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Buccaneers Bounce Back In Belfast

Buccaneers Bounce Back In Belfast

Buccaneers put their indifferent recent form behind them to record a rewarding 20-7 triumph away to Belfast Harlequins in Ulster Bank League Division 1B.

Putting in a much more committed and organised effort, the Pirates got back to winning ways in a game played in incessant rain at Deramore Park.

The wet and cold conditions did not hinder Buccs who started at a high tempo to lead 17-0 at half-time, and they maintained a high work-rate and appetite for a fully deserved victory on a pitch that stood up commendably well.
 
The visitors raided from the off and despite the best efforts of Alan Gaughan, he missed out on a fifth minute try when referee John Carvill adjudged that he had been held up by Belfast Harlequins full-back Junior Bulumakau.

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But out-half Gaughan got the scoreboard ticking over with an eighth minute penalty. Alex Hayman also came close to scoring a Buccaneers try that looked likely from these early exchanges and it duly arrived by the quarter hour mark.

Callum Boland got another Pirates attack going down the left and following some fine support play and handling, prop Jacob Walshe crashed over on the right to score.
 
Gaughan had a rare miss with the conversion but landed a hat-trick of penalties after 18, 21 and 29 minutes as pressure forced Harlequins to repeatedly offend while the Athlone side's defence was rarely threatened in the opening half.
 
Buccs had much more work to do in that regard following the change of ends but were not found wanting, while 'Quins spurned a 'gimme' penalty just two minutes into the second half with a fruitless penalty to touch.

Although they lost number 8 Kolo Kiripati to the sin-bin, the Pirates pressed on and were unlucky not to stretch their lead when Gaughan's 70th-minute drop goal attempt rebounded off an upright.
 
Two minutes later, 'Quins breached the Buccs cover when number 10 Mark Best neatly sidestepped through for a try which he also converted to reduce the arrears to 17-7.

But Buccaneers had the final say when teenager Ross Keller drilled over a 75th minute penalty. The replacement was narrowly off target with a second place-kick in the final minute as Buccs deservedly took the spoils to regain their momentum.

Referee: John Carvill (IRFU)