The second Midlands Sevens tournament takes place in Dubarry Park on this Saturday, August 14th, starting at 11 a.m. Alex Hayman is again the event director with assistance this year from Ray Fagan and entries are invited from Junior and U-21 teams as well as Senior clubs this term. Panels are limited to a maximum of 12 players and the entry fee is a very agreeable €120 per team, which includes free BBQ for each player! Food and beverages will, of course, be available to supporters and others throughout the day at The Bounty.

The club is optimistic on building on last year’s initial Midlands Sevens and Alex believes that this event provides an ideal pre-season opener for clubs as it gives the mentors a chance to gauge their players’ fitness and skills levels whilst also encouraging bonding before the ‘real’ action kicks off very shortly. The tournament gives a good mix of competitive rugby as well as social inter-action and increased numbers are anticipated on Saturday.

Entries can be made/confirmed by contacting our Administrator Geraldine at 086-1732711 or emailing [email protected] for further information. 


The Galway Festival may have coincided with the opening rugby match at the Aviva Stadium but, unfortunately, Connacht/Munster were never at the races in their game against their Leinster/Ulster development counterparts who cruised to an emphatic 68-0 victory in the O2 Challenge that marked the historic first official match at the hugely impressive arena. The winners got some early scores on the board and, consequently, the game proved a damp squib. Overall, they had better players but they looked well drilled and seemed to have had decent preparation, whilst the losers looked like they had hardly met one another previously. Their handling particularly, at this level, fell far short of requirements in a most disappointing display.

Nevertheless, Mark Dolan (who led the squad out as captain), Callum Boland and Daniel Qualter can still reflect with pride on being involved in the first action at the Aviva. Buccaneers U-12’s too can bask in the glory of participation in the opening day’s fare despite losing to Portadown by two tries to nil.  


Pre-season training gets under way in earnest this week with sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 p.m. New coach Hendre Marnitz is due in Athlone at time of writing and he will get a chance to run his eye over the bulk of the squad at the Midlands Sevens on Saturday while Buccaneers have a senior friendly away to Young Munster on Saturday week, August 21st.


Fixtures for the forthcoming All-Ireland League have been announced and Buccaneers commence their Division 1B campaign at home to the Meagher brothers and newly-promoted Lansdowne who may also include other ex-Buccs David Lavin and Trevor Conneely in their squad on October 2nd. The midlanders will really need to hit the ground running for this match! Their first away game follows at the other promoted club Bruff which will be the first Senior meeting between these two clubs. The full AIL schedule is as follows:-
October 2        Lansdowne (h)
October 9        Bruff (a)
October 23        Clontarf (a)
October 30        U.C.C.    (h)
November 13        U.L.Bohemian (a)
November 27        Galwegians (h)
December 4        Dungannon (a)
January 29        Bruff (h)
February 5        Clontarf (h)
February 12        U.C.C. (a)
February 19        U.L.Bohemian (h)
February 26        Galwegians (a)
March 26        Dungannon (h)
April 2            Lansdowne (a)   


The ‘Try Rugby Summer Camp’ for national school children proved a big draw recently at Dubarry Park and a second camp takes place in Dubarry Park next week from Monday, August 16th to Friday 20th. This is organised by the Irish Rugby Institute and will provide separate coaching camps for teenagers and younger rugby enthusiasts. The ‘Mini’ camp is for ages 5 to 11 and seems primarily aimed to encourage their enjoyment of rugby whilst practicing passing and kicking as well as having fun making new friends. The ‘Academy’ camp is geared for those aged 12 to 18 who may be a bit more serious about their rugby. Skills, psychology and conditioning will be among the areas covered by their coaches, including former Buccaneers favourite CHRIS KEANE, who won a Heineken Cup with Leinster in 2009. Enrollment forms are available at The Bounty or applications can be emailed online to [email protected]  Further details can be obtained by phoning Irish Rugby Institute at 01-8391604.


BUCCANEERS ‘Annual Golf Classic’ is scheduled to take place at the magnificent Glasson Golf & Country Club course on the shores of scenic Lough Ree on Friday, August 27th. Entries from teams of four are welcome and, of course, the earlier you enter, the better your chances of securing a preferred starting time. Hugh Conlon and Eamonn Fagan are the driving forces for this popular event. To book or obtain further information, phone the busy  Geraldine at 086-1732711.  


A summer Youth Disco takes place at The Bounty on this Thursday night August 12th with music by top DJ Paul Harte from 9 p.m. until midnight. This disco is again organised in association with the Athlone Drugs Awareness Group and the support of the Athlone Gardai. Tickets are on sale at Musicworld and no under-15’s will be admitted. As always, the Disco is a supervised, alcohol-free environment and volunteers are always welcome to assist the club stewards on the night.


Connacht Emerging Talent squad named for game against Leinster North Midlands