connacht).