Highlights: Energia Bateman Cup Semi-Final – Buccaneers v Queen’s University
Buccaneers are through to their first ever Energia Bateman Cup Final after an open and entertaining 45-21 win over Queen’s University in today’s semi-final at Dubarry Park.
The sides had last met in the 2021/22 Men’s Division 2A Promotion Play-Off Final, but Buccaneers captain Martin Staunton was the only man on the pitch who’d started that game last April.
That left the Pirates shorn of their Connacht contingent and leaders like Shane Layden and Danny Qualter, but a squad sprinkled with U20 and J1 players still ran in seven tries on the day. Queen’s for their part were playing with a squad with an average age of just under 20.
Saturday February 4th 2023
Energia Bateman Cup Semi-Final
BUCCANEERS 45 QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY 21, Dubarry Park
Scorers: Buccaneers: Harry Balsiger, Ross Murphy Sweeney, Tom Shine, Cian McCann 2, Cian Daly, Brendan Fagan; Cons: Adam O’Carroll 5
Queen’s University: Penalty Try, Patrick McAlpine, Daniel O’Regan; Cons: Will Cusack 2.
HT: Buccaneers 17 Queen’s University 0
“We’ve had to juggle things about a fair bit this season,” said winning coach Eddie O’Sulliivan.
“We’ve a very good U20s side and It was a great experience for some of them to step up for a semi-final so we’re very happy. I was delighted with the performance.”
Queen’s were pinned in their own half for much of the opening quarter and were 5-0 down after five minutes from Harry Balisger’s well taken try. The students found themselves in an attacking position on 15 minutes but a loose pass found Ross Murphy Sweeney ready to pounce and the Buccs winger duly fly hacked the ball down field and won the footrace for a 10-0 lead.
A yellow card to Samuel Arundel made life harder for the visitors and Buccs made the extra man count after 26 minutes. Tom Shine delayed his pass to Murphy Sweeney to maximise the overlap and was there for the offload to scamper home from the 22 metre line.
Buccaneers had six U20 players in their squad and 18 year old full-back Adam O’Carroll stepped up to hit the first of his five conversions for a 17-0 lead.
Things got worse before they got better for Queen’s when Cian McCann scored after the restart, but a deft chip over the top soon had them on Buccaneers’ try line.
Playing with advantage, Queen’s opted to pick and jam when the crowd might have expected a cross-field kick but the strategy paid off as referee Eddie Hogan O’Connell ran to the posts to award a penalty try.
McCann got his second try under the sticks for 31-7 but again Queen’s responded – this time kicking to the corner and Patrick McAlpine scoring from close range after some sustained pressure.
Buccaneers needed to snuff out the threat of a comeback and went to the corner themselves when Queen’s strayed offside in their own half. Their maul was effective and Cian Daly was credited with the try.
The ever-alert scrum half Daniel O’Regan got the students’ third try of the day for Will Cusack to convert after Daly was subsequently yellow carded for foul play.
Yishai Avrahami was another young replacement to come in for Eddie O’Sullivan’s men and he threw the assist for Brendan Fagan to side step and romp home for the last score of the game.
“It was a really good win,” O’Sullivan told IrishRugby.ie. “Some great tries. We told them to go out and relax. A lot of them were nervous about playing a semi-final. Especially the U20 lads. I told them to just relax and do what we practised. They seemed to take that on board and the few times we were under the cosh they kept plugging away. That kind of experience for younger players – you can’t buy it.”
QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY: Ryan Davies, Finn Ritchie, Jack Harte, Henry Boyle, Ben Westcott; Will Cusack, Daniel O’Regan; Joshua Stewart, George Coen, Daniel Orubo, Ciaran McCarthy, Patrick McAlpine, Samuel Arundel, Harry McMeekin (capt), Paddy Eames.
Replacements: Patrick Elmore, Dylan McAuley, Ben Goldthrope, Henry Stafford.
BUCCANEERS: Adam O’Carroll, Ross Murphy Sweeney, Tom Shine, Conor Fitzgibbon, Harry Balsiger; John Why, Eoin O’Reilly; James Kelly, Oisin Dolan, Martin Staunton, Fionn McDonnell, Cian McCann, Brendan Fagan, Mathias O’Neill, Ryan O’Meara.
Replacements: Evan Gallagher, Cedric Fokam, Charlie Byrne, Cian Dały, Robert Teape, Yishai Avrahami, Kieran Egan, James Blair.
Saturday January 14th 2023
Energia Bateman Cup Semi-Final/Energia All-Ireland League Men’s Division 1A Round 10
TERENURE COLLEGE 21 YOUNG MUNSTER 11, Lakelands Park
Scorers: Terenure College: Tries: Campbell Classon, Jordan Coghlan, Levi Vaughan; Cons: Caolan Dooley 3
Young Munster: Try: Dan Walsh; Pens: Evan Cusack 2
HT: Terenure College 14 Young Munster 6
TERENURE COLLEGE: Adam La Grue; Stephen O’Neill, Colm de Buitléar, Peter Sylvester, Caolan Dooley; Callum Smith, Alan Bennie; Campbell Classon, Levi Vaughan, Adam Tuite, Harrison Brewer (capt), Mick Melia, 6. Conall Boomer, Luke Clohessy, Jordan Coghlan.
Replacements: Liam Hyland, Craig Trenier, Matthew Caffrey, Adam Melia, Fintan Gunne, Sam Coghlan Murray.
YOUNG MUNSTER: Patrick Campbell; Conor Hayes, Shay McCarthy, Dan Goggin, Conor Phillips, Evan Cusack, Jack Lyons; David Begley, Dan Walsh, Conor Bartley, Tom Goggin, Sean Rigney, Alan Kennedy (capt), Ronan O’Sullivan, John Foley.
Replacements: Chris Moore, Paulo Leleisiuao, Eoin O’Connor, Bailey Faloon, Donnchadh O’Callaghan, Luke Fitzgerald.