A youthful ERNIE’S CHILDREN took top honours in Buccaneers Summer Tag League when they pipped SPRINGBUCCS 14-12 in a fast moving Advanced Final at Dubarry Park, Athlone, on Friday evening. TAGGY ISLAND triumphed in the Social League outscoring NO WOMAN NO TRY in their decider as the two months long tournament came to a climax in unseasonably nippy weather conditions.

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Ernie’s Children and Springbuccs served up a fast-moving and highly entertaining contest in which scores were hard to come by and there was little between two enterprising outfits throughout. It was heartbreak again for Springbuccs as they tasted final defeat for the third year in succession despite the best endeavours of Harry Hughes, Martin Staunton, Ruairi Byrne and Aoife Ni Corry. They led by the minimum at half-time but Ernie’s Children, a new name in this season’s league, had pace throughout their squad with better balance and more potency in their female quartet. These girls – Lauren Kennedy, Niamh Geoghegan, Eva Cooney and Gemma O’Rourke – were lightning quick to support, be it in attack or to cover gaps in defence, displaying lessons learned on the hockey paddock. This proved the vital factor and enabled Eoghan O’Reilly, Graham Lynch and Rob Murray to counter decisively.

ERNIE’S CHILDREN:- Eoghan O’Reilly (captain), Graham Lynch, Lauren Kennedy, Eva Cooney, Gemma O’Rourke, Niamh Geoghegan, Cormac Langan, Terry Rushe, Rob Murray, Sean Garvey and Charlie McMickan.

SPRINGBUCCS:- Martin Staunton (captain), Ruairi Byrne, Harry Hughes, Rory Grenham, Bobby Pears, Christine Mannion, Aoife Ni Corry, Bret Harrington, Niamh Gough, Mairead Devaney and Dominic Griffiths.

In the other main final in the Advanced Pool, TAGGLE ROCK (backboned by players who had tasted ultimate success as part of the MURPHY’S LAW squad last season) proved too strong for SHADOW TAG on a 28-11 margin. Alex Hayman, Sean Byrne, Niamh Ni Dhroma, Nick Purcell and Paul Gallogly possessed too much guile for the losers who rued the absence through injury of Kolo Kiripati. Nevertheless, they battled gamely with Jamie O’Keeffe, Lucy McMickan, Paddy Browne and Adrian Hanley to the fore in their defiant efforts.

Thankfully, the weather remained dry for the finals albeit it got fairly cool before the final whistle. In the Social Pool, TAGGY ISLAND had too much momentum for NO WOMAN NO CRY in the top final in this section. They proved worthy winners on the pitch and, indeed, must have been close to the winners’ enclosure too for best fancy dress costumes!

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The overall rankings are as follows:

Advance League champions:- ERNIE’S CHILDREN;  Runners-up SPRINGBUCCS.

B:- Winners TAGGLE ROCK; Runners-up SHADOW TAG.

C:- Winners MUST TAG SALLY; Runners-up ALL SORTS.

D:- Winners SPONGE BOB TAG; Runners-up AVERAGE JOE’S.

Social League champions:- TAGGY ISLAND; Runners-up NO WOMAN NO TRY.

B:- Winners THOMAS THE TAG; Runners-up TRYERS.

C:- Winners RACING METRO-SEXUALS; Runners-up OCTOTAGGERS.

D:- Winners UNDER-TAGGERS; Runners-Up HODSON BAY-GINNERS.

E:- Winners DROP KICK MURPHY’S; Runners-up HOUSE OF FLYING TAGGERS.

F:- Winners TIC TAG; Runners-up VICTORIOUS SECRET.

Advanced League Player of the tournament:- EOGHAN O’REILLY (Ernie’s Children).

Social League Player of the tournament:- DONAL O’CONNOR (Hodson Bay-ginners).

Best team fancy dress costume:- OCTOTAGGERS.

Honourable mentions to RACING METRO-SEXUALS for their on-pitch costumes and to

THOMAS THE TAG for their innovative acceptance speech (Choo choo!).

Club President Joe Browne welcomed a full house to the awards presentations in The Bounty after the ten finals. He thanked all who had participated in this fantastic tournament and he congratulated the various winners. He hoped they all enjoyed it and that he would see many of them around Dubarry Park during the rugby season. The President particularly thanked the chief organisers Yvonne O’Shea, Billy McMickan and Sinead Connolly for their trojan efforts in running this popular event. Joe also singled out the referees for their contribution to the leagues and he thanked the various pub sponsors, especially The Bounty who were highly supportive all through and the complimentary BBQ was most welcome on the night. Live music by GINGER BISCUITS got the night really moving followed by a DJ stint to bring the tournament to it’s closure for this season.

ONE DAY ‘TAG FEST’ ON BANK HOLIDAY SUNDAY

BUCCANEERS are holding a one-day TAG Rugby Festival at Dubarry Park on bank holiday Sunday, August 2nd. The event will be not just about Tag Rugby but will have fun element, team building games on the day. Mixed squads of 13 players are invited to participate with minimum of 3 girls on the pitch at all time during matches. Teams will be pooled, guaranteeing a minimum of 4 matches. Rules are the same as for the recent Summer Tag League.

Meanwhile, the team-building games will include plank-walking race, hula-hoops race, tug-of-war and a relay race. Teams will earn points for these events also so it is not all down merely to the Tag Rugby! Entry fee per team is €100 so come along and participate in the fun! Registration is at 11 a.m. with the action getting under way at 12 noon.

Contact Nicola Fogarty at [email protected] or phone 0868791502 to enter or for further details.

ROBBIE HENSHAW TO ATTEND BUCCS SUMMER CAMP

Buccaneers Rugby Summer Camp for boys and girls aged 6 to 13 years old is taking place this week from 9.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. daily. Ireland international ROBBIE HENSHAW will attend on Friday morning. Contact Geraldine at 0861732711 to book.

TRAINING

With the first competitive match of the season little over three weeks away now, training for all adult players (U-20s up to First team) is in full swing and continues on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Players are to be togged and ready to go on the training area by 7 p.m.

CONDOLENCES

Deepest sympathy is extended to the family of the late Michael Boland. Ar dheis De a anam.

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