Match Report V Buccaneers
Shannon Kick off AIL
We only had one Senior team in action this weekend and that was our First XV who kicked off their Ulster Bank League campaign away in Dubarry park against Bucaneers. As a league opener it was always going to be a tough fixture and that it was. Shannon travelled with a strong squad on the day and took to the pitch in good weather conditions compared to last season when they were greeted by a gale and sleety rain.
Shannon were first to put points on the board with Ronan McKenna slotting over a penalty after 11 minutes. This was reciprocated by Buccaneers after 25 minutes had gone. Keeping the pressure on, Buccaneers were the first to cross the line 3 minutes later for a try, missing the conversion and leaving the score 8-3. Shannon continued to attack and were strong in the air, retrieving vital ball – evident when Buccaneers had a line-out in the last minute of the half on Shannon’s five-meter line. This was stolen by Frank Bradshaw-Ryan and Dave Evans relieved pressure with a kick to clear the line. The half time score read 8-3.
The second half saw a reduction in discipline from both sides and Buccaneers added to their score again with a penalty kicked after 5 minutes of the second half. Buccaneers retained possession from the kick off and added another try to their tally which, in fairness to the Bucaneers winger, was a great individual try. This was converted, leaving the score 18-3. Things were starting to look bleak but to credit this team; Shannon never lost faith and began to dominate in the scrum as well as backing themselves in attack. Shannon and Bucaneers again traded penalties leaving the score 21-6 going into the last quarter of the match. Buccaneers had a player sent to the bin for slowing the ball around the 70 minute mark and Shannon capitalised on this with a great try from Shane Mullally who broke through the Buccaneers line to secure a much needed try for Shannon. Unfortunately the conversion was missed leaving the score 21-11 with only minutes left in the match. Shannon had a player sent to the bin in the dying seconds of the match and the score remained.
While this wasn’t the most ideal League opening result that we may have envisioned, it’s clear to see that this team has plenty to offer. They displayed a never say die attitude and fought until the last second of the match. At times there was great rugby played and we have a lot to look forward to from this team for the rest of the season. We are at home this weekend to Blackrock in our first home match and we would hope that as many of our members as possible will come along to this match and give the team our support; it’s onwards and upwards from here! A big well done has to go out to Tony Cusack, Jack Foley, James Vaughan, Shane Airey, who started their first UBL match with Shannon and to Aaron Dunne and Ty Chan who also made their first UBL appearances – first of many we hope!