BUCCANEERS recorded a comfortable 38-17 Senior friendly victory over Falkirk in their opening match of the season, played at Dubarry Park on Friday night. The homesters fielded well below anticipated starting lines, yet were not troubled unduly by a disappointing Scottish outfit.


The sparse attendance saw some newcomers such as props John Rowe and Tom Bracken along with flanker Mike Ward and back three player Rory O’Connor in action. It was hard to gauge their potential in this outing as they were not seriously tested but flying wing O’Connor is an exciting acquisition. Sean Stapleton operated effectively at hooker and Conor Molloy did well, apart from one blockdown that led to Falkirk’s late second try, at scrum-half.


Buccs began in lively fashion and Stapleton made ground before Kolo Kiripati, (lining out at left wing!), stormed through for a typically taken try close to the touchline after only five minutes. Alex Hayman, at outhalf in this friendly, landed a fine conversion. Buccs did not build on this and Falkirk levelled just before the end of the opening quarter when James Tormey lost possession in the tackle and Chris Harris swooped on the loose ball for a try at the posts which Finn Russell converted to level 7-7.


The match was played in four sections and Buccaneers made full use of an extended panel with lots of changes throughout. This perhaps did not help the flow of the game but Buccs were generally dominant, with one fine maul by the pack losing shape very close to the visitors’ line and Conor Lavelle and O’Connor linking up soon afterwards for an exciting attack down the left flank. However, the midlanders endeavour eventually gained reward just a minute before halftime when good hands and quick support led to O’Connor haring in for a try at the posts. Hayman converted for a 14-7 advantage.


Three minutes into the second half, a solid drive by the pack was finished off by Tormey for a try wide on the left, with Hayman’s conversion tailing the wrong side of the upright. O’Connor gave further evidence of his potential on 49 minutes when he skinned the opposition cover and sped in for his second touchdown. Hayman converted this highly impressive try to put Buccs 26-7 ahead.


Six minutes later, substitute Paul Harte backed his pace with an intelligent kick ahead and he easily won the chase to grab a try. Lavelle was unable to convert as the ball fell just as he was about to make contact and the tourists’ responded with an unconverted try just before the hour. In an abbreviated final quarter, classy Harte notched a super individual try, leaving the visitors’ defence trailing in his wake. Hayman converted while Falkirk had the final score when Russell blocked down an attempted clearance and then won the race to ground the ball and complete the 38-17 scoreline.


Coach Hendre Marnitz may not have learned too much from this encounter as Falkirk, who featured ex-Bucc Niall Lear on the right wing, did not offer the stiffest of challenges. Nevertheless, he got a look at some of the newcomers whilst also checking on the potential of some of the club’s younger players.


BUCCANEERS:- C.Lavelle; R.O’Connor, C.Gormley, D.Byrne, K.Kiripati; A.Hayman, C.Molloy; T.Bracken, S.Stapleton, J.Rowe; J.Tormey, R.Byrne; M.Ward, J.Hayes and E.Rooney. Replacements used:- A.Hughes, B.Gilligan, P.Harte, L.Doran, R.Grenham, R.Walshe and J.O’Carroll.


FALKIRK:- J.Hope; N.Lear, S.McAllister, G.Gillingham, C.Harris; F.Russell, A.Bennie; K. Burney, M.Christie, G.Ramsay; B.Kerins, K.Newet; J.Lepa, B.Weir and C.Macaskill. Replacements used:- G.Ivady and M.Morrell.

REFEREE:- D.Connolly. (IRFU).




Buccaneers third annual Sevens Tournament takes place in Dubarry Park, Athlone, on Saturday afternoon with the action getting under way at 1 p.m. Two competitions are being staged. The Open tournament is geared for squads/players of All-Ireland League standard with a prize fund of €2,000. The Junior event is aimed for junior clubs and social teams. Here €1,000 is on offer. Entry fee is €250 for Open and €200 for Junior per squad of 12 players. Late entries should contact Geraldine at 086-1732711, email [email protected] or check out the designated website

Supported by SMITHS SUPERVALU, there will be entertainment on the afternoon and, with food/snacks available at The Bounty, it should be a good family day out.




The club is commencing its own Lotto next month. Hopefully, it will attract the support it needs and, if this is so, then this Lotto would greatly reduce the need and burden of other fund-raising projects. Lotto forms are now available from committee members and team mentors. Cost is just €100 for a full year and can be paid by Bankers Order on an annual or quarterly basis. So please fill in your 4 Lotto numbers now, complete the form and return it to our Administrator Geraldine as soon as you can to facilitate a smooth start to this necessary fund-raising effort.




Best wishes for the future to Anthony Lowry and his bride Yurishan who were married last Saturday.  


Gallery: HT minis – Ballinrobe, Ballyhaunis, Corinthians and Dunmore