BUCCANEERS defeated Sligo 44-6 in the Connacht Senior Cup semi-final played at dry but windy Dubarry Park, Athlone, on Saturday. However, the victory was far from as clearcut as the scoreline indicates and the margin does not do justice to Sligo’s efforts in this contest.


Buccaneers absentees included Luke Satchwell and Alan Gaughan but, nevertheless, they fielded a reasonably strong side including captain Alex Hayman returning after injury. However, Sligo looked the better outfit for long spells, particularly when assisted by the breeze in the opening half. Approaching the break their advantage should have been greater than 6-3, Brooke Tremayne scoring their two penalties. A Ger O’Connor penalty was the Pirates sole response until just before

halftime Rory O’Connor ran straight at the visitors to score a try at the posts which he also converted to nose the Athlone

side 10-6 ahead at the interval.

Buccs got the scoreboard ticking over in the third quarter with a pair of Rory O’Connor penalties added to by a

penalty from his cousin Ger. This put the Pirates 19-6 to the good although battling Sligo were still very much in the contest.

However, Buccaneers were now getting their act together. The lineout had been abysmal but was now transformed while

the backline were more direct in their running. Handling had also improved and, with Sligo finally being stretched, gaps

and overlaps began to arrive.

As Sligo’s challenge wilted, Buccs prospered. Eoghan O’Reilly took on his man on the outside and scampered away for a converted try at the posts. Conor FitzGibbon profited too from the increasing space as he collected a brace of tries. Rory O’Connor got his second try and Kolo Kiripati barged over in typical fashion to notch Buccs sixth try.

Buccs looked rusty, particulary in the first half, but were highly efficient when they clicked late in the match. James Tormey, Josh O’Rourke and Scott Flanagan fared best in the forwards exchanges but overall the Pirates have work to do before the Halloween visit of Corinthians when the Ulster Bank League resumes shortly. Meanwhile, Sligo shipped another hammering on the scoreboard here but on this occasion it does not truly reflect their contribution to this encounter.     


                              BUCCANEERS:-  C.Boland; R.O’Connor, C.FitzGibbon, A.Hayman (captain), E.O’Reilly;

D.Fagan, G.O’Connor; M.Staunton, S.Flanagan, D.Higgins; J.O’Rourke, J.Tormey;         S.McCormack, R.Enraght-Moony and K.Kiripati. Replacements used:- M.Dolan (for Fagan, inj.,),

B.Walshe, B.Campbell, N.Flynn and R.Byrne.





BUCCANEERS U-20s consolidated their position on top of the Donal Walsh Trophy (North section) when they readily accounted for Nenagh Ormonde by 31-10 in Nenagh on Saturday. Although securing their third successive bonus point victory, Buccs again did not play to their full potential in a dogged contest spoiled by some heavy rain and a strong crossfield breeze. The John McCormack Memorial Cup was revived for this first meeting between the clubs in nearly two decades.  

BuccsU20MoM500The midlanders made three changes from the previous round’s win over Shannon. Lock Darren Blackweir and hooker Oisin Rowe came into the pack where Conor McGrath switched to tighthead prop while Cillian O’Donnell started on the wing with Harry Hughes moving to fullback in place of the unavailable Charlie McMickan.

A torrential shower heralded the kick off and a bulkier Nenagh outfit dominated the early exchanges but Buccs opened the scoring after just six minutes when Conor Morrissey made a splendid break to half-way from where Sean Doyle surged forward for a smashing try which he also converted. William Carroll missed a home penalty three minutes later but the Tipperary side’s territory was rewarded with a fine pushover Michael Doughan try after 18 minutes. Fullback Carroll’s conversion kick was wide of the target. Buccs then demonstrated that they too can score a pushover try when Evan Galvin finished off a fine drive on 24 minutes. Although Doyle’s conversion effort from the left touchline was narrowly wide, the Athlone side now led 12-5.

Five minutes later Buccs had their third try, scored on the other flank this time. Hughes started and finished the swift counter. Doyle squeezed in the conversion to put the Pirates, who had displayed the much better cutting edge, 19-5 ahead at halftime.  Hughes looked like adding a second just two minutes after the restart but was denied by a forward pass and the fullback was involved again in Buccs next try ten minutes later when his raid was finished off by Brian Gilligan to secure a bonus point try.

Moments later Gilligan incurred a sin binning and gutsy Nenagh capitalised to enjoy a good spell of pressure which was rewarded with a 62nd minute try, with the conversion attempt falling short.  Buccs responded with some decent sustained interplay that eventually stretched the Munster side’s defence and Morrissey sped in for a smashing 69th minute try on the right. Doyle’s successful conversion completed the 31-10 winning margin for Buccaneers. 

Buccs were full value for this comfortable victory but again lack of focus and application hampered their efforts. Morrissey, McGrath and Conor Kenny made major contributions in the forwards exchanges where Nenagh played with typical Munster style passion. Ricky Dixon, Hughes and Sean Dempsey were to the fore in the back-line’s endeavours while centres Gerard O’Gorman and Darragh Hassey did most for the hosts’ cause in this sector.

The John McCormack Memorial Cup was presented after the match to Buccaneers captain Evan Galvin by John McCormack, Jnr., son of the John McCormack who played with both Nenagh Ormonde and Athlone clubs before being killed tragically at a young age and who is commemorated by this fine trophy.

BUCCANEERS:-  H.Hughes; C.O’Donnell, S.Doyle, B.Gilligan, S.Dempsey; G.Lynch, R.Dixon; C.Walsh, O.Rowe, C.McGrath; C.O’Brien, D.Blackweir; C.Morrissey, E.Galvin (captain) and J.Foley. Replacements:-Conor Kenny (for Rowe, 33 mins), O.Rowe (for Walsh, 46 mins), Ross Flanagan (for Blackweir, 52 mins), Neil Conway (for O’Donnell, 57 mins), Ben Kennedy (for Dempsey, 74 mins) and Stephen Ward (for Dixon, 74 mins).


NENAGH ORMONDE:- William Carroll; Liam Finn, Gerard O’Gorman, Darragh Hassey, Aaron Hayes; Willie Coffey, Peter O’Leary; Gavin Hayes, Ciaran Lynch, Niall O’Gorman; Michael Doughan, Ben Moloney; John Healy, Eamonn Healy and John O’Flaherty. Replacements:- Darren Hassett, Gerard Mitchell and Daniel Purcell.




A highly-committed BUCCANEERS WOMENS team recorded a decent 31-5 win over Castlebar in the second round of the Connacht Womens Development League played at blustery Dubarry Park on Sunday. The Pirates did not manage the elements to their potential in the opening half but put in a tremendous final half hour to secure a rousing bonus point victory.


Buccs made four changes for this contest, two in the pack where Tracy Finnerty and Tina Kiernan started and another brace in the backline where Hazel Kilduff and Colette McSpadden lined out. The Buccettes had first use of the breeze which blew primarily from goal to goal. This ensured plenty of territory but the home girls handling let them down on a number of occasions. They also totally ignored the space afforded behind the visitors’ backline where deft chips over the cover would surely have reaped reward. The referee was a mite zealous on the whistle too, which did not help the flow of this contest, but to her credit she was consistent to both teams.

Consequently, it took the midlanders 24 minutes to open their account via a Michelle Reynolds penalty.

This score spurred Buccs to stepping up their efforts with Emer Phelan playing a captain’s role in some terrific rampages forward. She made serious yardage before linking up with McSpadden who sent Aislinn Kelleher scampering in for a super 28th minute try at the posts which McSpadden converted. The homesters really needed to add to their tally before the break but found Castlebar in defiant mood. Sandra Griffin and Kelleher were both stopped tantalisingly close to the Mayo side’s line before the inspiring Phelan powered over following a five-metre scrum in the final phase of the half, McSpadden’s conversion giving Buccs a 17-0 lead to protect in the second half.

It was now Castlebar’s turn to enjoy majority possession and territory, and their outside centre finally out-flanked the home cover to score an unconverted 54th minute try. It was nip and tuck for a period after this but, in the final quarter, Buccaneers really showed their mettle with a magnificent finish. They now took the game to Castlebar and got a solid foothold in the visitors’ half where some wonderfully sustained play was rewarded when Fabienne Cooney eventually found the key to unlocking the Castlebar defence to score a splendid 65th minute try. McSpadden duly converted to put Buccs in the driving seat again, 24-5 ahead.

Rejuvenated, they now piled on the pressure and a smart swift break was finished with aplomb by Reynolds for a 75th minute bonus point try. McSpadden’s place-kicking was flawless as she added a fourth successful conversion to complete the 31-5 winning margin.

This was an immensely spirited collective performance by Buccaneers, exemplified by the fiery tackling of Kiernan and Kilduff and the powerful thrusts of skipper Phelan. Sarah Kelly’s lineout throwing was spot on and Finnerty revelled in the forwards battle while backs Cooney and Reynolds made some exciting breaks as the Pirates improved further on their opening day endeavours. 


BUCCANEERS:- F.Cooney; N.Gough, H.Kilduff, M.Reynolds, M.Devaney; C.McSpadden, S.Griffin; T.Finnerty, S.Kelly, C.Mannion; L.Stuart-Trainor, A.Kelleher; A.Kemmy, T.Kiernan and E.Phelan (captain). Replacements:- E.O’Brien (for Griffin, inj. 54 mins), K.Bradley (for Stuart-Trainor, 59 mins),  M.Kiripati (for Finnerty, 73 mins), K.Downey (for Mannion, 73 mins), K.Hynes (for Finnerty, temp.46/62 mins), D.Cromar, G.Goldrick and D.Farrell.




BUCCANEERS THIRDS improving form finally gained reward when they pipped Ballina 15-14 in their Connacht Junior 1C League encounter at Heffernan Park, Ballina, on Sunday.


Although making four lineup changes, Buccs started well and were the much better outfit in the first half after which they led 15-3. Glen Costello scored a try following fine phases of play from the forwards and he was up in support to touchdown. Martin Lyons finished off a driving maul for a second good Buccs try. Costello landed one conversion and also kicked a penalty while Ballina replied with a penalty.

However, Buccs took their foot somewhat off the gas on the change of ends and a brace of penalties kept Ballina very much in touch. A try by the north-westerners left just the minimum between the sides. Buccs were held up close to the home line on a couple of occasions when perhaps they should have gathered some dividend but they knuckled down to the challenge and held on for a morale boosting victory that was really just reward for their improving efforts.


Lyons, Adrian Hughes and Niall Carr were to the fore in the forwards contribution to this key win while backs Ger Walshe, Michael O’Daly and John Shaughnessy can be well satisfied with their roles.

BUCCANEERS:- M.O’Daly; J.Shaughnessy,G.Fallon, G.Walsh, L.Didebashvili; G.Costello, N.Purcell (captain); C.Galvin, M.Lyons, K.Langdon; Anthony Hughes, C.Shanley; N.Carr, J.O’Connor and Adrian Hughes. Replacements:- P.Rikadze, D.Lennon and M.Curley.




BUCCANEERS U-20s take on U.L.Bohemian in the Donal Walsh Cup (North section) at Dubarry Park, Athlone, on Saturday afternoon, kick off 2.30 p.m.


This young Buccs outfit have made the perfect start in this league with three bonus point victories. Doing so, they still do not appear to have quite jelled and clearly there is room for improvement and greater potential in this squad. There certainly is a cutting edge among the backs and, hopefully, these young Pirates can raise their endeavours and be more composed and precise against U.L.Bohs who lie joint third. If they do that, then they can maintain their lofty position.

BUCCANEERS SECONDS play Tuam in the Connacht Junior 1B League under lights on Friday night when home advantage at Dubarry Park should ensure that the Pirates retain leadership of this league. Owen O’Reilly is unlikely to allow his charges drop their tempo or focus when the action against the basement club gets under way at 8 p.m.



Congratulations to Jamie Geraghty and his bride Alma on their recent wedding. Best wishes too to Niamh Gough’s mother Jean for a speedy recovery from an ankle injury.



Deepest sympathy is extended to David Dunning and family on the death of his mother Bridie. Ar dheis De a anam.



Buccaneers and Corinthians square up in a floodlit Connacht derby showdown on Friday week, October 31st, in Dubarry Park, Athlone, with this Halloween cracker kicking off at 7.30 p.m. There will be a pre-match function for this much anticipated match when you can enjoy a 3-course meal with wine in The Bounty, have a seat in the stand and a complimentary 100 page match programme. Cost is only €30 per person. Small or large groups can be catered for. Contact Pat Hynes 0876883833 or Geraldine Kenny 0861732711 to book.       

U17 v Sligo League at home.

Buccaneers under 17 team got off to a flying start in their first league match, at home to a fancied Sligo team with a narrow but hard fought win. On a showery October morning Buccs  started very well ,taking the game to Sligo and were unlucky after 10 mins not to score in the left corner, following sustained pressure from a significantly large and powerful Sligo pack.

The visitors were however first to get on the score board with a well taken try ,which they failed to convert, after 20mins.  Not allowing themselves to be overwhelmed these young Pirates fought back and scored a penalty  within 5 mins all the time playing into a strong breeze. 

As expected with the wind behind them the second half was all Buccaneers as they controlled they play with some super kicks into the Sligo 22 and converted a penalty after 10mins and eventually scored a well-deserved try after being held up over the line on 3 separate occasions.

Battered and bruised this heroic team held out for a justified 11-5 win.

The performance by this bunch of young men was a particularly heroic, with each one playing an equal part to defeat this fine Sligo side.

Due to the team work and commitment displayed, it would be wrong to single out any one man and if this team continue to play with the same commitment for the rest of the season, they will go far in this competition and do their club proud.

Team – Daniel Guinan, Brian Kenny, Thomas McGann, Corey Reid(C), Kyle Higgins, Dermot O’ Rourke, Robert Teape, David Noad, Kalem Byrne, Jamie Millins, Eric Fletcher, Darren Buckley, Dean Guinan, Arron Taylan.

U16 match report:

Buccaneers U16s travelled to Naas RFC on Saturday for a friendly fixture.

Buccaneers started with the aid of a strong wind and went into an ealy lead courtesy of a try from Kian McBrearty.

Naas rallied with two quick scores and went into half-time leading 10-5.

Naas took full advantage of the strong wind in the secong half running out comfortable winners on a scoreline of 33-17.

Buccaneers had further tries from Niall Murray and Alvaro Rodgiguez .

Buccaneers team:Jack Nolan,Adam Murray,Darren Tuohy(Captain) Ted Brosnan,Inigo Gomez Loteo,Eoghan Kenny,Anthony Lynch,Aaron O Reilly,Max Feehan,Kian McBrearty,Killian Foxe,Alvaro Rodriguez,Niall Murray,Mel Mullooly and David Gavin.

U13’s First League game v Claremorris

Sorry for delay, I’m terrible for surname’s and I don’t have my list with me, could you fill in the dots for the surnames. Good to see you last night at the GAA. Tell Natanial congrats from me and Conor and the win and hopefully they will do business against a good Moate side.

Friday night was a wash out weather wise, but Buccaneers U13’s v Claremorris was anything but.


Two well taken tries by the visiting team in the first half pegged the Bucc’s 15 back for a time, but from half way through the 1st period the home side took control and were starting to make good ground. Ruairdhi Fallon seeing a gap in behind opposition pack landed a perfectly positioned ball just inside the Claremorris 22. With a rampant Bucc’s pack in pursuit the ball was knocked on. The U13’s sensed an opportunity, with a dominant scrum Bucc’s managed to push the opposition back, Scrum Half Mikey Turner got clean ball and moved it with precision to Out Half Ruairdhi Fallon who in turn with quick hands moved the ball uninterrupted to team captain and 1st Centre Natanial O’Neill who straightened the line and carved a course for himself under the post.


Unfortunately the referee was uncertain of the grounded ball and gave a held up decision and a five yard scrum, to the dismay of both the players and supporters alike. However the Bucc’s team rallied again from the put in and good running from Gavin Daly and Luke O’Rourke allowed Bucc’s to again get a scrum in a prime attacking position. Full Back Adam Flanagan took the ball at pace from the scrum half and almost created an opportunity on his left wing but Claremorris were well up for the occasion and along with the nights awful weather helped to dampen Bucc’s attacking threat.


The 2nd half offered little in the way of chances for either team. The Home pack were starting to take control and Flanker Shane Finnerty and number 8 Ronan Hanley were starting to punch holes in the opposition defence. With excellent cleaning out at rooks by both second rower Sam Fogarty and Prop  Koronato Kirpati  the fight back was starting to take shape and with good running from 2nd half scrum half Ben O’ Carroll almost got himself over in the last 5 minutes but again Claremorris were dogged defenders and were good for their win.


Bucc’s are beginning to use the ball more intelligently and with an ever growing squad will allow for healthy competition for places at all positions, giving the coaching staff the headaches that only coaches want. Watch this space.



Mini-Rugby between Ballina RFC and Loughrea RFC