BUCCS AWAY TO YOUNG MUNSTER | News | Buccaneers Rugby Football Club Athlone

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published:Mar  19   2018

BUCCANEERS travel to one of the great homes of club rugby in Ireland on Saturday when they square up to Young Munster in their penultimate away fixture in the Ulster Bank League at Tom Clifford Park. The Limerick venue, where home support is absolutely partisan, has seen a number of epic battles in front of bumper crowds between these two clubs who both sport black and gold colours. While this weekend’s joust is unlikely to attract such a large attendance, the outcome of the exchanges which kick off at 2.30 p.m. will nevertheless be of the utmost importance to both the Cookies and the Pirates.


Young Munster lie in sixth place in the league table on 39 points, three points adrift of neighbours Garryowen and a further point behind Clontarf as they chase a Top Four berth. After a trio of losses, they regained their momentum with a quartet of victories including three wins over teams above them in the league table. They defeated Cork Constitution and Garryowen at home either side of an away success against Clontarf. But, surprisingly, they lost narrowly away to Dublin University on Monday which was bad news on the double for Buccaneers as Trinity are now 14 points ahead of the Athlone club while the Cookies will be stung by that setback.


Consequently Young Munster will be hell bent on overcoming Buccs on Saturday. Their youthful captain Ben Kilkenny has impressed at lock while another young forward Gavin Coombes is a real threat at No.8. Ger Slattery is a key operator in a formidable front row. Shane Airey has done well at fly-half since moving from UL Bohemian and fullback Conor Hayes is another young player on the rise.


Young Munster finished the stronger when the teams met early in the season at Dubarry Park where they came out on top 32-24. As in many matches this season, the midlanders were somewhat depleted that day and also had little luck. They are likely to be missing some key personnel again this weekend with locks Cian Romaine and Peter Claffey doubtful starters. Shane Layden, Rory O’Connor, Simon Meagher and Callum Boland all sustained knocks in the Pirates loss at home to Clontarf so it is likely that further changes will be forced on Buccs. They desperately need a win but Young Munster also require the points to keep in the hunt at the top end of the table. Home advantage and their bigger pack may ensure that the spoils remain in Limerick on this occasion.


Buccs Womens team in Cup semi-final


BUCCANEERS WOMENS team take on league runners-up Castlebar in the semi-final of the Connacht Womens Cup at Dubarry Park on Sunday. The Mayo side will be favourites but Buccs did overcome them when the teams met earlier in the season at the Athlone venue. A tight contest could unfold in this duel that is scheduled to get under way at 1 p.m.




BUCCANEERS RESERVES and Sligo Seconds served up an entertaining Connacht Junior 1A League joust at Dubarry Park on Friday night when the visitors prevailed 21-12. In a relatively open, lively encounter Buccs were decidedly unfortunate not to at least earn a losing bonus point when going down to the in-form Junior Cup finalists.


On a nippy night, conditions were near ideal for this rearranged fixture. The Pirates trailed by a solitary point 7-8 at half-time, Gerard Fallon converting Ross Murphy-Sweeney’s try. Although the impressive Dean McMahon added another home try after the change of ends, the north-westerners proved that bit stronger and more cohesive to merit victory. Nevertheless, Buccs had particularly fine performances from Trevor Phillips and Rossa Dooley while their U-20 players stepped up to the mark under the floodlights. Buccaneers have now completed their campaign but will be keeping an anxious eye on the fortunes of Galwegians who are six points behind the Pirates but have two games in hand. However, both these fixtures are away games for the light blues and against the top two clubs in this league so it looks a massive task for Wegians to overhaul Buccs. 


Five of the Buccaneers side have been nominated for inclusion in the Connacht Junior squad as has exciting young scrumhalf Graham Lynch. We wish them good luck with the province.


BUCCANEERS:- H.Hughes; C.Forde, E.O’Reilly, S.Flynn (captain), R.Murphy-Sweeney; D.McMahon, G.Fallon; N.Farrelly, R.Grenham, R.O’Meara; B.Collins, S.Byrne; L.Donnelly, T.Phillips and R.Dooley. Replacements:- N.Harney, T.Thompson, D.Buckley, N.Flynn and K.Foxe.




Dubarry Park will be a busy spot this week with no less than nine national finals taking place at the Athlone venue. The Irish Colleges & Universities finals (6) are being staged there this Wednesday with the Womens All-Ireland League deciders (3) following on Saturday. (See separate article --- admission is FREE on both days).