Ballynahinch won for the first time in four AIB League games, coming away from Dubarry Park on Saturday with a deserved 13-9 triumph over a disappointing Buccaneers side.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION 1B: Saturday, December 5
BUCCANEERS 9 BALLYNAHINCH 13, Dubarry Park
Scorers: Buccaneers: Pens: Adam Kennedy 3
Ballynahinch: Try: Jonny Cullen; Con: Ryan Bambry; Pens: Ryan Bambry 2
Buccaneers were left with an uphill task, going 10-0 down after just 11 minutes and with a strong wind at their backs.
‘Hinch seized control with a fifth minute penalty from out-half Ryan Bambry and a well-taken 11th minute try from centre Jonny Cullen.
Buccs had a part to play in their downfall, kicking straight into touch outside their 22 and inviting the County Down outfit to attack them off the lineout.
Cullen cut through a sleepy defence after ‘Hinch had recycled well through their forwards.
Both clubs fielded depleted line-ups, but ‘Hinch captain Stuart Lamb certainly stood out for the visitors in terms of his work ethic, decision making and sheer desire to win.
The Buccs pack, marshalled by their skipper Colm Rigney, enjoyed a purple patch towards the end of the first half and two penalties from scrum half Adam Kennedy cut the gap for half-time to 10-6.
But that good work was undone on the resumption when the Pirates conceded an immediate penalty for going offside and Bambry popped the ball through the posts.
Buccs, whose poor handling and line-kicking let them down, hit back with a late penalty from Kennedy, after some fierce pressure close to the ‘Hinch line – however, ‘Hinch’s stout defence kept them out and Derek Suffern’s charges held firm for a much-needed win.
BUCCANEERS: JH Potgieter; John O’Brien, Brian O’Carroll, Paul Harte, Sean Stapleton; Alex Hayman, Adam Kennedy; Martin Staunton, Garrett Halligan, Conor Higgins, James Tormey, Padraig Burke, Colin Watters, Stephen Burke, Colm Rigney (capt).
Replacements: Benny Gilligan, Marcus Madden, Anthony Hughes, Gavin Kelly, Conor Lavelle.
BALLYNAHINCH: Harry McAleese; Mark Scott, Jonny Cullen, Stuart Morrow, Kyle Corrigan; Ryan Bambry, David Drake; Chris Stevenson, David McGregor, Paddy McAllister, Robert Greer, Jonny Graham, Michael Graham, Joshua Donaldson, Stuart Lamb (capt).
Replacements: David Harris, Michael Kirkwood, James Simpson, Gavin Armstrong, Lewis Johnston.
Referee: Brian MacNeice (IRFU)