BUCCANEERS J1’s scored an impressive 31-3 last sixteen Connacht Junior Cup victory over their Sligo counterparts at Dubarry Park on Sunday. On a dry, bright afternoon Buccs enjoyed a tonic afternoon’s Cup action that will surely lift this squad who have endured a luckless League campaign to date. They made a perfect start with Ryan O’Meara rumbling through the visitors’ cover to touch down for the opening try inside the first minute.

Sligo replied with a 9th minute penalty, dissent by the homesters giving Niall Gray a more favourable position to convert. The north-westerners bulky pack looked like imposing themselves on proceedings especially when Robert Teape was somewhat harshly yellow-carded at the end of the opening quarter. But the Athlone side looked the much more potent force when moving the ball and a knock-on spoiled a promising raid soon afterwards.

The movement of the homesters was draining the oxygen out of the visitors’ pack and a splendid 28th minute break by Matthew Murphy stretched the Sligo cover before he off-loaded to Robert Enraght-Moony who carved a gap for a smashing try. Sligo’s best attack was foiled when Thomas McGann and Eoin O’Reilly combined to put Luke Hogge into touch. Buccs led 10-3 at half-time.

O’Meara thundered forward again early in the second half and some slick handling and swift support play followed before Enraght-Moony was notching his second try on 49 minutes. Gerard Fallon got his radar working at the third attempt, his conversion edging the hosts 17-3 ahead.

A super end to end move involving skipper Enraght-Moony and the lively Murphy sent McGann scampering in for a 60th minute try and in the final move of the contest Harry Hughes made terrific yardage before sending Conor Harewood away for Buccs fifth try. Fallon converted all second half tries to ease Buccs to a richly merited 31-3 winning margin.

Torin Rensford and Oisin Kiernan revelled in the forwards exchanges with Murphy and O’Meara also prominent in the home pack. Aidan Wynne orchestrated matters at fly-half (showing he is still capable of featuring at a higher level) and he received able support from Enraght-Moony and O’Reilly in the backline.

BUCCANEERS:-  H.Hughes; T.McGann, E.O’Reilly, R.Enraght-Moony (captain), C.Digan-Rooney; A.Wynne, G.Fallon; M.Murphy, D.Buckley, R.O’Meara; T.Rensford, O.Kiernan; C.Harewood, R.Teape and R.Grenham. Replacements used:- A.Kelly (for Teape, 49 mins), C.Daly (for McGann, 61 mins), and S.Flynn (for Murphy, 71 mins).

SLIGO:-  L.Hogge; S.Cawley, C.Nielsen, J.Gormley, V.Mitchell; N.Gray, L.McElhinney; B.Keane, M.Earley, C.McElligott; C.Trimble, D.Cawley; C.Cummins, J.O’Hehir and J.Sexton. Replacements used:- G.Golden-Walsh and A.Tansey.