Here's the club notes for this week.
Buccaneers kick off the New Year with a Connacht Senior Cup joust away to Corinthians on Saturday. This quarter-final has a scheduled 2.30 p.m. start at Corinthian Park with the reward for the victors being an away semi-final joust against Sligo or Galwegians on February 12th .
The Pirates had a comfortable 28-3 win over the westerners when the sides met in the Connacht League at Dubarry Park with Ruaidhri Fallon, Ross Murphy-Sweeney and Rory O’Connor notching tries. Martin Staunton and Ruairi Byrne did well on that occasion but it was youngsters like Fallon, Koronato Kiripati, Darren Browne,
Michael Hanley and Stephen Mannion who really caught the eye. Add in Tabo Maree, Danny Qualter, Shane Layden and skipper Evan Galvin into the mix and
Buccs should be even more formidable this time out. And they will need to be as Corinthians, for whom Matthew Devine (on of Mike) is developing into a quality player, have recovered from an inconsistent start to the All-Ireland League and have won their last five fixtures on a cumulative score of 186-27.
That indicates a team in rich form which is reflected by their move up the table to second place in Division 2B where they are now closing in on leaders Greystones. All this indicates a high-scoring and entertaining contest is in prospect in which the midlanders will need to be on their game from the kick off to the very end if they are to progress.
SECONDS AWAY TO CREGGS
Buccaneer's seconds also have an early 2022 return to action and they too face a tasty challenge with a short trip to The Green, Creggs, on Sunday where the teams will battle it out for Connacht Junior 1A League points. Creggs top this league table with just a solitary defeat to date, away to Connemara. Buccs also have just the single loss too, also out west in Clifden, but they have a game in hand on Sunday’s hosts. Victory could leapfrog them over Creggs so a cracking duel looks likely. Kick-off at the impressive The Green sward is 2.30 p.m.
Buccaneers U-14 ‘yellow’ team played Monivea in a friendly game in Dubarry Park recently. A much-changed Buccs team, with only one survivor from the previous week’s epic league final against Sligo, competed manfully with the Monivea boys. So much so that the score was only 3-0 to the opposition at half time with Buccs spurning a couple of scores by over-elaborating when tries beckoned. Superb counter rucking by the powerful Athlone pack ensured that the visitors didn’t get near the home line in the second half.
Buccs also defended stoutly with Hugo Hannon and Jimmy Walshe to the fore. The homesters elected to run a couple of kickable penalties but try as they might scores were beyond them. To their credit the visitors broke away in the final minute to score an unlikely try as the referee blew the final whistle to end an outstanding game of rugby. Best in a rampaging pack were Donnacha Dullea, Cathal Brazil and Evin Claffey and in the backs Leandro and Senan Nugent starred with debutants Mikey Sammon and Sean Brett showing up well.
BUCCANEERS:- C.Brazil, D.Dullea, D.Cleary, H.Hannon, E.Claffey, J.Walsh, E.O’Sullivan, L.Pinto, F.Byrne, N.Stewart, E.Killeen, S.Nugent, Leandro, T.Kenny, M.Sammon, C.Ainscough, S.Brett and R.Dolan.
Congrats to Marist College and Athlone Community College on their respective Connacht A and Connacht B Schools Junior League title successes achieved just before Christmas.
Deepest sympathy is extended to David Flynn and family on the recent death of his mother Mary.