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Buccs Begin League Campaign With Home Victory

Buccs Begin League Campaign With Home Victory

Buccaneers edged out Bruff 17-11 in a lively and absorbing Ulster Bank League Division 1B tussle played in perfect conditions at Dubarry Park.

Buccs had to make a late change with Adam Kennedy crying off due to illness. He was replaced by Mark Dolan at scrum half in a young, new-look Pirates outfit.

In-form Bruff looked the more organised side early on but the hosts' outside centre Paul Harte finished off an enterprising move for a 13th minute try which Jack Carty converted.

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But Bruff's response was swift, winger Andrew Cashman getting on the end of a fine move for a try within three minutes.

Out-half Carty extended Buccs advantage with a 21st minute penalty after Bruff were penalised in the scrum, while Tony Cahill missed his conversion kick and a penalty.

Cahill, the visitors' skipper, duly added salt to Buccs' wounds just on half-time when, after Denis Buckley was yellow carded, he tapped over the ensuing penalty.

Still, Buccs, a mite aggrieved that a Bruff player escaped the sin-bin for excessive use of a boot in the lead-up to this score, led 10-8 ahead at the break.

Eager to maximise their temporary numerical superiority, Bruff piled forward on the resumption and Cahill's 41st-minute penalty nosed them ahead.

They put the midlanders under fierce pressure for a sustained spell but somehow Buccs held their line intact, with man-of-the-match Eoghan Grace putting in vital work.

Having lifted the siege, the Pirates enjoyed the better chances thereafter against a Limerick side that were difficult to break down.

Ireland Under-20 international Daniel Qualter did particularly well to claim a lineout on the hour mark and Buccs followed this up with some clever attacking play which was finished off in style by the ever-eager Conor Lavelle.

Carty converted to forge a narrow, hard-earned home victory, which has Hendre Marnitz's men third in the table after the opening weekend's action.

Referee: David Keane (IRFU)