Buccaneers suffer Connacht Senior League League home loss to Ballina


Buccaneers disappointing start to the Connacht Senior League continued at balmy Dubarry Park on Saturday afternoon when Ballina proved too hot to handle for the youthful Pirates who were defeated 26-12.

The north-westerners made an early breakthrough with Alex Corduff romped through the middle before off-loading to Ronan Molloy for a 12th minute try between the uprights giving Darragh Whyte the perfect position to convert.

Fifteen minutes later a Buccs lineout on halfway went awry and Luke Sweeney swooped to secure possession and he made ground far too easily before sending Molloy away for his second try wide on the left.

Further porous home defending enabled Ballina to notch their third try just before half-time, Micky Murphy capitalising this time to dot down between the posts and Whyte converting to give the men in green a 19-0 cushion at the interval.

Ten minutes into the second half Buccs were held up over the Ballina line but they quickly returned to the red zone where Darren Browne surged over for a 54th minute try. Michael Hanley added a terrific conversion from the touchline and it looked briefly that the homesters might make it a tighter contest. But they let their guard down just three minutes later when Callum Quinn smartly tapped a penalty inside the ten metre line and he drew the final defender before passing to Murphy, operating at fly-half this season, who darted in for his second try which Whyte converted.

Buccs kept battling away and Ballina gradually lost their composure with Tom Hannigan incurring a yellow card on 68 minutes. From the subsequent scrum, Evan Galvin drove forward before linking with Layden who sucked in the cover before off-loading to McGann who scampered in for an unconverted try in the left corner.

A needless late and dreadful tackle by Callum Quinn on Hanley left the referee, following consultation with a touch judge, little option but to send off the big Ballina centre with seven minutes remaining. But Buccs lacked the smarts to make their numerical superiority count, a number that grew to three in the final minute when Whyte was sent to the sin bin as the Pirates tried desperately to at least salvage a losing bonus point.


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