Buccs Seniors Away to Belfast Harlequins
Buccaneers head north on Saturday to tackle sixth-placed Harlequins in the Ulster Bank League at Deramore Park, 2.30pm. This is a tricky assignment for the Pirates but, if at full strength and playing to their potential, they have will prevail in what will likely be a well-contested encounter.
Harlequins' form has been somewhat topsy-turvy, wining their opener at home but losing the next two on Deramore. They will certainly not wish to lose a third on the trot in front of their own so the visitors expect a fiery and sustained effort. Conversely, they have been much more impressive away from Belfast, pipping UCC in Cork and demolishing Galwegians out west.
They have a potent mix of experience and youth in their squad, number-eight Neil McComb their strike weapon. The influence of this imposing back-rower must be curbed by Buccs. Hooker Niall Annett, who captained Ireland Under-20s last season, will be familiar to regulars at Dubarry Park. Prop Richard Lutton and experienced lock Gareth Rourke are other “go to” men in their pack. Scrumhalf Michael Heaney is a reliable goalkicker so discipline is imperative. The two young Rorys, Scholes and Blake-Knox, can switch from wing and full-back, and both will pose a scoring threat to the midlanders. Centre Mark Kettyle is another wily operator in their backline.
Although Buccaneers were inactive for the past couple of weekends (their Connacht Senior Cup semi-final away to Sligo rescheduled for December), they will travel with confidence, especially on the back of a fine overall display in overcoming leaders Ballynahinch last time out. The pack is gelling nicely and Kolo Kiripati’s battle with his opposite number McComb should be the duel of the day. David Heffernan and Eoghan Grace are two terrific operators in that backrow while a very young front five guided by hooker Garreth Halligan is proving a formidable unit. The backline, in which Jack Carty, John O’Brien and Mark Dolan have really caught the eye, is equally youthful and their exuberant play in both attack and defence is terrific.
It should be a cracking contest in which Buccs' teamwork and pace may prove decisive. Having watched ‘Area 22’ on TV on Friday night, we hope it will not come down to dropgoals!
A Supporters Bus will travel to Harlequins on Saturday, (sufficient demand). Cost should be in the region of €20/€25 return (depending on numbers). All those interested should contact Geraldine at 086-1732711 by Thursday.

OTHER FIXTURES
Buccs Development Squad hope to maintain momentum in Ballinrobe on Sunday for its Connacht J1B League fixture, 2.30pm. This could be a sticky enough venue to eke out a win but Buccs should have the quality and composure to overcome whatever ‘Robe can throw at them.
The Thirds are also on the road heading further north-west to Ballina where they throw down the gauntlet to the Mayo men in the Connacht J2 League on Sunday, kick off 2.30pm.
Meanwhile, Buccaneers ladies hope to return to winning ways in the Connacht Womens League when they face Athlone Institute of Technology in a derby encounter on Sunday at Dubarry Park.

POINTS DEDUCTED
The All-Ireland League sub-committee deducted two points from BUCCANEERS RFC after determining a breach of Regulation 9.14. That Sub Committee is entitled to impose all or any of a number of such sanctions/penalties.
After a meeting with two representatives from the club and a lengthy debate, the Sub Committee deemed that Sanction (v) – the deduction of competition points – was appropriate in this case. That could have been the loss of all four points in the match where James Robinson was inappropriately played.
However, members of the Sub Committee decided that, because of the forthright and honest presentation made by clubs representatives, the penalty should be the loss of two points.
Buccaneers RFC is not appealing this decision.

LOTTO
The first Buccaneers Lotto draw takes place this week. The support of all members, players and followers is urged which, if successful, would greatly reduce the need for other fund-raising events by the club. All tickets sold should be handed in to our Administrator Geraldine by Tuesday when the draw is scheduled to commence.

TABLE QUIZ
The club is holding a pre-Christmas TABLE QUIZ in The Bounty on Thursday, December 1. Teams of four are welcome to attend, entry €40 per team. Starting time is 8.30pm. Cash for winners, plus an array of Raffle prizes also to be won. All support welcome.

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