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Buccs Strike Late For Bonus Point Against Shannon

Buccs Strike Late For Bonus Point Against Shannon

A late trio of tries by Buccaneers earned them a 25-7 bonus point victory over Shannon in their Ulster Bank League Division 1B encounter at Dubarry Park.

The game between two youthful sides was still in the balance entering the final quarter with the Pirates deservedly 10-0 ahead before the final scoring blitz left the visitors stunned.

The midlanders had the benefit of the cool breeze in the opening half but they found it difficult to break through as they made too many unforced errors and had a rising penalty count against them.

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Alan Gaughan's eighth-minute penalty effort from the left dipped under the crossbar and although Buccs dominated territory and had the majority of possession mainly due to the industry of Audi Athlone man-of-the-match Daniel Qualter (pictured below), they lacked a clinical edge for large swathes of this contest.

However, a series of close-in forays was finished off by Stephen McVeigh for a 24th minute try. Callum Boland converted then added a penalty ten minutes later.

That 10-0 half-time lead looked vulnerable and Shannon were dominant on the restart, but their out-half Ronan McKenna missed a 45th minute penalty. Buccs discipline was now much improved and their defensive work committed and sustained, particularly around the hour mark when they held out Shannon on a number of five-metre scrums in what was arguably the decisive phase of the match.

Buccaneers finally hit the form they are capable of in the final quarter hour with fast and slick handling being finished off wide on the right by Billy Henshaw for a 70th minute try.

Shane Mullally wrong-footed his opposite number six minutes later to curve in for a neatly-taken Shannon try converted by McKenna to make it 15-7 and set up the possibility of a grandstand finish.

However, the Buccs riposte was instant with smart hands and a swift counter proving too much for the Limerick side as the impressive Shane Layden burst through on the left for a try.

The Pirates again displayed a cutting edge with a sweeping move, angling left to right for a bonus point try scored in the corner by Mata Fifita to complete an 18-point win.

Referee: Kieran Barry (IRFU)