Buccaneers stifled the Queen’s University attack and were rewarded with a nail-biting 18-17 Energia All-Ireland League play-off win in Belfast and promotion to Division 1B for next season.
Queen’s rallied superbly to force a last-minute try through Charlie Irvine, but replacement James Humphreys’ all-important conversion from wide on the left came back off the near post.
It was cruel luck on the Belfast students who had topped the table in emphatic fashion. However, the Kolo Kiripati-coached Buccs really hit form in the play-offs, producing their best performance of the campaign when it mattered most.
Adding to two first half penalties from Michael Hanley, the Pirates picked up a penalty try and the pack drove powerhouse lock Danny Qualter over for a vital 70th-minute try.
Check out photos from an enthralling play-off final between Queen’s University and Buccaneers: