Buccaneers 51 :: Sligo 10
A superb Buccaneers back-line paved the way for their team’s impressive victory over Sligo in the Connacht Under-14 League final at the Sportsgrounds, Galway on Sunday last. All eight BuccaneerÂ tries were scored by their backs, as they played some spectacular rugby for players of this age group.
To their credit, Sligo more than matched Buccaneers in the forward exchanges, with the line-out, in particular doing very well. In this area, Caolan O’Hehir, jumping at No.2, dominated,Â as in addition to securing Sligo’s throw-ins, he also managed to filch some Buccaneers’ balls. Sligo’s scrum was also solid,and managed to take two balls against the head.
HoweverÂ this platform proved to be of limited value, as Sligo persisted in in passing along the line, rather than kicking for safety, and/or territory, when in defensive positions. Buccaneers’ backs were physically stronger and they had exceptional players in out-half, Jack Carty, centres, David Fagan and Conor Cassidy and winger, Conor Fitzgibbon, who accounted for all their side’s tries, by scoring two apiece.
Sligo battled gamely to the the end and were rewarded with two excellent tries. Wing forward, John Healy scored the first, when he collected at a ruck on the Buccaneers ’22’, and crashed over. Their second try, scored by substitute, Ben Lynch, was a superb individual effort. Collecting the ball on half-way, he wrongfooted two opponents, and showing a great turn of pace, he outsped his persuers to touch down for a memorable try.
Big match nerves probably ensured that Sligo never reproduced their semi-final heroics. However, as they demonstrated all season they are a very talented squad, and they will certainly have learned from this game. It should not be long until they are in the winners’ enclosure. Great credit is due to coach, Michael O’Hehir, and his assistants, Tony Heath and Eddie O’Hehir for all their work with the squad all season.
Sligo:Jonathan Byrne, Robert Keegan [c.], Keith McGoldrick, Killian Cox, David Burke, Cathal Finneran, Gary O’Hehir, Gerry Keaney, Donal Rooney, David French, Caolan O’Hehir, Sean Conlon, Enda Connolly, David Heath, John Healey.
Subs: Martin Clarke for S.Conlon, James Clarke for D.Burke, Cathal Burke for J.Byrne, David Giblin for G.O’Hehir, Ben Lynch for R.Keegan, Shane Neary for D.Rooney.