Connacht Junior 1A League
Creggs 38 Buccaneers 21
This game which followed on immediately from the official opening of the new facilities proved more than worthy of the occasion. Creggs served up some brilliant attacking rugby, particularly in the first half but they were pushed hard by a Buccaneers side which on the evidence of this game certainly look far too strong to continue propping up the League table.
Buccaneers made it clear they meant business right from the kick-off and for the opening 10 minutes Creggs were under the cosh before Shane Purcell opened the scoring with a penalty goal.
The next 10 minutes followed a similar pattern with Buccaneers enjoying a significant advantage in terms of both territory and possession but Creggs pulled further away when Elliot Jennings broke a tackle before sending his fellow centre Shane Dowd on a searing run which took him from left field at the half way line to touch down at the right corner flag. A magnificent score was capped by a magnificent touch line conversion.
The game then reverted to Creggs soaking up further Buccaneers pressure before Dowd struck again, this time slicing through the cover from close range to score between the posts, Purcell adding the extras again.
Half an hour gone and Buccaneers were 17 points down but in no mood to surrender and when their tight-head Ruairi Byrne scored a try from a rolling mall few could argue their entitlement to the score which was converted by out half Michael Hanley.
Creggs pulled away again however six minutes later when a beautifully measured kick from Purcell was gathered by his chasing full back Ronan Dowd who scored between the posts, Purcell converting.
And on the stroke of full time Creggs secured their bonus point, Jennings again making the crucial break with Purcell prodding through a grubber kick which Kevin Gavin collected at the corner flag, Purcell adding the conversion from the left touch line to match his earlier one from the right.
A score of 31-7 at half time was very harsh on Buccaneers who in many respects had more than matched their opponents but Creggs had four converted tries from three and a half chances and their impressive clinical finishing separated the sides by such a wide margin at the interval.
To their credit Buccaneers battled on and in many respects Creggs failed to repeat the intensity in the second half, Byrne added a second try, again converted by Hanley and when Shane Dowd left the field on a questionable yellow after 21 minutes, Buccaneers capitalised with a third try from hooker Ronan Grenham, again converted by Hanley.
At this stage, they looked set to secure at least one losing bonus point but Creggs prop Tom Fleming showed some deft footwork to cross between the posts on 37 minutes, Purcell adding the conversion to make it six from six and Buccaneers left with nothing.
The Creggs starting fifteen and all the replacements played very well in giving the large crowd great entertainment on the splendid new 4G pitch, to crown the day that it was in great style.
As this is the back to back match however, they get another shot at Creggs with the teams meeting again on Saturday week in Dubarry Park, kick-off 7 pm.
The win leaves Creggs in second place, 5 points behind Connemara who notched up another bonus point win over Sligo at the weekend.
Creggs Rugby: Tom Fleming, Maurice Buckley, Aidan Leech, Ian Whittington, Brian Donoghue, Peter Lohan, James Brandon, Brian Diffley, Eoghan Coyle, Shane Purcell, Kevin Gavin, Eoghan Jennings, Shane Dowd, Martin Quinn, Ronam Dowd, Danny Arnold, Seon Og Higgins, Kevin Brandon, Mark Brandon, Ronan Cahill.
Buccaneers: O Kiernan, R Grenham, M Murphy, S Kruopa, R Byrne, S O’Connell, T Gilheany, L Donnelly, G Fallon, M Hanley, C Ford, R Moony, R Teape, C Digan, H Hughes, D Buckley, S Flynn, A Lynch, O Treacy, B McDonnell.
Referee: Shane McElwee, CBIRFU.