Buccaneers enjoyed home advantage in Round 2 of the 2020 Connacht Touch Series as they welcomed Galway’s Racoon West Flyers to Dubarry Park on Wednesday evening last.
With Manuel Aymerich making a welcome return from Spain and Koronato Kiripati back from injury, Buccs fielded a strong squad against the tournament favourites.
The visitors started positively with two early scores as they punished Buccs out wide. They threatened to score a third before Leah Downes lifted the siege with a crucial intercept and this seemed to give Buccs the boost they needed.
Soon after that, Nigel So got Buccs off the mark when he took a pass from Paul Gavin to slide over. It was end-to-end stuff from there to the interval with the sides locked at 4-4.
The third quarter was the best period of the game as the teams swapped scores early in the second half with Nigel So and Andy Moran both scoring for the home side from well executed ‘quickie’ moves.
Buccaneers then hit the front for the first time after 31 minutes when Merisa Kiripati scored in the corner after a neat Bobby Pears sidestep caught out the Flyers defence.
Buccs seemed to be on the verge of their first win in the competition but perhaps nerves got the better of them as they lost their grip on the game.
The more experienced Galway side were somehow able to up a gear from there to the finish and with the help of some soft turnovers, they scored three times to no reply from Buccaneers to take the victory by 9-7. It was a disappointment for Buccs as a home win would have been greeted with great joy.
Overall, Buccs stepped up their performance from the previous week against the tournament favourites with Andy Moran, Bobby Pears and Paul Gavin again to the fore in attack, while in defence, Rory Silke, Ivana Kiripati and Zara Kurt-Elli stood out.
Buccaneers - Rory Silke (Captain ), Paul Gavin, Anthony Mangan, Andy Moran, Nigel So, Koronato Kiripati, Bobby Pears, Brendan Wilkins, Manuel Aymerich, Molly Wilkins, Merisa Kiripati, Ivana Kiripati, Eva Henshaw, Niamh Gough, Eloise Clarke, Zara Kurt-Elli, Leah Downes.
Anyone interested in Touch Rugby participation at Buccaneers is welcome to come along any Monday at 6.30pm at Dubarry Park.
Contact Denis O’Connor at 085 7742751 or see Buccaneers Touch Rugby on facebook.