- Result: Galwegians U20 13 - Buccaneers 12
- Venue: Dubarry Park on Sun Oct 6th 2019
- Competition: JP Fanagan U20 League Premier 2
Galwegians/Oughterard emerged victorious in this nail biting affair in Dubarry Park Athlone on Sunday. The game was a must win for both teams, but, as it later turned out, results elsewhere meant that ourselves and Buccs have made it into Division 2 of the J P Fanagan League joined by Corinthians and NUIG so we’ll have lots of local derbies this season!!
As for the game itself it was expected to be tense and turned out to be exactly that. Both teams were obviously well aware of the stakes and the early exchanges were tentative with errors the order of the day. Buccs drew first blood when a chip ahead from their scrum half was well fielded by left wing Harry Balsiger who ran in for a fine try. It was converted by outhalf Stephen Mannion to leave Buccs ahead by 7 – 0 after 17 minutes.
We came more and more into the game despite being heavily outgunned up front. Our forwards, however, stuck manfully to their task and they were greatly rewarded just before half time when second row Ben McGuinness showed his athleticism to race in for a fine individual try. Matthew Farrell failed with the conversion attempt.
McGuinness was the again the scorer some 13 minutes into the second half when he showed a clean pair of heels to the chasing defence to put his side into the lead for the first time. It didn’t last long as Buccs pressure told and their forwards drove over the line to score. Mannion crucially failed with the conversion and now there were two points between the sides.
The contest was becoming increasingly bad tempered and, when the home team gave away a kickable penalty with some 15 minutes left on the clock Farrell coolly landed the points to put Wegians/Oughterard ahead by a point.
Try as they might in the closing stages Buccaneers were unable to breach the resolute defence and the final whistle sounded to great celebrations from the players and huge relief from the travelling support!