Corinthians denied by late Buccs try

Buccaneers secured this year's Connacht Senior League title with a clean sweep of victories after Saturday's closely fought 28-25 win over Corinthians at Clonacauneen.

There was some consolation for the home side with a losing bonus point ensuring they qualify for the Connacht Senior Cup semi-final against city rivals Galwegians, who pipped Sligo by virtue of a high-scoring win over Ballina.

For the second week in a row, Buccaneers left it late to grab the victory and on this occasion flanker John Sutton claimed the touchdown from a driving maul following a penalty kicked to touch, with outhalf Michael Hanley adding the extras.

Corinthians had taken a 13th minute lead when fullback Paddy Griffin rounded Thomas McGann for an unconverted try wide on the right, and 14 minutes later, Aaron Broderick crashed over for a try, converted by Mark McDermott to give Corinthians a 12-0 lead.

Buccs struck back immediately when Dean McMahon made ground before off-loading to captain Rory O’Connor, who after racing upfield, wrong-footed the defence to scamper in for a 30th minute try which Hanley converted.

Corinthians, however, should have added to their tally before the break, but McGann, from his intercept, raced 95 metres for a stunning try, which Hanley converted to give Buccaneers a 14-12 half-time lead.

However Corinthians' pack continued to dominate, and mauled impressively for a 44th minute Colin Raftery try. McDermott converted and added a 54rd minute penalty to put them 22-14 in front.

Buccaneers capitalised when Corinthians lost Dylan Tierney to the sinbin with O’Connor bagging his second converted try, but when Buccs also went down a man after Simon Meagher was yellowcarded, McDermott steadied Corinthians with the resultant penalty.

Buccs, however, held their composure to continue to push forward and, in the dying moments, they forced a penalty which led to the winning try.

CORINTHIANS: P Griffin; K Dolan, D Caulfield, C Evans, C O’Sullivan; M McDermott, J White; M Conneely, D Tierney, C Hansbury; C Raftery, A Broderick; N Harrison, M O’Connell, J Noone (c ). Replacements, M O’Brien for O’Connell, M Fitzmaurice for Griffin, R Ipek for Conneely, J Barrett for Harrison, R Murphy for O’Brien.

BUCCANEERS: C Boland; R Murphy-Sweeney, R O’Connor (c ), D McMahon, T McGann; M Hanley, C Reilly; J Kelly, D Browne, M Staunton; R Byrne, E Galvin; J Sutton, O Treacy, S Meagher. Replacements, F Hopkins for McMahon, S O’Connell for Browne, T Rensford for Kelly, E O’Reilly for Murphy-Sweeney.

Referee: Jason Cairns (Connacht ).

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