12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
A three-try salvo from new signing David Quinlan helped Buccaneers defeat Connemara 60-11 in yesterday's Connacht Senior Cup final at the Sportsground.
The former Shannon number eight made a telling contribution as the Pirates claimed their fifth Cup title with comparative ease against the Division Three Blacks.
Top flight regulars Buccs, under the control of new coach Geoff Moylan, gradually ran riot after running up a 21-11 half-time lead. They managed eight tries in all to book their place in the draw for the inaugural All-Ireland Cup.
Quinlan, who closed out his hat-trick with scores on 73 and 76 minutes, was joined on the scoresheet by Conor Lavelle (2), William Wallace, Sean Brady and there was also a last-minute try for new club captain Garreth Halligan.
Alan King had opened the scoring for the Clifden men through a fifth-minute penalty and when right wing Alan McCann breached the Buccs' cover to score a try on 35 minutes, the Blacks were still well in touch.
Three minutes after the restart, a melee saw two players from both sides - Buccs' Ted Robinson and Lavelle and the influential Pat O'Toole and Oliver Delappe for Connemara - sin-binned. For centre O'Toole it was his last action of the final as he had already picked up a yellow card in the first half.
Connemara then fell apart in the final half-hour as another of Buccs' ex-Shannon brigade Tom Cregan kicked two straight penalties - the second after Connemara's Vincent Heffernan was sent to the sin-bin for a ruck indiscretion - and that allowed Moylan's men the breathing space to deliver five tries in the closing quarter.
Cregan finished with a handsome tally of 20 points, which included seven conversions.
In Ulster, well-judged wins for Ballymena and Dungannon put pressure on leaders Belfast Harlequins, who were idle this weekend, at the summit of the First Trust Ulster Senior League.
Dirkie Strydom scored 14 points, including a second half try, as Ballymena ran out easy 34-13 winners at Instonians. Michael McComish, Niall Greenan, Scott Young and Adrian Fitzpatrick also touched down for the Braidmen.
At Stevenson Park, Ballynahinch suffered the worst ever defeat since going senior as Dungannon raced in 11 tries in a 71-5 romp.
Ulster hooker Nigel Brady bagged two of those tries as did Mark Walls. Last season's Ireland Under-21 captain Gareth Steenson also scored a try, whilst converting eight of the Tyrone side's efforts.
Tries from Johnny Burgess, Josh Devitt and Philip Coulter helped Malone maintain their run in fourth with a 22-8 defeat of Ards. At Judges Road, man-of-the-match Richard McCarter scored 18 points - 2 tries, 2 penalties and a conversion - in City of Derry's hard-fought 28-20 victory over Banbridge.
There were notable wins for Suttonians over Lansdowne (17-16) and Greystones against Dublin University (39-10) as they turned the tables on top flight opposition in the Leddin Finance Leinster Senior League Cup. David Popplewell (2 tries) and new signing Dan van Zyl, who kicked 2 penalties and four conversion stood out as 'Stones ran in five tries to beat Trinity.
Meanwhile, round one of the ODM Munster Senior Cup saw champions Shannon in devastating form. Mick Galwey's side answered their early season critics in fine style with a 62-13 thrashing of an under-strength UCC at Coonagh.
The students, missing a number of players due to Munster's invvolement in the Under-21 Interprovincial final, were simply not at the races and a late try for Timmy Ryan was a very meek consolation.
Mossy Lawlor opened the scoring after two minutes and Fionn McLoughlin (2), Colm McMahon, Frank Roche, Eoin Cahill, Mark Tuohy (2) and John O'Connor (2) followed suit as Shannon powered over the half-century.
Cashel, the only junior club in the competition, surprised Division Three side Sunday's Well 29-20 at home. In the Tipperary side's first season in the Senior Cup, two second half tries from Robert Tierney, added to a first-minute effort from fly-half Trevor Breen and a Diarmuid O'Connor score saw them pull off the shock of the round.
Cashel will face Waterpark in the second round on October 8. The second round results will determine Munster's five representatives in the inaugural All-Ireland Cup, which starts in early November.
SEPTEMBER 24-25 CLUB RESULTS:
Leddin Finance Senior League Cup:
Section A: Clontarf 34 Bective Rangers 17, Old Wesley 5 Wanderers 11; Section B: Terenure College 74 Naas 0, Skerries 14 St Mary's College 36; Section C: Suttonians 17 Lansdowne 16; Section D: Greystones 39 Dublin Uni 10, Garda 0 Barnhall 36
First Trust Ulster Senior League:
Instonians 13 Ballymena 34, Dungannon 71 Ballynahinch 5, City of Derry 28 Banbridge 20, Malone 22 Ards 8
ODM Munster Senior Challenge Cup:
Round One: Cashel 29 Sunday's Well 20, Dolphin 28 Bruff 15, Midleton 31 Highfield 7, Shannon 62 UCC 13, Young Munster 29 Nenagh 8, UL Bohemians 18 Thomond 12
Connacht Senior Cup Final:
Connemara 11 Buccaneers 60