Buccaneers RFC

Mixed weekend for Buccaneers RFC Teams

Buccaneers RFC

Connacht Womens Cup Final: Buccaneers 5 Tuam 16

Despite putting in a battling and sustained effort Buccaneers came up short against Tuam in the Connacht Womens Cup final played at The Sportsground, Galway, on Sunday. A final move try put an extra gloss to Tuam’s 16-5 victory but right up to that late, late score, Buccs were still very much in contention in a tremendously competitive decider played on a firm sod and fine weather.

Tuam settled the quicker to the task on hand but missed a 6th minute penalty but out-half Emma Keane found the range from in front of the posts six minutes later. It took the Pirates the bulk of the opening quarter to get into their stride and into the opposition half. With Sabina Egan and Susan Seery breaks now testing the Tuam rearguard, the Athlone girls began to make inroads. They forced a number of penalties which they tapped and gradually edged close to the Co. Galway side’s line where patient and persistent attacking was finished off wide on the left for an unconverted 23rd minute try by Gohar Kostanyan. Nine minutes later, Keane restored the lead for Tuam with a penalty that left them 6-5 ahead at halftime.

The diagonal breeze had freshened noticeably during the first half and it was to prove of real benefit to Tuam in the second period. Eight minutes after the change of ends, a smart crossfield kick weighted nicely in the wind and Nicola Kilgarriff won the race between the two fullbacks to pounce for an unconverted try wide on the right. This gave Tuam an 11-5 lead which they worked doggedly to protect.

With Sarah Kelly thundering into the contest and Lorna Stuart-Trainor, Antoinette Kemmy, Niamh Gough and Kostanyan probing and tackling, Buccs were still very much in the hunt. However, despite a number of promising breaks, they just could not fashion the final pass or offload necessary to unlock Tuam’s no-nonsense defending. In the final move, Amanda Kelly made it over the Buccaneers line for an unconverted try that sealed the 16-5 victory. Tuam, that bit smarter and a lot more physical, were deserving winners albeit the margin flattered them.

The Buccaneers girls gave it their all but lacked a vital cutting edge that would surely have been provided by Anna McGann (not released) or Niamh Ni Dhroma (abroad). They can justifiably hold their heads up after a season in which quite a number of ‘newbies’ joined their squad. They will have gained crucial experience and displayed wonderful commitment and promise, so the future looks really bright for Buccs and their mentors.

Buccaneers:– S.Seery; S.Hennessy, S.Egan, H.Kilduff, A.Hayes; E.O’Brien, N.Gough (captain); L.Flynn, T.Finnerty, S.Kelly; G.Kostanyan, A.Antonissen; L.Stuart-Trainor, A.Kemmy and A.Hennessy. Replacements:- D.Cromar (for Antonissen, h/t), C.Malone (for Finnerty, 50 mins), K.Ryan (for A.Hennessy, 50 mins), A.Antonissen (for S.Hennessy, inj. 66 mins), A.Hennessy (for Ryan, 66 mins), J.Dowling (for Egan, inj. 75 mins) and D.West (for Hayes, 75 mins).

Referee:- John Martin (Connacht).

Connacht Junior 1 promotion/relegation play-off: Buccaneers 62 Corinthians 26

Buccaneers Seconds finally found their mojo when it was most needed as they demolished their Corinthians counterparts 62-26 in this Connacht Junior 1 promotion/relegation play-off at Corinthian Park, Clounacauneen, on Sunday. The Pirates backline ran riot with Rory O’Connor putting in a five-star performance scoring half of Buccs ten tries in by far the side’s most comprehensive display of the season.

Conditions were near ideal for the brand of rugby favoured by the midlanders and they swiftly stamped their intent on the proceedings with O’Connor opening the scoring with a 4th minute try and Harry Hughes adding the second just five minutes later. Following a yellow card to Tristan Couper, Corinthians got on the scoreboard with a Douglas Whiteman try to reduce their arrears to 12-7 after 17 minutes.

However, two quickfire tries by O’Connor on 20 and 26 minutes completed the fullback’s hat-trick before Rory Grenham notched try number five on the half hour mark. Pat Long replied with a Corinthians try just before half-time but O’Connor still had time to scoot over for his fourth touchdown before the interval at which stage Buccaneers led 38-14, Ger Fallon having landed four conversions.

Skipper Grenham stretched Buccs advantage with a 44th minute try but Corinthians kept in touch with a brace of touchdowns by substitute Long and Alan Coughlan to narrow the arrears to 45-26. However, the Athlone side finished strongly with substitute Graham Lynch helping himself to a pair of tries before who else but O’Connor completed the rout with a last minute try. Callum Boland, on place-kicking duty for the second half, landed two conversions in the 62-26 victory that ensures Buccaneers retain their Connacht Junior 1A status. Simon Keller was on target with two Corinthians’ conversions.

This was a splendid all-round effort by Buccs with O’Connor being outstanding particularly in his finishing. Grenham led the squad by example and the Pirates were not deflected by an injury to the luckless Dom Griffiths in the warm-up. At the end of a difficult and testing campaign, Buccs finally clicked and flourished as they demonstrated the potential that will surely be bolstered by a string of players from the U-20’s squad that did so well this term.

Buccaneers:- R.O’Connor; B.Walsh, A.Hayman, S.Flynn, H.Hughes; C.Boland, G.Fallon; K.Grehan, R.Grenham (captain), R.O’Meara; R.Byrne, T.Couper; J.O’Connell, N.Flynn and E.Galvin. Replacements:- G.Halligan, J.Tormey, G.Lynch, J.Lopez, N.Purcell (all used) and D.Griffiths.

Purcell Cup: St. Mary’s College 29 Buccaneers 28

Buccaneers U-20’s felt more than a little aggrieved when losing 29-28 to St. Mary’s College in the semi-final of the Purcell Cup played at Templeville Road, Dublin, on Sunday. In a cracking contest, Buccs were arguably the better outfit but a pair of debatable yellow cards in the closing minutes cost the Pirates dearly as St. Mary’s pilfered a match-winning try when the midlanders were reduced to 13 players.

This was a most unsatisfactory end to a super season by these young Buccs in only their second year campaigning in Leinster. Following a woeful first year there, the Athlone outfit finished a very comfortable second in Premier League Division 2 this term and have acquitted themselves well in the Cup too. They got off to a perfect start in this Cup tie, Thomas McGann fielding possession on the wing and taking play into the home 22 to set up Frankie Hopkins for a 2nd minute converted try under the posts.

St. Mary’s replied with a 4th minute penalty and they grabbed a soft converted try twelve minutes later. Following a line out, they spread the ball wide and a number of Buccs players missed their tackles, helping the hosts to a 10-7 lead. Buccs then put some good phases together and Luke Carty made a fine line break. However, a yellow card to Ross Cooper for a high tackle gave the initiative back to St. Mary’s and they added a converted try while the Pirates skipper was in the sin bin. The metropolitan outfit now enjoyed a good spell but Buccs held firm before the midlanders regained their momentum to apply sustained pressure that yielded a converted try just before halftime that narrowed the arrears to 14-17.

Missed tackles again contributed to St. Mary’s third converted try just two minutes into the second half but the city side then had a player yellow carded. Buccs capitalised on this with McGann touching down on 50 minutes to leave his side trailing 24-19. A brace of Carty penalties edged the Athlone side 25-24 ahead after 65 minutes and the outhalf added another three minutes later for a four points lead to the visitors who were now the dominant force.

But Brian Collins was deemed to go off his feet on 77 minutes and Sam Hastings followed him to the sin bin two minutes later, his attempted blockdown being adjudged to be deliberate by referee Paul O’Connor. This gave St. Mary’s a vital two player advantage and they made it pay with a fortuitous last ditch winning try to advance to the final on a 29-28 margin.

Buccaneers:- D.McMahon; T.McGann, S.Hastings, D.Keane, E.O’Reilly; L.Carty, F.Hopkins; N.Farrelly, E.Maher, D.Buckley; B.Collins, H.Ronaldson; R.Cooper (captain), S.Meagher and J.Foley. Replacements:- J.Kelly, C.Cleary, R.Flanagan, J.Delahunt, O.Rowe, K.Jocher and P.Browne.

Referee:- Paul O’Connor (Leinster).

Catherine Fulvio Cookery Demo on Wednesday

The club is hosting a Cookery Demonstration by popular TV chef and food writer Catherine Fulvio in the Shamrock Lodge Hotel, Athlone, this Wednesday April 5th. It should to be a very enjoyable evening and the event gets under way with a Cheese & Wine Reception from 7.30 p.m. Tickets €20 each at the Hotel reception. All attending will receive a complimentary recipe booklet.