Below par Buccs scuttled



DUNGANNON upset the form book when they recorded their first victory in this season’s Ulster Bank League, defeating for Buccaneers 26-12 in their Division 1B encounter under the Dubarry Park floodlights on Saturday night. In the process, the injury-depleted northerners scored four tries to also pick up a welcome bonus point in a game played in nippy but otherwise ideal conditions in Athlone.

Despite the absence of injured captain Kolo Kiripati and flu victim Mark Dolan, Buccs were near to full strength for the visit of the Ulster club in this Russell Brennan Keane sponsored fixture. Meanwhile, Dungannon were missing a raft of frontline players including their captain Mark Jenkinson and gave a first AIL start to 37-year-old rookie Plunkett McCallan in his place at lock!

The visitors got off to a tonic start with Steven Sinnamon finishing off an early flurry for a third minute try which Jaryd Bennett converted. Buccs were strangely lethargic in the opening quarter, yet had a chance to open their account on 14 minutes but Jack Carty’s penalty from the ten metre line went fractionally the wrong side of the upright. Nevertheless, they were level on 19 minutes when Callum Boland finished off some good build-up play to touch down wide on the left with outhalf Carty adding a fine conversion.

Bennett was off-target with a penalty six minutes later but then, following a penalty which he lofted to touch on the left, he conjured up a smartly-taken try when following the lineout he received possession to coolly outfox Conor Finn and dart in for a try at the posts which he also converted. While Dungannon had had two games since the previous round of the Ulster Bank League, Buccs had been inactive and it showed, particularly glaringly in the lead up to the Ulster side’s third try just before the break. There was a plethora of errors and indecision by the midlanders as substitute Glen Sinnamon ambled over for a 38th minute try that Bennett didn’t convert. It’s not often that two props score tries and even rarer when this feat is accomplished by brothers in the same match as Dungannon led 19-7 at half-time!

Although Eoghan Grace, Peter Reilly and John O’Brien made sallies into promising positions, Buccs woes continued in the second half. They lacked urgency throughout and were regularly too slow in getting support to the ball carrier. Unforced errors abounded in a very flat showing which was hugely disappointing, especially to coach Hendre Marnitz in charge of his final home game before his return to a position with Super 15 outfit The Bulls in his native South Africa.

But it seemed that maybe the Pirates could plunder something from this contest when David Heffernan got in for a well taken 58th minute home try in between two penalty misses by Stuart McCloskey, who had taken over place-kicking duties for Dungannon, his first effort rebounding off an upright. Although Carty was unable to convert from wide on the left, Buccs were now back in the hunt despite their tepid, off-colour performance.

However, Dungannon continued to go about their business in a solid, workmanlike and more cohesive manner and the busy Ali Birch sunk the Pirates when he careered through for a 72nd minute try which impressive former Bucc Bennett duly converted to seal the 26-12 winning margin. 

This was a hugely disappointing display by Buccaneers, who were unchanged in personnel from their previous win away to Blackrock College apart from Barry Digby coming in for illness victim Dolan, while Heffernan and Luke Satchwell swopped from positions where they had been very effective at Stradbrook. The Athlone outfit (for whom Garreth Halligan came on in the second half after a lengthy injury lay-off) were off the pace from the kick off and only sporadically played anywhere near expectations. Daniel Qualter was named ‘AUDI ATHLONE Man of the Match’ with Grace and O’Brien best of the rest.


BUCCANEERS:- J.O’Brien; S.Layden, A.Hayman, C.Finn, C.Boland; J.Carty, B.Digby; J.Roets, E.O’Brien, P.Reilly; M.Kearney, D.Qualter; D.Heffernan, E.Grace (captain) and L.Satchwell. Replacements:-  M.Staunton (for Reilly, blood sub. 5-18 mins), B.Henshaw (for Hayman, inj. 44 mins), G.Halligan (for O’Brien, 50 mins), M.Staunton (for Reilly, 54 mins), M.Dolan (for Digby, 66 mins) and J.Tormey (for Satchwell, 68 mins).

DUNGANNON:-  M.O’Shea; D.Simpson, S.McCloskey, P.Magee, C.Cochrane; J.Bennett, J.Finlay; S.Sinnamon, P.Jackson, B.Howard; P.McCallan, M.Dunleavy; D.Hall (captain), A.Birch and J.McMahon. Replacements:-  G.Sinnamon (for Howard, 28 mins), P.Howard (for G.Sinnamon, 36 mins), G.McGonigle (for Finlay, 51 mins), T.Smith (for McMahon, 51 mins), M.Faloon (for Simpson, inj. 66 mins) and J.McMahon (for Dunleavy, 70 mins).

Referee:- Jonathan Peake (Ulster).



BUCCANEERS DEVELOPMENT SQUAD continue their revival with their fourth successive bonus point victory in the Connacht Junior 1B League, accounting for Ballyhaunis by 31-10 at wet and cold Dubarry Park on Sunday. In the conditions, this was never going to be a champagne affair but Buccs were a shade slicker and fully deserved this hard-earned win.

Although generally conceding weight and size in testing conditions, the more spritely homesters got off to a flying start with James Donoghue finishing off good work by Conor Greene for a 3rd minute try which Jack Keegan converted. However, some over-elaboration on occasions denied them adding to their tally and Ballyhaunis came more into the contest coming up to the interval but they missed two longish penalties and thus the young Pirates led 7-0 at the break.

Despite having Rory Walshe in the sin bin on the restart, Buccs created the first chances of the second half. Keegan was short with a penalty kick but then landed a fine conversion from wide on the left touchline of winger Greene’s well-finished 45th minute try. Ballyhaunis responded with an unconverted try within two minutes before Buccs had a second yellow card with substitute David Burns incurring the wrath of the referee within a few minutes of his introduction. Nevertheless, Buccaneers again belied their temporary numerical inferiority a second time when compact No.8 Walshe burst through from outside the 22 for a splendid 58th minute try which Keegan converted to put the homesters 19-5 ahead.

Ballyhaunis replied with a second unconverted try within five minutes to leave the game still finely balanced before Buccs sealed the issue with the best score of the game on 66 minutes. John Maguire carried on a good break before off-loading delightfully to Ger Walsh who crashed over in the left corner. Keegan again demonstrated his place-kicking prowess with a super conversion of this bonus point try. Impressive fullback Maguire was also involved in the final score when he chased his own kick ahead to force a five metre penalty from which Glen Costello gleefully scampered away to dive over in some style in the corner for a smartly-executed try to complete the 31-10 winning margin.

Despite conditions not best suited to this Buccs squad — and not helping their own cause with a brace of yellow cards — their technique and workrate was superior than their opponents with the accomplished Keegan and Maguire doing excellent work in the backline and a balanced pack (that welcomed back Diarmuid Higgins after injury) standing up to a physically stronger Ballyhaunis unit.

BUCCANEERS:-  J.Maguire; C.Greene, D.Byrne, D.Griffith, G.Walsh; J.Keegan, G.Costello; M.Staunton, D.Lennon (captain), D.Higgins; J.Tormey, R.Byrne; J.Donoghue, D.Egan and R.Walshe. Replacements:- D.Burns (for Higgins, 46 mins), C.O’Neill (for Donoghue, 55 mins), J.O’Donoghue (for Lennon) and L.Doran (for Staunton, inj. 68 mins).   


BUCCANEERS teams have three daunting league fixtures, all away this weekend. The Senior squad have the longest trip all the way to Eaton Park where they face bottom of the table Ballymena in the Ulster Bank League, Division 1B, kick off 2.30 pm. The Braidmen have had a torrid start to the season and Buccs, who have lost both home games, must win this clash, otherwise they could get dragged in to a dogfight at the wrong end of the table. It is Hendre Marnitz’s final game in charge so the players must take pride in the jersey to give the coach a winning send-off. Kolo Kiripati is likely to be fit for this encounter and, with their talismanic captain back in the starting XV, the Pirates will surely have better firepower and commitment next Saturday. Incidentally, Buccaneers next AIL game is at home to Bruff. This key game has now been brought forward to Friday week, November 9th, with a 7.30 pm start in Dubarry Park.

Buccaneers U-21s probably have the toughest task on hand when they square up to Garryowen in the South-West Conference of the National League at Dooradoyle on Saturday, kick off 2.30 pm. The Limerick club are one of the strongest and so Buccs, who have a quite young squad, will have to be at their best to gain something from this duel. Concentration and discipline will be paramount.

The Thirds are also on the road as they head north-west to Hamilton Park, Strandhill, to tackle Sligo in the Connacht Junior 2 League on Sunday. With the clocks having gone back, kick off time is now 2.30 pm.


Hendrik Marnitz recently tendered his resignation as Senior Coach to Buccaneers to take up an appealing coaching role back in his native South Africa. Consequently, next Saturday’s crunch Ulster Bank League game away to Ballymena will be his final match in charge. Quietly-mannered and personable, Hendre will be greatly missed around Dubarry Park where his knowledge and avid interest in rugby has made an impact for over two years. In keeping with his unassuming manner, informal presentations were made to him by the club, the players and also St. Hilda’s School (with whom he formed a special bond through regular voluntary coaching sessions there) to thank him for his sterling endeavours. Hendre is taking up a key role with Super 15 franchise The Bulls. All at Buccaneers wish Hendre and his wife Cori every success in the future. Tony Dolan takes over the reins as Senior Coach next week.


The numbers drawn in this week’s BUCCANEERS LOTTO were 15, 18, 24 & 30. Due to the bank holiday, no details of any winner(s) is available at time of going to press.


The IRFU Grand Draw 2012 takes place next week so all tickets (sold or otherwise) should be returned to our Administrator Geraldine by this Friday, November 2nd. A super array of prizes are on offer in this draw with the star prize being a ‘Trip for two on the Lions tour to Australia next June’. That would certainly be super value for only €10 for the winner. Incidentally, the club is on a winner with this draw too as the proceeds of all tickets sold through Buccaneers is retained by the club. So, please, all members are urged to sell their tickets before the weekend. Thanks to everyone who has already sold and returned their ticket stubs to Geraldine.


With Christmas fast approaching, now is the time to order replica Buccaneers merchandise such as jerseys, socks, jackets, hoodies and hats. Please contact Ms. Jacqui Pears at 085-1133806 to check what is currently in stock and/or to order in time for delivery by the festive season. Meanwhile, a new supply of Buccaneers club ties has arrived. Ties cost circa €15 and can be purchased from our Administrator Geraldine at 086-1732711.


Membership Subscriptions should be paid in full by all members and players by October 31st.  The IRFU recommends that each player undertake their own appropriate Personal Accident Insurance Cover against any injury sustained from playing the game itself during the rugby season. The club does not compensate any medical expenses incurred.   


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