BUCCANEERS SECONDS and their Corinthians counterparts served up a feisty affair in their Bank of Ireland Connacht Junior 1B League match played under the Dubarry Park floodlights on Saturday. The contest was at boiling point on a number of occasions during the first half before Buccs made the visitors pay for a red card as they overhauled the westerners to win 20-16.

Corinthians got off to a flying start, Adam Nash grounding the ball for a 2nd minute try following a fine maul after a penalty brought them close to the home line. Cian Treacy added a penalty seven minutes later for an 8-0 lead. A bit of needle crept into the game shortly afterwards stemming from an off-the-ball incident on the home fly-half. Malachy Joe Gavin was the first recipient of a yellow card on 17 minutes.

Buccs were now making inroads and John Why slotted over two penalties from similar positions in quick succession to narrow the arrears to 8-6 after 31 minutes. Gavin then promptly went from hero to villain as, after scoring a 35th minute try, he got involved again to incur a second yellow card and thus saw red. Buccs Liam Doyle was also sin-binned after this flare-up and his side trailed 13-6 at half-time.

Although now facing the elements it was Corinthians who scored first after the break, Diarmuid Kilcommons landing a 47th minute penalty. But Buccs were now getting a grip on the proceedings and, just a minute after Martin Staunton had been held up over the visitors’ line, the alert Leo MacFarlane snaffled a loose ball to send Tom Shine in for a 55th minute try converted by Why.

The Tribesmen defended gallantly but the Pirates increasing pressure eventually told and Sam Sullivan barged in for the winning try with seven minutes remaining to seal the 20-16 victory. Sam Fogarty and Conor Morrissey led the pack by example while Shine and MacFarlane were pick of the backs. Special mention must be made to the quartet (and their driver!) who hared back from Belfast in time to play as Buccs leap-frogged Corinthians up to second place on the league table.

BUCCANEERS:- H.Balsiger; H.Hughes, T.Shine, S.Sullivan, R.Murphy-Sweeney; J.Why, L.MacFarlane; N.Guliashvili, C.Morrissey (captain), M.Staunton; S.Fogarty, C.O’Grady; C.Brill, L.Doyle and L.Balsiger. Replacements:- J.Scouler (for Doyle, 45 mins), R.Keighery (for O’Grady, inj. 52 mins), D.Browne (for Brill, 54 mins), J.Connolly (for Guliashvili, 63 mins), R.Greene, C.Rooney-Digan and E.McCormack.

CORINTHIANS:- D.Kilcommons; R.Doogan, D.Keane, G.Hennessy, K.le Gear; C.Treacy, E.Kenny; B.Hynes, A.Nash, D.Keane; S.Concannon, D.McAuliffe; M.Flynn, M.Lyttle and M.J.Gavin. Replacements:- A.Healy, D.Kilraine, E.O’Connor, M.Donohue, H.Wood-Hennessy, J.Byrne, S.Comer-O’Brien and M.Garcia Peret.

Referee:- David Andreu (Connacht).