BUCCS HOME GAME v CLONTARF OFF!! | News | Buccaneers Rugby Football Club Athlone

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BUCCS HOME GAME v CLONTARF OFF!!

published:Mar  01   2018

BUCCANEERS are home to Clontarf in the Ulster Bank League Division 1A at Dubarry Park, Athlone, on Saturday when the action kicks off at 2.30 p.m. With the league entering the final four rounds of fixtures, the stakes are raised for all the teams and Buccs and Tarf will be battling for these precious points, albeit from differing perspectives. The midlanders prop up the league table and desperately need a change for better fortune in this Ganly’s of Athlone sponsored game while the northside Dubliners are still chasing a Top Four berth.

 

When the sides met in early October, Clontarf were one of the stronger outfits that the Pirates faced as they eased to a 26-6 win. They led 12-0 at the break and, although gritty Buccs (who lost two players to injury in the opening 12 minutes and fielded six U-21’s) halved the arrears in the third quarter, Tarf were simply too strong as they secured a bonus point victory. However, they may have gone off the boil since the New Year, losing key games against fellow contenders Young Munster and Terenure College as well as being walloped by leaders Lansdowne. Their only win in that sequence has been a narrow 19-8 victory over UCD.

 

Buccaneers will glean hope from that form but first of all they must curb the influence of centre Matt D’Arcy, No.8 Michael Noone (both of whom were recent visitors to Dubarry Park when wearing the colours of the Ireland Clubs XV), lock Ben Reilly and prop Brian Byrne. David Joyce or Sam Cronin could feature at fly-half. The midlanders must also match the physicality of the metropolitans.

 

Buccs need to eradicate errors and take every opportunity presented if they are to prevail. They got within touching distance of the Dublin University line on a decent number of occasions at College Park but could only force their way over for one try. Better hardness, guile and patience would earn the Pirates more reward in such situations. They have not been that far off the pace in the majority of matches but did not always get the breaks their endeavours warranted.

 

Callum Boland and Conor Kennys’s injury disrupted seasons continued at Trinity but hopefully both will be fit to play on Saturday when Rory O’Connor is likely to start. Cian Romaine will be keen to make a point against Saturday’s opponents while Peter Claffey’s presence if fit would be a huge boost as Buccs chase a rare and sorely needed win.

 

Other Fixtures

 

Dubarry Park is going to be a busy spot on Sunday with a trio of fixtures. First up is the Connacht Womens Cup quarter-final between Buccaneers and Carrick-On-Shannon which gets under way at 1 p.m. The Buccs girls should have the edge here but it will be a competitive affair.

 

Buccaneers Seconds play Sligo Reserves in the Connacht Junior 1A League, kicking off at 2.30 p.m. Sligo lie third in this division while Buccs have struggled. However, only one place seperate them on the league table so it could be a nip and tuck battle.

 

Buccaneers U-20’s have had a disappointing campaign after early promise while Sunday’s visitors Greystones are enjoying a better season in the J.P.Fanagan Leinster U-20 Premier 2 League. The Wicklow side will fancy their chances in this game which starts at 3 p.m.

  

BUCCANEERS SECONDS 12 BALLINA 54

 

Ballina maintained their drive for the Connacht Junior 1A League title when overcoming the challenge of Buccaneers Seconds by 54-12 at Dubarry Park, Athlone, on Sunday. On a sunny but cold afternoon, the visitors proved too hot for the hosts although the Pirates efforts warranted a tighter margin on the scoreboard.

 

Kieran Lindsay opened the scoring and was the league leaders’ hero as he grabbed a hat-trick of tries. Marc Feeley, Dan Molloy and Micky Murphy tries helped the Mayo men to a 22-7 halftime advantage. Bradley Nealon and Callum Quinn dotted down for the visitors in the second half when Lindsay notched a brace of tries.

 

Ballina rode their luck at times and survived a pair in the sin bin at the same time in that second half as they kept their 100% winning record. Rory Grenham and Darragh Corbett were Buccs try scorers with Corbett landing one conversion.

 

CLONTARF PRE-MATCH FUNCTION

 

Buccaneers are holding a pre-match function for their penultimate Ulster Bank League home game of the season against Clontarf next Saturday. For just €30 per person you can enjoy a fine lunch with wine, complimentary matchday programme and free admittance to the stand. Groups or individuals can be catered for. Contact Pat Hynes 0876883833 or our Administrator Geraldine 0871732711 to book.

 

‘OFF THE BALL’ COMES TO THE BOUNTY

 

Newstalk Radio in association with Heineken is broadcasting their popular ‘OFF THE BALL’ sports programme live from The Bounty on Wednesday next, March 7th from 7 p.m. There will be “a bunch of guests” from the sports world especially rugby and Athlonian Adrian Barry is orchestrating the show which will run for circa 90 minutes. All welcome to come along on the night.

 

CONDOLENCES

 

Deepest sympathy is extended to former club President Tom Hughes and family on the death of his brother Patrick. Sincere condolences also go to Paul Donovan and family on the passing of his aunt Nancy Reilly. The death has also taken place of Stephen Walsh, former President of the Connacht Branch IRFU. May they rest in eternal peace.