Buccaneers suffered a humiliating 32-0 defeat as UL Bohemians retained their Division 1B status following this Ulster Bank League game played at blustery Dubarry Park Athlone, on Saturday. The Limerick side were the better organised outfit from the off, but it took a late salvo of tries to secure the precious bonus point that wiped away their relegation fears. Meanwhile, Buccs were disjointed as their campaign continues to crumble.
Both sides lined out minus their regular No 8s, the home side’s Luke Satchwell failing a pre-match fitness test while UL Bohs’ Jack O’Donoghue was on the bench for Munster against Connacht. Buccs had three changes from the side that performed so promisingly against Cork Constitution with Shane Layden returning at fullback and Diarmuid Higgins starting at tighthead while James Donoghue made his first start in place of the injured Satchwell with Paul Gallogly switching to No 8.
Although the midlanders had first benefit of the elements, they nevertheless trailed 0-15 at half-time. David Johnston opened the scoring with a 21st-minute penalty from in front of the posts for the Limerick club.
Johnston added a conversion to Colm Ryan’s try after the lively winger angled in from the right flank to touchdown after Ian Condell made good yardage before deftly off-loading to set up the score.
Just before half-time, Rory White got in far too easily through porous tackling for a UL Bohs try again on the right, but this time Johnston’s conversion rebounded wide off an upright.
Buccs rarely looked like scoring even though they enjoyed a decent spell deep in opposition territory around the three-quarters stage. The freshening breeze did not help the Pirates, but they currently lack conviction and a cutting edge.
UL Bohs defended with commitment and were more dynamic when scoring opportunities occurred such as Moroney’s 70th-minute try near the posts. Surprisingly, Johnston missed the straight-forward conversion, but the out half had no problem adding the points to Robbie Bourke’s bonus point try four minutes later. As Buccs endeavoured to take their blank look off the scoreboard, young UL Bohs substitute Jack Codyre was yellow-carded for slowing the ball. But the Red Robins finished on a high note when Mossie Lawler finished off some slick handling for his side’s fifth try and they celebrated their clearcut and vital victory in style.
Buccaneers failed to score for the first time this season and slip to sixth place having really gone off the boil following a decent start to the league. Buccs’ slide is puzzling, for the vast majority of players and coaching/management personnel are those who have served the club so consistently well in recent seasons. Buccs’ home form has been hugely disappointing in what has been an immensely frustrating season.