YOUNG BUCCS GO TOP

RUGBY with MICHAEL SILKE

WATERPARK 6  BUCCANEERS 40

BUCCANEERS U-20s moved to top of the South-West Conference Division One League following another bonus point victory when defeating Waterpark 40-6 in Waterford on Saturday.  Injuries meant that the Pirates fielded with four changes to their starting XV for this encounter and it took the midlanders quite some time to reach the necessary tempo. However, they put in an impressive second half performance that maintains their wonderful start to the league.

Terry Hynes, Conor Morrissey and Dan Kiely came into the pack while Tom Finucane started in the backline. Conditions in the south-east were good with a firm sod and no breeze. Waterpark came flying out of the traps and pinned Buccs back in the opening quarter. They forced a series of penalties to take a 6-0 lead but they were to later rue missing a further three placekicks in that promising start. Buccs gradually got their act together and Finucane opened their account when, following a ruck, the ball was moved wide and the winger got in near the corner. Ben Carty converted to give the visitors a lead they never looked like relinquishing thereafter. They hit Waterpark with a sucker punch in the final move of the half when Finucane gathered a long kick ahead to counter attack and he set up Eoghan O’Reilly for a try which Carty converted for a 14-6 halftime advantage.

Buccs took over in the second half and, following some sustained pressure, Ricky Dixon broke through for a try at the posts that Carty somehow failed to convert! But the outhalf was soon back on song, converting a further three Pirates tries. Harry Hughes finished off a raid after the ball was moved out the backline. Next O’Reilly was on hand to capitalise on a further series of pick and goes to touch down at the posts and then the fullback completed his hat-trick when Carty’s crossfield kick was pinpoint accurate to expose the hosts.

Backs O’Reilly and Carty regularly caused all sorts of problems for Waterpark. Hynes excelled for Buccs with Saba Meunargia (despite spending ten minutes in the sin bin) another key influence in the front row. Cian Romaine and Sam McCormack also made notable contributions.  Buccaneers match against Sundays Well has been brought forward to next Saturday with a 12.30 p.m. kick off, so these young Pirates will have an early start for their second trip to Cork in a fortnight.

BUCCANEERS:-  E.O’Reilly; T.Finucane, S.Doyle, S.Dempsey, H.Hughes; B.Carty, R.Dixon; T.Hynes, C.McGrath, S.Meunargia; C.Romaine, D.Kiely; C.Morrissey, R.Enraght-Moony and S.McCormack. Replacements used:- D.Small, P.McLoughlin, B.Gilligan and R.Ashe.

TUAM 10  BUCCANEERS 18

BUCCANEERS THIRDS climbed to third place in the Connacht J2 League following this hard-earned 18-10 win away to Tuam on Sunday. In miserable wet conditions, the first half was evenly contested but Buccs had the better of the exchanges thereafter for a merited victory.

The opening half was a messy enough affair and ended with the teams level 3-3. However, the returning Karl Turley finally unlocked the home defence for a well-taken try shortly after the change of ends. Darren Costello scored a penalty in each half before substitute Kevin Langdon got the decisive score when he rumbled over the home line for a try. This was a solid team effort, particularly effective after the interval when the pack worked well as a unit. Here young No.8 Peadar Hennessy caught the eye while Turley, Brian Walsh at fullback and Nicky Purcell were best of the backline.

BUCCANEERS:- B.Walsh; M.Tormey, J.Shaughnessy, K.Turley, G.Fallon; D.Costello (captain), N.Purcell; P.Rikadze, K.Grehan, C.Galvin; G.Kenny, V.McGrath; M.Lyons, K.Kennedy and P.Hennessy. Replacements:- C.O’Reilly, J.Lopez, C.Shanley, K.Langdon and O.Flaherty. 

BUCCANEERS 34 BALLINA 11

Two tries apiece from Brian Stack and Conor Murray and a try from Brian Collins saw this emerging Buccaneers U-17s side take the Connacht League points in commanding style against a solid Ballina side by 34-11 at Dubarry Park last Saturday. The win was marred by an injury to prop Conor Kelly mid way through the first half and Conor was taken by ambulance from the field of play.  It appears the injury may be restricted to a very bad foot sprain and the team wish him well with his recovery. Donal Ryan did a good job when coming on as replacement and, with Michael Burnell and Jake Berry, they had another solid performance as a front row unit.

Buccaneers dominated this game on the scoreboard but Ballina were stubborn and fronted up very well in the pack where honours were even through the match. Willie O’Meara and Brian Finlay did a lot of the unseen hard work at the breakdown and were well supported by back rows Brian Collins, Kieran Rigney and Ryan Jinks.  Jinksy broke the line on a number of occasions with his now customary abrasive style and he was a willing ball carrier all through the game. This forwards unit will continue to develop and will need to be even more committed and cohesive for tougher tests to follow.

But  it was the Buccaneers backline that lit up the day with centres Colin Kenny and Stack causing all sorts of difficulties and they were given lots of opportunity to run with fine distribution from both Paddy Browne at scrum half and outhalf Luke Carty. Carty also had a strong day from the boot, and as well as some excellent work in finding touch, he added a penalty and three conversions for a haul of 9 points. Congratulations to Stack who scored those two tries on his starting debut for Buccaneers. His second try drew cheers from those in attendance as he broke the line and raced under the posts despite several attempts from Ballina to put him down.  His partnership with Kenny is a hugely anticipated one for the future.

Jamie O’ Keeffe and Jason Wentzel started in their preferred wing positions and were solid in offence and defence. However it was full back  Murray who really laid down a marker on Saturday. His lines of running were exceptional, and one charged block down aside, he was totally assured and was unlucky not to add to his two tries on a number of occasions due to resolute Ballina defending. He was also commanding under the high ball and will have drawn a lot of satisfaction from his overall performance.

BUCCANEERS:- M Burnell, J Berry, C Kelly, B Finlay, W O’Meara, K Rigney, B Collins, R Jinks, P Browne,  L Carty, J O’Keeffe, B Stack, C Kenny, J Wentzel, C Murray, D Ryan, D Deehan, B Daly, J Ryan, C Jockner, E Kanimon, B McEvoy and N O’Kane.

BUCCS HOME TO DUNGANNON ON SATURDAY NIGHT

BUCCANEERS will strive to return to winning ways when they host Dungannon under the Dubarry Park, Athlone, floodlights on Saturday night. This Ulster Bank League match kicks off at 7.30 p.m.  Dungannon lie in seventh place in Division 1B, four berths below the midlanders.

Buccs, who suffered their first reverse of the season when going down in controversial circumstances by a solitary point at Corinthians, should have sufficient strength in reserve to overcome the Ulster club. They also have the incentive to avenge last season’s home defeat when Gannon surprised the Pirates early in the season. The northerners have exciting talent in their backline where Peter Nelson, Chris Cochrane and Chris Farrell are a potent trio. James Bates skippers the side at scrumhalf while Stuart McCloskey could be partnered in the centre by club president Paul Magee! The Sinnamon brothers and Paul Jackson (brother of Ireland’s Paddy) form a hardy front row. Sean Doyle is an exciting back-rower while lock Plunkett McCallan is a late convert from GAA.

Buccs will look to Jack Carty and Mark Dolan to dictate the tempo and territory. Shane Layden, Billy Henshaw and Eoghan O’Reilly have the finishing finesse to more than match the visitors. Danny Qualter, Conor Kindregan and Martin Staunton, backed by young guns Luke Satchwell and Rory Moloney can ensure that the home backs get decent possession. If Buccaneers are as clinical and disciplined as they need to be, then they can fashion a home win in this Hodson Bay Group sponsored game.

A pre-match function takes place in The Bounty, sitting at 6 p.m. 3-course meal + wine, seat in the stand and matchday programme all for just €30 per head. Terrific value. Some places still available. Contact our Administrator Geraldine at 086 1732711 to book. Groups or individuals welcome.  

EARLY KICK OFF IN JUNIOR CUP

Because the Ireland v New Zealand international fixture takes place on Sunday, BUCCANEERS SECONDS have an early kick off when they commence their Heineken Connacht Junior Cup campaign at home to Ballyhaunis. This game is now a 12 noon showdown at Dubarry Park on Sunday. There is tons of potential and experience in this Buccs outfit but they have not clicked just yet as a unit. Hopefully the Cup will bring out the best in them. The Byrne brothers, Lorcan Walsh, Liam Doran and Rory Grenham form the nucleus of a decent pack that could feature Kolo Kiripati. Meanwhile backs Paul Harte, Decie Byrne, David Fagan and Glen Costello are capable of being match-winners. On home soil, Buccs should advance.

BUCCANEERS THIRDS also have home advantage on Sunday when they entertain Westport in the Connacht J2 League. This game is scheduled to kick off at 2.30 p.m. but that could change too due to the All Blacks match. (Check club’s website for latest information). Buccs will be expected to make it a home win if they are focussed and purposeful.

Meanwhile, BUCCANEERS U-20s face a very early start on Saturday morning as their South-West Conference League Section A fixture away to Sundays Well has been brought forward to this Saturday with a 12.30 p.m. kick off in Musgrave Park. Buccs currently sit atop this league, following a hugely promising start to their campaign that includes bonus point wins in three of their four victories to date. They have some very exciting players in their panel and, if they can improve discipline to match the enterprise and effort shown so far, they can make it two successive wins in Cork in a fortnight.     

ROBBIE HENSHAW

A surprisingly lack-lustre Ireland made too many errors in shipping a 32-15 defeat by Australia last Saturday. However, for ROBBIE HENSHAW it was nevertheless an occasion to remember as the young Buccaneers player won his third Senior cap and his first on home soil. There will be better days ahead at this level for the Coosan centre and, fingers crossed, next Sunday against the mighty All Blacks could be one of them!

buccswomens360FIVE BUCCS IN CONNACHT TEAM

Five Buccaneers players featured in the Connacht Womens side that took on their Leinster counterparts at Dubarry Park last Wednesday night. Colette McSpadden started and Emer Phelan was an early substitute, while Mele Kiripati, Natasha Egan and Michelle Reynolds also got game time in a commendable 12-0 defeat.

PARTY NIGHT AT THE BOUNTY

THE BOUNTY is putting on a Christmas Festive Party Night on Saturday, December 14th. Five-course meal, late bar, dancing to the Showband sound of TOP BRASS followed by a DJ, all for only €25 per head. You won’t get better value than that this Christmas. Phone 090-6477566 to book.

PITCH BOOKINGS/LOCK UP

On the subject of bookings, teams must use the on-line booking link on the club’s website www.buccaneersrfc.com to book pitches for matches and/or training. This should be done by Tuesday evening so that allocations of pitches can be confirmed or otherwise at the club’s weekly Executive Committee meetings.

Also, each team is responsible for putting out the flags and goal-post pads and, more importantly, putting them back in an orderly fashion in the storage container, which should be then locked. Some teams are falling down in this regard while the floodlights (quite an expensive facility to use) have been left on, on more than one occasion recently. All players and mentors are urged to respect this request.   

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