U-20’s advance to Cup final


On perfect day for cup rugby on the splendid main pitch in Dubarry Park, Buccaneers U-20s booked their place in the Harry Gale Cup final on the 24th of April by defeating Boyne RFC 41-13.

Orrin Burgess started the scoring off with two tries in the first half. During the first quarter the Athlone side brought intense pressure to Boyne’s defensive lines personified by the performance of No.8 and Captain on the day Luke Balsiger. Boyne knew they were in a real cup battle when winger Ben Daly gathered a Boyne clearance and set up out half Mikey Byrne to sprint under the posts to touch down. These scores gave the Pirates a 17-3 lead at halftime. Prop Dylan Bolger ran an intelligent line from outside the 22 to score his try under the posts before Dara Fitzgerald added his try, showing great pace, strength and agility to ground the ball. Winger Mark Glynn finished off the team move of the day having to show blistering pace down the flank to score. A few minutes later, on the other side of the pitch, fellow U-18.5s player Thomas O’Brien showed all his skills and strengths to get the game’s final try.

Centres David Colgan and Tom Shine and brave full back Adam O’Carroll held the Buccs defensive lines by hitting all their tackles excellently. Boyne were a very good cup team but the cohesive intensity and physical strength of the home side never let the visitors get a foothold in the game. The home pack just are improving with every match powered on the day from the second row by Fionn McDonald and Lorcan Fallon with debutant Charlie Byrne making an instant impact. Nato Kiripati had another high energy performance with props Cian Malone, Lasha Laoshvilli and Kieran Egan enjoying making the hard yards while hookers Evan Gallagher and Cameron Brill mastered the art of lineout throwing. Adam Flanagan and Luke Duane seamlessly interchanged at scrumhalf providing good fast ball all day.

As this Buccs U-20s team prepare for a cup final against a very strong Lansdowne (most likely in Donnybrook Stadium in two weeks’ time), the players are focused and hopeful they can they go a full season undefeated in Leinster and finish out their final game of the season by bringing the Harry Gale Cup to Connacht. It’s an ambitious task for any team to travel to Dublin 4 and be crowned champions, but dare to dream Buccs a historic Leinster Cup final upset is possible.

BUCCANEERS:- 1. Kieran Egan, 2. Evan Gallagher, 3. Lasha Loashvilli; 4. Lorcan Fallon , 5. Fionn McDonnell; 6. Dara Fitzgerald, 7. Nato Kiripati, 8. Luke Balsiger (captain); 9. Luke Duane, 10. Michael Byrne; 11. Ben Daly, 12. Orrin Burgess, 13. David Colgan, 14. Mark Glynn; 15. Adam O’Carroll; Replacements used:- 16. Cameron Brill, 17. Charlie Byrne, 18. Cian Malone, 19. Dylan Bolger, 20. Adam Flanagan, 21. Tom Shine, 22. Thomas O’Brien, 23. Ethan Friel, 24. Sean Kelly and 25. Daithi Blackweir.

BOYNE:- C.Nulty; E.Brooks, D.Cassidy, G.Twum, B.Abeedeen; E.Canniffe, L.MacEneaney; J.Stokes, D.Little, I.Murray; L.Rochford, J.Tiernan; C.Johnson, L.Kinsella and Z.Yermeche. Replacements:- E.Avram, E.Lenehan, S.Murphy, C.Lynch, H.Sowray, J.Keogh and R.Clarke.