Buccaneers RFC

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Buccaneers RFC
Monivea 29 Buccaneers 5

After a promising start, Buccaneers Seconds faded in the second half in their Connacht Junior 1A League match against Monivea at the Castle Grounds on Sunday when the home side secured a 29-5 victory. On a greasy, misty, afternoon Buccs were very much in this contest until the third quarter when a brace of Monivea tries in quick succession ensured a home win. The Pirates took the lead when Trevor Thompson rumbled over for a 22nd minute try but Ger Fallon, who missed an early penalty, was unable to convert. Unconverted tries by Seamus Fahy and Enda Hogan gave Monivea a 10-5 half-time advantage.

But tries by Dan McCabe and Sean Donnellan in a three minutes spell in the third quarter dictated the outcome of the contest with a Fahy conversion stretching Monivea’s lead to 22-5. No.8 McCabe notched his second try, also converted by Fahy, to give the Co. Galway side a merited win but by a flattering margin. Buccs were committed throughout but lacked the organisation and cohesion of their opponents. Ben Carty and Eoin O’Reilly were lively backs for the Pirates for whom Thompson carried a lot of ball and James O’Connell was another forward who made a noticeable contribution.

Buccaneers:- H.Hughes; B.Walsh, E.O’Reilly, S.Flynn, J.Lopez; B.Carty, G.Fallon; K.Grehan, R.Grenham, T.Thompson; R.Byrne, S.Byrne; N.Flynn, T.Couper and J.O’Connell. Replacements:- C.Kelly, C.Cleary, N.Purcell and G.Halligan.

London Irish play Connacht Eagles in Athlone on Saturday

Legendary club London Irish play at Dubarry Park for the first time ever when they square up to Connacht Eagles in the British & Irish Cup in Athlone on Saturday, kick off 2 p.m. London Irish arrive in the midlands with a 100% winning record this season in both the English Championship and the B&I Cup. They top the championship following 13 successive victories on 63 points, 8 points ahead of Yorkshire Carnegie with the rest nowhere, as they strive to make an immediate return to the Premiership League. London Irish also lead Pool 3 in the B&I Cup, 9 points ahead of the Cornish Pirates, so Connacht Eagles face a massive task on Saturday.

London Irish have really rejuvenated themselves in recent years, despite relegation last season from the Premiership (which looks inevitably like it is being redressed this term!). They play their home fixtures at the highly impressive 22,000 seater Madejski Stadium in Reading while their Hazelwood training complex in London boasts 63 acres, 17 pitches including one 4G pitch and other ancillary facilities. Brendan Mullin, Hugo McNeill, John O’Driscoll, Rob Saunders and Simon Geoghegan are among the numerous Ireland internationals who have also worn the fabled green jersey of London Irish, for whom Springbok Brendan Venter is now their Technical Director.

Coached by Nick Kennedy (no, not the Athlone version!), London Irish have a league of nations in their ranks including two times World Cup winning prop Ben Franks from New Zealand. Ireland and Lions prop Tom Court is another topclass prop for the visitors. The man in between this duo could be Jason Harris-Wright, recently with Connacht, while Samoan flanker Ofisa Treviranus also served time at The Sportsground. Outhalf James Marshall is a regular with the All Blacks Sevens squad and another Kiwi Blair Cowan plays openside for Scotland. The club’s all-time leading try scorer on 70 plus is Topsy Ojo, who has been capped by England. England Saxons lock George Robson gives the side a hard edge while Canada’s Jebb Sinclair, Fijian Aseli Tikoirotuma and South African Richard Palframan are others who can pose problems for the Eagles. Yet an Irishman may well captain cosmopolitan London Irish for this first visit to Athlone as Mullingar’s Conor Gilsenan has skippered them in earlier rounds of this competition.

So a huge challenge faces Mossy Lawler’s primarily youthful Connacht Eagles squad who may also be captained by a local in Danny Qualter who, like Gilsenan, played for Ireland U-20s. The western province has been hit by a serious amount of injuries of late so their panel is likely to be relatively inexperienced which should provide the opportunity for quite a number of Buccaneers players to feature. Cian Romaine, Saba Meunargia, Rory Moloney, Stephen McVeigh and Shane Delahunt could join Qualter in the pack. Conor McKeon, Jordan Conroy and Luke Carty could benefit from the influence of experienced players such as Danie Poolman and Shane O’Leary in the backline where Cormac Brennan, Conor Lowndes, Ed O’Keeffe, Ciaran Gaffney and Stephen Kerins are other contenders to start. Pat O’Toole, James Cannon and Marc Kelly will be looking to be included in the pack.

This rare visit by a Connacht squad to the fine Dubarry Park venue gives midlands sports enthusiasts the opportunity to run their eye over the western province’s next generation of players as they pit themselves against a powerful, multi international backboned London Irish. Tickets can be purchased at the turnstiles on the match day. Adult €10; OAP/Student €5; under-14s free.

Buccaneers Fixtures

Buccaneers U-20s resume their J.P.Fanagan Leinster U-20 Premier 2 League with a top of the table clash at home to leaders Old Belvedere on Sunday. This highly anticipated game kicks off in Dubarry Park at 2.30 p.m. Old Belvedere are the only team to defeat Buccs so far when they came out on top in their early season qualifier. The Athlone side have improved consistently since then with a recent never-say-die win over second placed Barnhall/Maynooth completing the first half of the season.

Simon Meagher, Frankie Hopkins, Sam Hastings and Dan Keane have all pocketed Senior Cup medals in the interim. James Foley, Ross Cooper, Eoghan Maher and Niall Farrelly will be key influences in the Pirates’ pack where Brian Collins’ contribution can be critical provided he maintains his discipline. Tom McGann, Dean McMahon and Ryan Convey are exciting backs who can take scores if a decent supply is provided by the forwards.

Buccaneers Seconds are also in action at Dubarry Park when they host NUIG in the Connacht Junior 1A League, kick off 2.30 p.m. Buccs have been frustratingly inconsistent this season but they will be expected to put the Students to the sword on Sunday. College prop up the league table while the Athlone side need to focus on victory to keep above fellow strugglers NUIG and Galwegians. A win in this game-in- hand would do very nicely.

Buccaneers next All-Ireland League match is a home fixture against Ballymena under the Dubarry Park floodlights on Saturday, January 28th. Kick off is 7.30 p.m. and there will be a pre-match function for this crunch game. For a cover charge of only €30 you can enjoy a 3-course meal with wine in The Bounty, complimentary match day programme and seat in the stand. Groups and individuals can be catered for. Contact Geraldine 0861732711 or Pat Hynes 0876883833 to book.

Catherine Fulvio Cookery Demonstration

The club is hosting a Cookery Demonstration by Catherine Fulvio in the Shamrock Lodge Hotel, Athlone, on Thursday, Jan. 26th at 8 p.m. preceded by a cheese & wine reception. Tickets €20 on sale at the hotel, The Bounty, A Room In Bloom and Cunningham’s Pharmacies, Monksland and Dublin Road, Athlone or by contacting our Administrator Geraldine at 0861732711 during office hours.

Ms. Fulvio runs Ballyknocken House & Cookery School in Co. Wicklow and is a well respected food writer. She is renowned for her popular cookery TV series including ‘Tastes Like Home’ and ‘Lords and Ladles’, both recently screened on RTE.


Deepest sympathy is extended to Derry Fitzpatrick and family on the death of his brother Kevin.

Date For Your Diary – Lip Sync Buccs Fizz Style

Sheraton Hotel, Athlone, on Friday, February 17th at 8pm. The Valentine’s weekend fun night out for everyone!