Buccaneers 20 Creggs 17
Top-of-the –table Buccaneers held out for a narrow victory in Sunday’s riproaring local derby at Dubarry Park . Creggs belied their current League position with a highly impressive display,which almost yielded a shock victory over a Buccaneers team which has been in rampant form in recent games.
Creggs started in whirlwind fashion and led by 10 pts to nil after twelve minutes. Ger Heneghan opened the scoring with a well-struck penalty ,and he followed this up with a clever chip over the defence which centre Dave Flahive latched onto for a vital early try. Heneghan added the conversion before outhalf Jack Feeney kicked a penalty for Buccs when Creggs strayed offside in midfield. The action was fast and furious,with Buccs now warming to the tempo of the contest and stretching the Creggs defence with some clever handling by the backs,allied to powerful forward play with Josh ORourke and Paul Gallogly to the fore.
However,Creggs defended superbly and all Buccs had to show for a long period of sustained pressure was another Feeney penalty,leaving the home team trailing by 10 pts to 6 pts at the interval.
Buccaneers powerful pack of forwards continued to dominate possession and territory in the third quarter,and this led to a try by replacement prop Darren Lennon who touched down under the posts,leaving an easy conversion for Jack Feeney . When fullback Declan Byrne crashed over for a well-worked try in the left corner after the Creggs defence was stretched to breaking point,the signs were ominous and more so when the impressive Feeney converted from the touchline to give Buccs a 20 pts to 10 pts lead with eighteen minutes remaining.
Creggs responded by producing some outstanding rugby in the closing stages of the game,with Kevin Brandon leading the forwards to new levels of intensity . Eventually, a quickly-taken tap penalty by Tom Callaghan gave fullback David Brandon a half-chance which he took to devastating effect by outpacing the Buccs defence for a wonderful solo try. Ger Heneghan kicked the conversion from a difficult angle to leave just three points between the sides with five minutes left on the clock. Buccaneers regrouped and managed to hold on for a victory which owed much to a powerful showing by forwards ORourke,James Tormey and Rory Grenham,while Brian Walsh and Declan Byrne impressed out wide.
The Creggs forwards battled bravely to the end despite conceding a considerable height and weight advantage to their opponents. Brian Donoghue and Bernard Kilcommons used their mobility to good effect,while the frontrow of Paul Mc Neill,Mattie Corcoran and Tom Fleming was unyielding throughout,with a strong impact also made by all five subs used by Creggs in a hugely physical encounter.
Likewise,the Creggs backrow worked overtime in defence and scavenged for possession,often turning over ball they had no right to win .Conor Brandon and Ger Heneghan combined well at halfback,
while the tackling of the threequarters had to be of a high standard to nullify the threat of a slick Buccs backline.David Brandon had an outstanding game at fullback.
Creggs have a home game against Castlebar next weekend,and this promises to be another intriguing contest with home advantage hopefully shading it for this rapidly improving squad of players.
Creggs : David Brandon,Stephen Crehan,Dave Flahive,Tom Callaghan,Aidan Geraghty,Ger Heneghan,Conor Brandon : Tom Fleming,Mattie Corcoran,Paul Mc Neill : Bernard Kilcommons,Brian Donoghue,Matthew Brandon,Kieran Ryan,Kevin Brandon,Colin Canny,Barry Egan,Eoin Kelly,Chris Duignan,Kevin Rushe.