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Garryowen Beat Buccs In Play-Off

Garryowen Beat Buccs In Play-Off

Second half tries from James Rael and Paul Neville helped Garryowen get the better of Buccaneers in this Ulster Bank League Division 1 promotion/relegation play-off at a sunny Dooradoyle.

Garryowen held onto their Division 1A status for next season with former Buccaneers player Alan Gaughan kicking 13 points for the home side.

This was a well-contested game, akin to a cup tie in the sides' approach to it, and Buccs, who finished third in Division 1B, assumed a second minute lead thanks to a penalty from David Connellan.

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Young out-half Jack Carty was tackled late as he cleared his lines and from where the ball landed, Connellan had the required accuracy and distance.

Gaughan hit back with his first successful penalty in the 13th minute. But Buccs were shading things, Connellan missed a second penalty and then Garryowen lock Aaron McCloskey was sin-binned for stamping in the 24th minute.

Try-scoring chances were few and far between with defences on top for the most part. Connellan kicked another penalty, five minutes later.

Gaughan doubled his and Garryowen's tally but on the stroke of half-time, Connellan made it 9-6 to Buccs following a good break from lively full-back John O'Brien.

Into the second period, Garryowen showed much more urgency and desire to get the result. Buccs were put under immediate pressure and could not hold out as hooker James Rael swept through for a 46th minute try.

Gaughan followed up with the conversion and in warm conditions, the Light Blues were now dominating the forward exchanges.

A converted try from flanker and former captain Paul Neville before the hour mark gave the Limerick men a comfortable lead at 20-9.

Buccs kept plugging away and put together attack after attack, with O'Brien threatening on the counter.

But having lost their previous six games in Division 1B, the Pirates were not as clinical as they had been earlier in the campaign and Garryowen deservedly took the spoils.