Having demolished Ballymena last week, table topping Queens were favourites in Saturday’s AIL2A Play Off Final against Buccaneers.
After a cagey start with both attacks testing out their opponent’s defence, Buccaneers took the lead with 15thminute penalty goal by Michael Hanley.
Queens applied pressure and having strung together several phases, Graham Curtis finally found room to squeeze in at the left corner for an unconverted try and a 5-3 lead.
Six minutes later a long range Hanley penalty gave Buccaneers a 6-5 halftime lead.
Queens started the 2nd half with purpose and regained the lead when George Saunderson burrowed through a line of Buccaneer defenders to claim a 49th minute converted try to lead 12-6.
Buccaneers’ forward power began to dominant scrums. After Scott Wilson was yellow carded, the referee ran out of patience, when there were further infringements, and awarded Buccaneers a penalty try on 65 minutes to lead 13-12.
Buccaneers did not ease off and Danny Qualter was driven over after 71 minutes for an unconverted try and an 18-12 lead.
Queens at last found some momentum and go forward ball. Pressure eventually told and Charlie Irvine dotted down to bring Queens up to 17-18 with the conversion to come.
James Humphreys struck the ball sweetly, but it cannoned off the left upright. With the final whistle sounding immediately, Buccaneers were jubilant in making AIL1B, very much in contrast to a very dejected Queens side.