Bohs take time to get the better of Buccs

FOR 80 minutes at Thomond Park on Saturday, UL Bohemians and Buccaneers threw the AIB League points at each other.

The home side created enough chances in the first half to win a dozen matches but for some inexplicable reason, they turned over trailing by 8-7 after bringing the art of scorning gilt-edged scoring opportunities to a fine art.

As the second half meandered along in a haphazard and patternless fashion, it looked as if that would also be the final score.

However, two minutes into stoppage time, touch judge Noel Sexton intervened to play a crucial role in the outcome. He spotted a clear-cut Buccaneers infringement on the halfway line but unsighted referee Tony Redmond allowed play to continue and duly awarded the visitors a penalty in a very kickable position.

However, Mr Sexton called the ref’s attention to the earlier misdemeanour and instead it was a penalty to Bohs from the halfway line. They won the subsequent line-out and then a penalty for which Ian Costello commendably maintained his composure well enough to land the goal with the help of the right hand upright.

From the restart, Buccs piled on the pressure and forced a penalty of their own close to the left touchline but out-half Lee Turner pulled his kick and the final whistle sounded to the enormous relief of the Bohemian support.

“We made hard work of it”, admitted coach Mike Tewkesbury. “We created so many chances and recycled so much ball in the first half that it was very disappointing that we didn’t manage a few more scores.

“I think we’re not coming from enough depth but in fairness to Buccaneers, they defended well and were very strong in the tackle. We stuck at it and while we have a bit of work to do on our scrummage, the line-out was ok. We are delighted to win because we needed the points. They get us out of the relegation zone and give us more room for manoeuvre. It wasn’t a great football match but it was a tight club match and provided an exciting finish”.

The first UL Bohemian try was scored by Keith Matthews after fifteen minutes and converted by Costello. But they failed to capitalise on several other chances and were made to pay when Gavin Schoeman got the touchdown for Buccs after a rolling maul on 25 minutes and Turner atoned for missing the relatively easy conversion by landing a penalty with the last kick of the first half. It remained 8-7 to Buccs until Bohs snatched the points.

UL Bohemian: C. Gilligan; B. Tuohy, K. Matthews, C. Finn, R. Desmond; I. Costelloe, D. Malone; M. Harty, G. Ryan, K. Carmody, D. O’Connell, B. Dinneen, J. O’Neill, A. O’Gorman capt, A. Hartigan. Replacements, N. Lutman for Desmond 37; M. Porter for O’Connell 68.

Buccaneers: N. O’Hara; J. Meagher, P. O’Sullivan, W. Wallace, W. Munn; L. Turner, C. Keane; R. McCormack, J. McVeigh, F. Boiroux, G. Schoeman, N. Smullen, C. Rigney, E. Brennan, A. Hanley. Replacements, D. Hunt for O’Hara 9 mins; A. Nash for Boiroux 66.

Referee: T. Redmond (Leinster).

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