Buccaneers 21 Dublin University 13
Dublin University Seconds really put it up to Buccaneers U-20’s in a J.P.Fanagan Leinster League Premier 2 encounter that went all the way to the wire at cold Dubarry Park on Sunday.
A final try by the young Pirates added a bit of gloss to the 21-13 margin that lifts the midlanders up to second on the league table.
The visitor’s early endeavours were rewarded with an 11th minute try by Alex Finlay and converted Joe May.
A home maul looked like replying for Buccs but Gavin Daly was unable to capitalise. The Students edged further ahead with a 25th minute May penalty.
Trinity laid siege in the home 22 in the closing stages of the half but the Pirates defence remained steadfast and so College’s lead remained 10-0 at the interval.
Buccs upped the pace following the change of ends but found the College defence in resilient mood until the 56th minute. Daly made no mistake with his second opportunity, burrowing over for a try converted by Adam O’Carroll.
Three minutes later Buccs grabbed the lead in somewhat fortuitous circumstances. O’Carroll looking offside as he turned over possession to catch the Dublin University rear-guard too far advanced. O’Carroll raced away to dot down between the uprights. O’Carroll’s conversion gave Buccs the lead but a May penalty left just a point between the teams entering the final quarter.
Jim Connolly put in a super tackle to halt a threatening Trinity raid. O’Carroll went on place-kicking duty as Ruaidhri Fallon had a hamstring problem, was unable to land a 55 metre penalty in the closing minutes.
Buccs sealed the victory in the final move when the ever alert Cian McCann played on after a Trinity knock-on to scamper away for his side’s third try. O’Carroll duly converted with the final act of the game for a 21-13 win.
Buccaneers: A.O’Carroll, D.Colgan, T.Shine (captain), J.Blair, Y.Avrahami, R.Fallon, M.Glynn, J.Connolly, O.Dolan, C.Byrne, F.McDonnell, L.Giles, R.Byrne, G.Daly, L.Balsiger.
Replacements: O.Burgess for Avrahami (h/t), C.McCann for R.Byrne (46), D.Fitzgerald for Giles (65), B.Daly for Glynn (65), D.Feehan, S.Kelly, J.Dunican.
Dublin University: J.Gavin, S.Dunne, A.Finlay, S.Black, T.McCulloch, J.May, J.Berman, M.O’Shea, M.Sherwin, J.Dreischmeier, T.Calomme, A.Hill, S.O’Dwyer, I.Naimi, P.Sheeran.
Replacements: F.X.de la Rea, D.Shanu, D.Stokes, D.Kelly, A.Fraser, J.Nolan, R.Bolger.
Referee: Mike Goode (Connacht).
Tuam 10 Buccaneers Seconds 5
On a wet windy Saturday night in Tuam Buccaneers J1s narrowly lost this Connacht Junior 1A League round four game by 10-5.
The gale force wind and a whistle happy ref were also big factors in setting the tempo of the game. Buccs were on top from the start but failed to get points on the board. They looked most likely to score and very dangerous once they moved the ball through the hands.
In this exciting low scoring encounter, Tuam had the gale force wind in their face but were the first to score a try with brute force and pace leaving the score 7-0 at half-time from an Ian Murphy touch down.
Against the wind and multiple Tuam attacks, Buccaneers defended their line bravely for most of the second-half from within their own 22, with excellent tackling from Harry Balsiger, Sean Flynn and Keelan Connolly.
Eventually Buccs burst their way up the pitch for a Thomas McGann try. It started with a surging powerful run from Connolly. Buccs standoff Michael Hanley with quick feet and silky hands released Evan Gallagher on the inside channel, who then gained 30 yards with a high speed break.
The Pirates eventually scored in the corner with full back McGann due to excellent handling from his team mates.
The final-quarter was a grandstand finish but Tuam won a penalty and Buccs ran out of time.
Congratulations to Tuam for holding out and emerging victorious in this sporting game but the Athlone side will rue not opting for kicks at goal with a number of first half penalties, especially with a placekicker of Hanley’s renown in their side.
Best in the forwards were Gallagher, Flynn and Cedric Fokam. The backline was led brilliantly by the young but experienced Hanley and brave skillful Harry Balsiger.
Buccaneers: T.McGann, R.Murphy-Sweeney, H.Balsiger, C.FitzGibbon, H.Hughes, M.Hanley, E.O’Reilly, A.Obono, E.Gallagher, C.Fokam, F.Galvin (c), C.Walsh, J.Curley, B.Fagan, R.O’Meara.
Replacements: S.Flynn (roundy), D.Bolger, K.Connolly, A.Flanagan, S.Flynn (beag), C.Rooney-Digan.
Referee: Nathan Kearns (Connacht).
Westport Seconds 5 Buccaneers Thirds 0
A late, late Westport try proved the solitary score of this Connacht Junior 2 League tie at Carrowholly on Sunday when Buccaneers Thirds winning streak came to an end on a 5-0 scoreline.
Conditions were really challenging for both sides with rain and gales putting them to the test.
Buccs were forced to field a greatly changed squad with four new faces in the backline where Rory Grenham strutted his stuff at fly-half.
The returning Sam O’Sullivan really impressed until a first half injury forced his withdrawal. Conor Morrissey was another returnee who made his mark as did physio Joe Smyth when introduced.
Trevor Thompson was man of the match for the Pirates, making more tackles in this outing than all of last season!
Westport’s try was controversial as they knocked on following a kick through but got the touchdown between the uprights. The conversion, however, was missed, being an indication of the elements.
Buccaneers: J.Why, L.O’Connor, J.Downes, S.O’Sullivan, M.Byrne, R.Grenham, G.Fallon, N.Harney (c), T.Thompson, P.McManus, G.Kenny, L.Baker, C.Morrissey, M.Lyons, T.Ward.
Replacements: N.Flynn, R.Mahon, J.Smyth, W.Hudson, P.Flynn, L.Berrigan, E.Slevin.
Referee: John Martin (Connacht).
Other Results: U-18.5 team defeated Monivea 36-17 and U-16 team beat Galway Bay 45-14. U-12 girls did well in Blitz at Loughrea while our Minis hosted a successful Blitz v Ballinasloe.
Buccs face Banbridge in final home game of year
Buccaneers square up to Banbridge in their final home Energia All-Ireland League fixture of the year with this Division 1B clash, sponsored by Ganly’s of Athlone, kicking off in Dubarry Park at 2:30pm.
Buccs will be striving to maintain their spot on top of Division 1B but will guard against complacency as Banbridge, despite their lowly league position, are a competitive outfit who will be buoyed by last week’s 35-20 win over Naas.
Their only real blip to date was a hefty 66-5 loss at St. Mary’s College but many teams have those one-off days when the squad may be depleted or nothing goes right.
Fullback Rob Lyttle and No.8 Greg Jones have lots of Ulster experience and ex-Queen’s University fly-half James Humphreys will have a point or two to prove against the Pirates.
The Cromies, including Captain Peter and Ben Carson are other stars for the Co. Down outfit who will be keen to build on the momentum of their crucial victory over Naas.
Martin Staunton will be available to add his expertise and experience to the front row where the young guns did particularly well last Saturday.
Ciaran Booth could also be available after injury as Eddie O’Sullivan juggles his resources. With their defence being generally watertight and their attack being slick, the Pirates should have the arsenal and firepower to continue on their winning ways, with their fitness levels being a further key element.
Attendances have been improving this season so let’s see a big crowd cheering on Buccaneers this Saturday as they bid to maintain their lead at the top of the league table.
Pre-Match for Banbridge fixture
There will be a pre-match function for Saturday’s All-Ireland League game against Banbridge which is Buccaneers final home AIL this year.
It will also be an ideal event to get together pre-Christmas. Cost is only €30 per person and covers meal with complimentary wine in The Bounty, 100-page matchday programme and free admission to the game.
Groups or individuals can be catered for. To book for this not to be missed game, kindly contact our Administrator Geraldine at 0861732711 or any club officer.
U20’s away to high-flying Terenure
Although they moved up to second place in the J.P.Fanagan Leinster League Premier 2 Division following their win over Dublin University last weekend, it was a far from vintage performance by Buccaneers U-20’s.
They will need to step up considerably on that display when travelling to Lakelands Park on Dublin’s southside next Saturday to take on new table-toppers Terenure College.
Terenure defeated Corinthians away last Saturday to replace the Galway club at the top and the metropolitans are on an impressive run at the moment.
Buccs will take heart that Nure’s only setback was a draw against Wanderers, whom the Athlone side easily defeated.
The Pirates will need to erase the sloppiness and errors shown against Trinity but they will be hopeful that last week’s missing key starters will be fit and ready to rumble when the action kicks off at 2pm.
A Remembrance Event to celebrate the lives of Buccaneers Rugby Football Club members/family members who have passed, and in particular those we have lost since the start of the pandemic, will take place in The Bounty on this Thursday, December 1st.
All are most welcome to attend this short ecumenical service in memory of their loved ones.
A tree of remembrance will be planted. The event starts at 8pm. and light refreshments will be served.
For catering purposes, the club would appreciate if you can let us know number of people attending. Contact Geraldine at 0861732711 or Regina at 0872857304 to confirm by Wednesday.
Buccaneers 2023 Calendar is now on sale and costing just €10 would make an ideal stocking filler at Christmas.
All squads from Minis, Youths and Girls all the way up to our Senior team are featured in this colourful calendar.
Congrats to Danny Qualter and Rebecca Palmer on their recent engagement.
Deepest sympathy is extended to Michael Dolan and family on the death of his father Francis.
Sincere condolences also to John Rice and family on the passing of his mother Mary and to the family of the late Denis Quigley.