Buccaneers suffered their first home defeat of the season when their somewhat flat performance was duly punished by UL Bohemian on a 18-11 scoreline in their Ulster Bank League Division 1B encounter played in ideal sunny conditions at Dubarry Park, Athlone.
Both Shane Monahan and Clifford Richardson were available for the hosts but Paul Harte was out due to the hip injury aggravated away to UCC. Meanwhile, UL Bohs continued to juggle their resources and fielded a much-changed team for match to the side defeated at Annacotty when the clubs met earlier in the season.
Buccaneers: J. O’Brien; C. Boland, A. Hayman, A. Wynne, S. Monahan; J. Carty, A. Kennedy; M. Staunton, G. Halligan (captain), C. Higgins; C. Richardson, P. de Burca; S. Burke, C. Watters and K. Kiripati. Subs: D. Rogers for Staunton, 47 mins, C. Lavelle for Hayman, 69 mins, D. Connellan for Kennedy, 69 mins, E. Rooney (for Burke, 75 mins and M. Madden for Watters, 78 mins.
There was much better news from Limerick where Buccaneers U-21 side went on a scoring spree at Tom Clifford Park where their 54-3 South-West Conference League victory earned them a home play-off against UCC, most likely on March 5th.
Buccaneers and Galwegians Reserves served up an engrossing Heineken Connacht Junior Cup contest under the Dubarry Park floodlights on Saturday when the Pirates progressed to the next round by virtue of a hard-earned 15-12 victory.
Monivea seconds got the better of Buccaneers Thirds in a dogged Connacht Junior 2A League tie at their Castle Grounds on Sunday winning a low-scoring contest 5-3. In testing weather conditions, Monivea got in for an early try and they enjoyed much the better territory, profiting from a greater number of recent games. Buccs, meanwhile, have been inactive which has not helped at training but the players knuckled down to the challenge and they defended resolutely throughout with their pack dominating the scrums and their lineouts gradually improving as the game progressed.
Monivea defeated a younger Buccaneers U21B side 40-14 in their game at the Castle Grounds on Saturday. The hosts led 20-7 at halftime and were the better outfit overall, although Buccs rallied in the third quarter to tighten their arrears to 27-20 before Monivea upped the tempo to win. Joe Kenny and Aidan Connaughton were Buccs try scorers with Ger Fallon landing both conversions. Ian Farrell and Dermot Tierney were pick of the pack with Eoin Doolan and Alex McArdle to the fore in the backline.
Buccaneers face a real test of character when they travel west for a Connacht showdown with Galwegians in the Ulster Bank League Division 1B at Crowley Park, Glenina, on Saturday, kick off 2.30 p.m. This is a must win match for both clubs, albeit for differing reasons. Buccs really need to regain their momentum at the top end of the table while Wegians are battling for Division 1B survival so a full-blooded encounter is in prospect.