Take a salute Dungannon! This was an excellent performance at Dubarry Park on Saturday night.
The visitors had a point to prove and they did it perfectly with a fourth try on 70 minutes to put the icing on the cake. In the closing minutes Buccaneers tried hard to salvage a bonus point, spurning a penalty, before Dungannon turned them over with a mighty scrum.
When the final whistle sounded the Dungannon supporters applauded their heroes as they left the field. Buccs who lose their coach Hendre Marnitz next week, found it hard to hide their disappointment.
Dungannon’s dynamic start paid off and a whirlwind assault on the Buccs’ line saw Steven Sinnamon dive over on the third minute. Jaryd Bennett added the extras to send the visitors seven points clear.
Minutes later the same player sliced a drop goal attempt much to the relief of the home support. Following the drop out Dungannon were pinged for holding and Buccs, now in possession, showed signs of settling.
Jack Carty missed out with a penalty chance on 12 minutes. Number 8, Luke Satchwell then changed direction during an offensive and some fine passing in the Buccs back line ended with winger, Callum Boland diving over in the corner. Carty found his kicking boots and levelled matters with a superb conversion on 20 minutes.
The Dungannon pack, with James McMahon and Plunkett McCallan to the fore, then rumbled forward before Bennett missed out with a penalty award on 25 minutes. Another drive saw the ball released and Jake Finlay sent Bennett on his way to the posts for a try that he converted himself. Dungannon led 14-7 on the half hour.
Minutes later McMahon broke left and Chris Cochrane thought he was clear but the whistle had already gone. Steven Sinnamon then took a knock and retired with brother, Glenn leaving the bench. No sooner was he on the pitch than he added the finishing touches to a riposte on 37 minutes. At 19-7, Buccs hit back but a super clearance from Mark O’Shea kept the Dungannon line intact.
Buccaneers started the second half full of intent but lost the influential Alex Hayman through injury as he bravely stopped the rampaging McMahon. Darren Simpson was forced to touch in that move as the offensive came to nought.
Buccs then drilled a penalty to the corner and used their pack well for flanker, David Heffernan to crash over on 56 minutes. At 12-19, Buccs were now back in the game and an interesting final quarter loomed.
Stuart McCloskey then missed out with two penalty chances before errors stopped both sides from adding points. Come 70 minutes it was all looking good for the visitors when Finlay broke from a ruck before a short pass sent the impressive Ali Birch on his way to the posts. Bennett’s conversion was a formality and Dungannon now led 26-12.
The fight back from Buccs was notable but all in vain as Dungannon held out to take a full compliment of points.
Buccaneers: John O’Brien, Shane Leyden, Alex Hayman, Conor Finn, Callum Boland, Jack Carty, Mark Dolan, Johannes Roets, Enda O’Brien, Peter Reilly, Daniel Qualter, Michael Kearney, David Heffernan, Eoghan Grace, Luke Satchwell. Replacements:- Garreth Halligan, James Tormey, Martin Staunton, Barry Digby, Billy Henshaw.
Dungannon: Mark O’Shea, Darren Simpson, Stuart McCloskey, Paul Magee, Chris Cochrane, Jaryd Bennett, Jake Finlay, Steven Sinnamon, Paul Jackson, Ben Howard, Plunkett McCallan, Michael Dunleavy, Derek Hall, Ali Birch, James McMahon. Replacements: Phil Whyte, Glen Sinnamon, Timmy Smith, Mark Faloon, Gareth McGonigle
Referee: Jonathan Peake (IRFU)