Buccaneers prevail over struggling Wegians

Buccaneers ‘Ruairi Byrne charges at Galwegians, Ronan Moore in the Ulster Bank Rugby League division 1b clash at Dubarry Park on Friday night. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Buccaneers ‘Ruairi Byrne charges at Galwegians, Ronan Moore in the Ulster Bank Rugby League division 1b clash at Dubarry Park on Friday night. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Local derby honours went to Buccaneers on Friday evening, when they consolidated their lead at the top of table with a 24-12 win over Galwegians.

Buccs moved five points clear in the Ulster Bank League division 1B, while Galwegians, despite a second-half fightback, were left pointless, and now languish in eighth place with just one win from eight.

Galwegians' next fixture is on December 3 away to Shannon in a must-win for both sides, while Buccaneers travel to Ballymena.

Last Friday evening in a cold Dubarry Park, Buccs took a firm grip in the opening period, pinning the westerners deep in their own half. Although Alan Gaughan was stopped close to the Wegian line, the home side capitalised from a five metre scrum with scrumhalf Conor McKeon darting through for the opening try which Gaughan converted.

Buccs' domination continued and they were rewarded with a second try from a Luke Carty toucher finder, and when Wegians failed to clear their lines, Mata Fifita thundered through for a try on 22 minutes, with Gaughan adding the conversion.

Denied a third try for crossing, Buccs added to the score with a 33rd minute penalty for a 17-0 lead.

However, a minute later the Tribesmen stunned the hosts with a try in their first real inroad into the home half. Substitute Doron McHugh made an immediate impact, bursting through to touch down at the posts, and Moynihan’s conversion left the scoreboard 17-7 at half time.

Five minutes after the restart, Buccs gifted Wegians possession, and in their best, Anthony Ryan crossed for an unconverted try near the corner. Having struggled from the start, Galwegians were just five points adrift and, from here to the final whistle, it was a much more evenly contested affair.

Huge defence from the Galway side kept Buccaneers from crossing again, but they were eventually rewarded when O’Reilly finished off a further wave of Pirates’ attacks for a 57th minute try wide on the right. Gaughan landed an excellent conversion with what proved to be the final score.

A mazy run by Galwegians' Alan McMahon was the most threatening effort of the final quarter, but try as both sides did there, neither secured a coveted bonus point.

BUCCANEERS: L Carty; E O’Reilly, S Layden, M Fifita, J Conroy; A Gaughan, C McKeon; R Grenham, J Sutton, M Staunton; R Byrne, C Romaine; S Meagher, E Galvin, K Kiripati (captain ). Replacements: G Lynch (for McKeon 78 ), E Maher, R O’Meara, J Foley, A Hayman.

GALWEGIANS: A McMahon; M Quinn, C Brennan, B Murphy (captain ), E O’Keeffe; A Moynihan, B Lee; M Fox, J Moloney, J East; A Ryan, M Kelly; R Moore, P Hackett and J Pim. Replacements: D McHugh (for Fox 34 ), M Towey (for Hackett 58 ), C Lowndes (for Lee 58 ), J Dineen (for McHugh 64 ), B.Lee (for Quinn 64 ), D McHugh (for East 76 ), P O’Beirne.

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