BUCCANEERS U-20s made it four wins in succession in the Donal Walsh Trophy when Sean Doyle’s late penalty delivered a 17-16 victory at Dubarry Park on Saturday that keeps the Athlone side on top of the North section of this league. This was a tight, hard-earned victory in testing weather conditions when the young Pirates had to display spades of resolve to overcome dogged visitors. 


500Buccs Ul BohsFollowing three bonus point wins on the trot, Buccs may have been lulled into a false sense of comfort when despite playing against the breeze they opened the scoring inside the opening minute. But a gritty Limerick outfit battled in typical manner to the bitter end before Buccaneers could breathe a collective sigh of relief. The homesters made three changes from last week’s John McCormack Cup triumph with Conor Kenny and Ross Flanagan returning to the pack while Neale Conway made a first start in the back line.

Buccs notched an opportunist try within 28 seconds of the kick off! Sean Doyle blocked Craig Miller’s attempted clearance inside the visitors’ 22 and he was swiftest to react to pounce for a try which he also converted. Miller responded with a brace of penalties on 4 and 14 minutes, interspersed by a Doyle placekick that was off-target against the elements. James Foley made good ground shortly afterwards but then the home side got in a tangle by over-complicating their manoeuvres and thus a good scoring chance went a-begging before they then had a narrow escape at the end of the opening quarter when their own hasty throw-in caused havoc but Ricky Dixon rescued this situation with a fine kick to touch.

The UL Bohs pack had both height and bulk advantage on the hosts and they capitalised on this after 25 minutes when an impressive maul down the left sucked in the home cover. When the Munster side moved the ball to the other flank, Buccs were stretched and Ian O’Connor just squeezed in at the corner flag. Miller added a sublime conversion to put UL Bohs 13-7 ahead. Buccs had a number of snipes with Evan Galvin, Dixon and Sean Dempsey ever willing to make a break but they had a let off just before halftime when Foley spilled the ball at the back of a scrum. The visitors surged forward but Buccs held them up on the line and, from the ensuing scrum, forced a penalty which they unwisely failed to simply punt to touch. With UL Bohs on the offensive again, Galvin was sin-binned for slowing possession and Miller slotted over the resultant penalty with the final action of the half to give the Limerick lads a 16-7 lead at the break.

14-man Buccs struggled to make headway following the change of ends until Dempsey made good ground from deep to link up with Harry Hughes whose chip ahead caused consternation in the UL Bohs ranks. The home fullback was on to the chance in a flash and, after grubber kicking ahead, won the race to touchdown for a 48th minute try which Doyle converted. It now seemed likely that Buccs would drive on from here but rain arrived to negate some of the advantage of the breeze and also make handling difficult. UL Bohs too did their utmost to discommode the midlanders, particularly in the forwards battle where No.8 Jack Codyre and hooker Joe Bennett excelled.

A blistering Hughes break on 63 minutes merited a try but his opposite number Sean Carey’s tackle stopped him just metres short of the try-line. Buccs put in a huge scrum just after this to create space but spoiled this opportunity with a wayward pass as they toiled to find a way through a defiant UL Bohs opposition. Ten minutes from time, Codyre blotted his solid effort with a punch that earned him a yellow card and yielded a long-range penalty to the hosts. Doyle was not found wanting with a superb kick to edge Buccs ahead by the minimum. In the frantic closing exchanges, Conor Kerr joined his team-mate in the sin bin as Buccs protected their precious advantage to the final whistle.         

Again one feels that Buccs are capable of more than they showed in this performance, yet their winning streak has them top of the pile. A lack of height and real bulk in the pack is a concern but the forwards can certainly not be faulted for effort. The conditions may not have suited a backline that has demonstrated its cutting edge but, overall, a more clinical and canny approach may be needed in future fixtures. Conal O’Brien, Conor Morrissey and Galvin were industrious in the pack while Doyle, Brian Gilligan and Dixon were prominent in the backline. Meanwhile, it must be noted that no less than four Buccs U-20s featured in Connacht Eagles win last week ….. Rory Moloney, Cian Romaine, Stephen McVeigh and Saba Meunargia would certainly boost the Pirates pack when available! 

BUCCANEERS:-  H.Hughes; S.Dempsey, B.Gilligan, S.Doyle, N.Conway; G.Lynch, R.Dixon; C.Walsh, C.McGrath, C.Kenny; R.Flanagan, C.O’Brien; C.Morrissey, E.Galvin (captain) and J.Foley. Replacements:- S.Ward (for Conway), D.Blackweir (for Morrissey, inj.), O.Rowe, S.Gallagher, C.O’Donnell and C.McMickan.


U.L.BOHEMIAN:-  S.Carey; C.Gilmore, G.O’Connor, D.McGrath, I.O’Connor; C.Miller (captain), C.Foley; S.Lackey, J.Bennett, P.Carey; C.Kerr, F.Hurley; C.Dowd, A.Clancy and J.Codyre. Replacements:- S.Shinners, V.Lyons, R.Daly, L.Ivory, J.Compton, E.Ryan and E.Fahey.


REFEREE:-  Jason Cairns.




BUCCANEERS SECONDS continued their impressive run with a tough 22-5 Connacht Junior 1B League victory over Tuam under the Dubarry Park floodlights on Friday night. Buccs made a number of changes for this tie played on the main pitch including the siting of skipper Sean Byrne at No.8 while the match also saw the return to action of Jack Feeney after injury.

Buccs made a solid start and Scott Flanagan opened their account with an early try. Tuam responded well but did not convert pressure into scores. Young hooker Flanagan then scored his second try for the Pirates following a well-worked maul from twenty metres. This was soon added to by a Sean Flynn touchdown and, although all three tries were unconverted, Buccs now enjoyed an encouraging 15-0 lead.

Tuam rallied again to get in for a try before half-time. The doughty visitors made the hosts work hard and the third quarter remained scoreless. Buccs then broke the westerners’ hearts when Flynn surged in for a try to secure a bonus point. David Fagan added the conversion to complete the 22-5 winning margin that keeps Buccs in pole position in this division.


BUCCANEERS:- J.Feeney; G.Walsh, B.Walsh, S.Flynn, J.Lopez; D.Fagan, G.Fallon; B.Campbell, S.Flanagan, K.Grehan; R.Byrne, A. Hughes; J.Donoghue, R.Enraght-Moony and S.Byrne (captain). Replacements:- G.Halligan, P.Rikadze, R.Grenham, D.Griffiths and N.Purcell.




BUCCANEERS take on Connacht rivals Corinthians in a floodlit encounter at Dubarry Park, Athlone, when the Ulster Bank League resumes on Friday night. This Halloween cracker kicks off at 7.30 p.m. Both clubs were among the pace-setters in Division 1B last season, virtually permanent features in the top three before Buccs lasted the pace that bit better to claim the runners-up berth. Surprisingly, both teams have struggled somewhat in the current campaign with the Pirates in fifth position and the Galway club lying in eighth place, just one point above the bottom two clubs.

Corinthians have managed just one victory to date and have suffered a couple of heavy defeats including a 30-7 reversal at home to Shannon last time out. However, they have the nucleus of last season’s squad and will inevitably improve. A derby encounter too will surely help them focus! James Buckley and Darin Classen are their two most consistent backs while Miah Nikora has been a regular at outhalf. Mickey Murphy is a busy link at scrumhalf while Finlay Bealham, Joey Merrigan and Jamie Dever provide a competitive front row foundation. No.8 Eoghan Masterson is their most influential forward and James Connolly will take watching while veteran lock Garry Warde will battle to the very end.

Both clubs were woeful in opening day losses up North but Buccs turned matters around quickly with fine victories over Garryowen and Shannon. A tremendous first half display against Galwegians then followed before the Athlone side somehow contrived to throw that game away. A worrying trend has been second half fadeouts which will, hopefully, have been rectified in the interim. Buccs must be more ruthless when on top. They need to be sharp and smart from start to finish and, with Alex Hayman back to lead the side after injury, they will surely be better organised and efficient. Luke Satchwell is the only injury doubt while Garreth Halligan could also feature in this Ganlys of Athlone sponsored match.

Both teams endeavour to play high tempo rugby so, if conditions are favourable, it should be both competitive and entertaining fare. A pre-match function takes place in The Bounty prior to this game; 3-course meal with wine, seat in the stand and 100-page match programme all for just €30 per person. Contact Geraldine 0861732711 or Pat Hynes 0876883833 to book. Bookings from groups and individuals welcome. Children U-16 accompanied by an adult are admitted free to all home matches.


Other Fixtures

BUCCANEERS SECONDS wind up the first half of their Connacht Junior 1B League campaign at home to Castlebar on Sunday, kick off 2.30 p.m. On their own patch, Buccs should have the wherewithal to maintain their momentum. THE THIRDS are also at home on Sunday but they will face a much stiffer test from visitors Sligo in their Connacht Junior 1C match. But having won last time out, Buccs will be keen to build on that victory. Kick off 2.30 p.m. Dubarry Park looks like being particularly busy on Sunday as the WOMENS team are also in action when they take on NUI Galway in the Connacht League, with this game getting under way at 2 p.m. The Buccs ladies have made a highly promising start in this league and, if they maintain the improvement shown to date, they can take the Students’ scalp.   



Connacht Senior squad will hold a training session in Dubarry Park on Friday, November 14th. This session will be open to the public and all, especially schools, are welcome to come along to the Athlone stadium from 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. where they can check out the players including Mils Mulliani go through their paces under the watchful eye of head coach Pat Lam.


Membership Subs & Insurance


Membership Subscriptions are due to be paid in full by all members including players and mentors by this Friday, October 31st. An encouraging number of our Underage players have already paid their Subs. The IRFU recommends that all players undertake their own Personal Accident Insurance cover against any injury sustained from playing the game itself during the rugby season. The Club does not compensate for any medical expenses incurred. Membership Subscriptions should be paid to the relevant team managers or directly to our Administrator Geraldine during the club’s office hours.   



Congratulations to our neighbours Garrycastle and St. Brigid’s on their respective Senior Football successes in Westmeath and Roscommon respectively.  Congrats too to Jamie Geraghty and his bride Alma on their recent nuptials.



Deepest sympathy is extended to David Dunning and family on the death of his mother Bridie.


Support our U-14s

Buccaneers U-14s are one of the groups bidding for a share of the Tesco Community Fund so, if you are shopping there, kindly pop your Blue token into Buccs collection slot instore. The more tokens the better chance they have of winning so please support.     


Mini-Rugby between Ballina RFC and Loughrea RFC