Saturday 4th Febuary, pilule UCD Bowl
UCD – 15
Buccaneers – 16
With a half time score of 12-0 to the home side, it looked as if UCD were probably going to push on and secure a much needed win in the Bowl on Saturday. However, a complete failure of discipline from Collidge and a dramatic, dying-moments try under the posts for Buccaneers substitute Alex Hayman had UCD stunned as they ended up losing by a single point to the side from Athlone.
UCD were on the board with their first try after only three minutes. After securing a lineout, UCD proceeded to maul 25 metres before Buccaneers managed to get an adequate road block in place. With the Bucs’ defensive line stretched, the ball came to David Lynch on the blind side and the centre’s reach was just enough to get to the line. Niall Earls added the extra two points.
Buccaneers quickly found their feet again however and their captain, Kolo Kiripati, was central to everything they did. The big Pacific Islander’s power and support lines saw him charging through the UCD defence at will but some good last ditch tackling kept the Collidge line in tact on more than one occasion.
Perhaps against the run of play UCD snatched a second try after Lynch broke down the left wing beginning a move which included some smart offloads and culminated in a Tom Fletcher touchdown in the corner. Earls was unsuccessful with the conversion.
Buccaneers continued to be dangerous and it took a monumental effort from Earls and a couple of other defenders to stop Kiripati from barging over just before half time.
Following the restart, UCD’s discipline began to waiver and a penalty advantage gave Buccaneers’ outhalf, Jack Carty, the free drop goal attempt which he scored for his team’s first points.
UCD almost added a third try when an Andy Boyle run and offload sent Alex Kelly in, but he was adjudged to have been held up at the base of the post and when Bucs wheeled the resulting UCD scrum they were able to clear.
The UCD backline was far less porous after the break and had successfully subdued Kiripati with extra markers. Penalties, however, were negating all this good work as Jack Carty kicked a succession of 40 metre three pointers to bring his side into contention.
With the game entering its final stretch, a UCD penalty extended the lead back to six but Buccaneers had one big play left in them. For really the first time since the first half, Buccaneers exploited a gap in the UCD back line when Carty broke into the 22. He offloaded to Hayman on his shoulder who crashed over under the posts, setting up the easy conversion for the lead.
Collidge couldn’t find a reply and the final whistle blew on another disappointing afternoon for the UCD men.
UCD: James Tracey, Risteard Byrne, Brian Hall, Keelan McKenna, Mark Flanagan, Danny Kenny, David Doyle, Shane Grannell, Rob Shanley, Niall Earls, Tom Fletcher, David Lynch, Alex Kelly, Andy Boyle, Michael Twomey. Replacements: Kieran Maloney, Richie Bent, Brian Cawley, Peter du Toit, James Thornton.