BUCCS HOME TO BALLYMENA IN ‘MUST WIN’ DUEL | News | Buccaneers Rugby Football Club Athlone

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BUCCS HOME TO BALLYMENA IN ‘MUST WIN’ DUEL

published:Dec  10   2018

BUCCANEERS final All-Ireland League game of 2018 takes place in Dubarry Park on Saturday when Ballymena hit the centre of Ireland. Kick off for this Ganly’s of Athlone sponsored Division 1B fixture is 2.30 p.m. Both teams, surprisingly to this scribe, occupy the bottom two berths on the league table and it truly is a “must win” battle for both teams on Saturday.

 

The Braidmen will arrive following back to back wins over Old Belvedere and Ballynahinch. Unusually, both these matches were at Eaton Park. Their best result this term was a 40-22 win over St. Mary’s College. Ballymena have a highly experienced pack that includes Clive Ross, John Andrew and the Rea brothers Matthew and Marcus who have all featured for Ulster. Lock Connor Smyth is their leading try scorer this season while versatile back Tim Small has accumulated most of their points from placekicks. Buccs must heed this and be disciplined. Rodger McBurney is a strong fullback and Robert Baloucone has pace to burn on the flanks.

 

Buccs have been somewhat unfortunate in this campaign, last Saturday being typical; a drop goal attempt fractionally wide allayed to a glut of absentees. Nevertheless, effort and work rate was never shirked by the heavily depleted Pirates for whom a little bit of luck would not go amiss. Team spirit is still strong, and desire and commitment will be vital ingredients against the northerners. It simply is a game that the midlanders must win as the league goes into its seasonal break.

 

Just three fixtures ago Buccs squared up to St. Mary’s College with both teams in the bottom four. There a questionable early penalty try eventually proved decisive for St. Mary’s and they have now won three games in a row to go top of Division 1B! It is a very tight and congested division with all teams capable of overcoming each other. If Buccaneers can get a run of a few wins, they can quickly climb up the leaderboard too. It won’t be easy but Pirates followers can count on their players giving it their best. So forget the festive shopping for one afternoon and lets see big support in Dubarry Park on Saturday; your encouragement can make the difference for the young home squad.

 

Pre-match v Ballymena

 

Buccaneers final home AIL game of the year heralds the visit of Ballymena on Saturday. There will be the traditional Christmas pre-match fare for this match. Cost is only €30 per head for meal with complimentary wine plus free admission to the stand. Bookings are now being taken for this seasonal get-together which can cater for groups and/or individuals. Contact our Administrator Geraldine at 0861732711 to book.

 

Condolences

 

Heartfelt condolences are extended to Michael Murtagh and family on the death of his mother Elizabeth. Deepest sympathy is also extended to the family and SMA Confreres of Rev. Fr. Eamon Kelly who died recently in Cork. Fr. Eamon was a lifelong supporter of Athlone and Buccaneers rugby. May their gentle souls rest in eternal peace.

 

Congratulations

Congrats to LIAM WINNETT who played for Ireland U-19's against Australia last weekend.