BUCCS HOME TO SLIGO ON SATURDAY EVENING

 

RUGBY with MICHAEL SILKE

 

BUCCANEERS have their first competitive home game of the season when they entertain Sligo in the Connacht Senior League at Dubarry Park on Saturday evening with a 6 p.m. kick off. With with the All-Ireland League now less than a month away, it is imperative that the midlanders crank up a gear or two. The visit next week of Galwegians to Athlone is another reason why the Pirates will need to focus swiftly!

 

Sligo had been ‘bridesmaid’ to Monivea in the Connacht Junior affairs in recent seasons but when the IRFU extended the All Ireland League by including the four provincial Junior League winners for the coming season, lo and behold Sligo left Monivea in their slipstream to gain promotion to the newly named Division 2B. They have been busy recruiting and preparing hard for their debut in the AIL but their confidence will surely have suffered a real knock when Galwegians blew them away 48-5 at Hamilton Park in their return to Connacht Senior League action although they gave a much better account of themselves away to Corinthians last Saturday.

 

Kolo_Kiripati350However, they will be stung by those defeats and will be keen to atone quickly. Consequently, they will be dangerous foes when they arrive in Athlone this weekend. Versatile back and former Buccaneers captain Niall O’Hara will be well known to midlands followers as should towering lock James Wilson who also played AIL with the Pirates. Paddy Pearson is a very able scrumhalf for Sligo and he is likely to be joined at halfback by another New Zealander Daniel Hawkins. Outhalf Hawkins comes with a decent pedigree and is likely to debut at standoff for Sligo who are also expected to feature Hugo Laffitte, a former France U-18 international now studying at Sligo I.T. Mala Fifita is a powerful centre and Aaron Spring a burgeoning prospect in the pack where much will be expected from durable prop Adrian McHale and experienced No. 8 Peter Mullan.

 

For their part, Buccaneers are likely to be missing a bevy of key players but that means an opportunity for others to stake their claims for starting berths when the AIL comes round next month. Young players like the three Rorys — O’Connor, Byrne and Walshe — will relish another chance to shine while John Hayes, Sean Stapleton, Tomas Bennett and Mike Ward are others keen to nail down starting positions as is Conor Molloy. Alex Hayman is expected to be fit following his injury against Connemara as is Conor Lavelle, while Mark Dolan, Denis Buckley and David Heffernan are among those who may get their first runs for the midlanders this season. New skipper Kolo Kiripati will surely lead from the front with able assistance from Garreth Halligan, Paul Harte, James Tormey, Eoin Rooney and new signing John Rowe.

 

Sligo have the nucleus of a decent squad and they will surely raise their game from their opening day setback but, hopefully, Buccs will have all the requisite answers in their armoury in what is likely to be a keen tussle.

 

REGISTRATION DAY CHANGE

 

Due to factors beyond our control, the date for Buccaneers Registration Day has been moved forward by one day to Friday, September 16th. All Minis and Youths players are asked to come along and register between 6.30 p.m. and 8 p.m. All players must register so that they are eligible to play for Buccaneers in the coming season.

 

These young players and their parents/guardians are then invited to complimentary hot food afterwards with hot dogs and burgers “on the club”. This should give you all an opportunity to get to know one another in a social situation, and the club hopes there will be a large turnout on the night.

 

Membership subscriptions are as follows:- Family €150; Adult/Youth €80; Mini’s up to U-12 €60.

 

WOMEN WANTED!

 

TOM REILLY has the best coaching role in the club and he knows it! He is endeavouring to field a Buccaneers Womens team this season and he is looking for more women. The affable Tom is confident that Buccs (or should that be Buccettes?) can muster a squad, judging by the interest from ladies who participated in the Summer Tag Tournament in Dubarry Park.

 

No previous playing experience is necessary. Training/coaching takes place on Mondays at 7.30 p.m. Rory Grenham and Rory Byrne will be assisting Tom with, I understand, Emma Pillion and Catherine Moore also helping out. So, girls, why not come along next Monday night and try it out or pop out to Buccaneers Senior League game against Sligo on Saturday evening. It surely beats watching ‘Eastenders’ and the like! For further details, contact Tom at 087-4185165.

LOTTO

 

All sold Lotto tickets should be returned to any member of the Executive Committee or to our Administrator Geraldine as early as possible to facilitate getting the Lotto up and running as smoothly as possible. The weekly prize fund begins at €2,000 increasing by €200 every week that the main prize is not won. Annual subscription to our Lotto is €100 which can be paid by annual or quarterly Bankers Order.

 

CONNACHT v MUNSTER IN DUBARRY PARK

 

It may not be the Senior side but it could well be a far more entertaining Connacht team that lines out against Munster in the U-20 Interprovincial series at Dubarry Park on Friday, September 23rd. A raft of young Buccaneers players are likely to feature in this clash which could well be the decisive game in the U-20 championship. Kick off is 4 p.m. so pencil it in to your diaries now!

 

WORLD CUP

 

Best of luck to Ireland in the World Cup which gets under way this weekend in New Zealand where they square up to the Eddie O’Sullivan coached USA in their opening Pool match.

 

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